It might have only been the Yorkton Terriers second game of the Western Canada Cup, but there was a sense of urgency, at least among the large contingent of Terrier fans attending the game in Dauphin Sunday evening that a win was a near must.
The Terriers had a different look Sunday with starting netminder Kale Thomson back between the pipes after being on intravenous for fluids Friday as a result of the flu.
Part-time forward, part-time blueliner Dylan Baer was out of the line-up, and likely the tournament, with a shoulder injury.
Derek Falloon was a scratch after a hit Saturday and Holden Cronin was also out of the lineup meaning Corwin Stevely, Zach Zadorozniak and Turner Ottenbreit were dressed for the game.
And it would be Stevely who set the spark for what would be an explosive offensive contest.
Stevely started what would be a high-scoring affair striking for the Terriers at 8:05 of the opening period.
Tayler Thompson quickly made it 2-0 with a goal at 10:30.
Chandler Irvin put the host Kings back in the game with a powerplay marker at 13:42 in a period Dauphin would muster only seven shots.
Riley Hunt had a powerplay goal for the Terriers 1:21 into the second, and Brett Boehm scored at 5:18 to give the Terriers what appeared to be a solid 4-1 lead.
But no lead was safe in the Sunday slugfest.
Ryan Cooper drew the Kings back to within a pair with a powerplay goal at 10:34.
Brett Boehm responded with his second of the frame at 13:07.
But Tanner Lomsnes used the man advantage yet again to keep Dauphin within striking distance at 14:41.
However Boehm finished a natural hat trick period with a powerplay marker for the Terriers to make it 6-3.
It was only 1:03 into the third before the Kings powerplay again notched a goal, as Tanner Butler scored.
Dillan McCombie scored the King's first even-strength goal of the contest 28-seconds later to get his team within one of a tie.
But Boehm would set up Kailum Gervais less than three-minutes later to restore a two-goal Terrier lead.
Lomsnes would again get the Kings back in the game with a marker at the mid-way mark of the third.
The Terriers would finally ice the win as Gervais scored into an empty net.
The Terriers had 41-shots at losing netminder Michael Stiliadis, while Thomson had the win for Yorkton facing 26.
Boehm said the game was a "bounce back after yesterday (Saturday's) game" a loss to Winnipeg.
The bounce back included a better performance by Boehm himself.
"I felt OK," he said with a smile, adding it was a night he felt he had a little more time and space to make plays than versus the Blues.
As a result Boehm said he was able to make good decisions, adding "the first pass is usually the right one."
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the offence exhibited by both teams was likely appreciated by the crowd, adding "they got their money's worth" in that regard.
As a coach Cassan felt the goals were great, but said it was a bit more run-and-gun than he would want to see in a tournament situation.
Cassan did add Boehm's night was special.
"We need him to be a game-breaker and difference-maker and Sunday he was that," he said.
Boehm said the Kings needed to be given credit for taking advantage of the Terriers being in the penalty box.
"They had a pretty good powerplay out there," he said.
Cassan said the Kings were good at generating chances with an extra man.
"They got a lot of pucks through (to the net)," he said, adding Dauphin was working at having two forwards "right in front" of Thomson.
The defence were then "dropping their shoulders" and getting quick shots on goals. They weren't "the hardest (shots) but they got it through."
Cassan did feel the Terriers took too many penalties, suggesting it is an area they need to focus on staying away from as the tournament progresses.
Cassan said the new faces inserted for the game did what was needed.
Stevely had an energy goal, and Ottenbreit kept the plays in front of him.
In Ottenbreit's case Cassan said he has played in front of big crowds before as he saw action in 10 Western Hockey League games this season.
"We talked about that with him," said the Terrier coach of the young blueliner who was named the AAA Midget Harvest's top defenceman at that team's awards night Saturday.
Stevely, said Cassan, is a young forward who "doesn't have any fear." He is willing to use his body and be pesky on the ice.
And there was Thomson, who Cassan said may not have had a great game just 48 hours off an IV, but it was enough to win.
"He'd say it wasn't his best game," said Cassan, but noted he was still "not 100 per cent" either.
WCC Tournament - Game 3 Results!
The Yorkton Terriers gave up three powerplay goals, including one in overtime, to drop Game 3 in their Western Canada Cup round robin.
The loss came at the hands of Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Spruce Grove, leaving both the Saints and Terriers 1-2 in round robin play.
Brett Boehm opened the scoring for Yorkton with an unassisted marker at 9:25 of the first period.
Parker Mackay tied the game at 17:09 with a powerplay goal for the Saints.
Tyler Giebel restored a Terrier lead at 3:02 of the second, only to have Cameron Hughes knot the contest 2-2 at 11:35.
The third period was scoreless, sending the game to overtime, where Carson Samoridny gave the Saints the win at 7:13 of extra time.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said overall he liked the Terrier effort.
"I thought we played real well," he said, adding he saw it "as a gritty effort."
Cassan also credited the Alberta Junior Hockey League champs.
"We played a very good hockey team that was desperate," he said of the Saints who had lost their first two games at the WCC.
But the powerplay goals allowed were the Terriers' Achilles' Heel.
Cassan said they have tried to address the situation.
"We've tried things. We've went over video. We've sat down with the penalty kill guys," he said. Adding they'll be taking another look at things after Tuesday's loss.
But Cassan was also left wondering about the tripping call in OT by the officiating duo of Kyle Scrivens and Mike Campbell.
"It's really hard to swallow that one," said the Terrier coach, noting "it was one-hand on the stick 200-feet from our end."
Cassan said the WCC is the best teams in Western Canada, adding if that was "the best call to come out of the officials, it's disappointing in that regard."
The call was against Boehm, who was earlier fingered for what many in attendance viewed as a phantom roughing call. Asked about that call, Cassan said, "I've commented enough about the officials."
Chase Norrish was the Terriers' Player of the Game.
"I thought we played pretty hard," he said, but added "when you take that many penalties bad things happen."
Still "penalties, they happen," said Norrish, adding when they happen "you have to play through it."
Norrish said it should be expected giving a team at a tourney like the WCC the man advantage will cost you.
"Teams like this are very skilled. They know what to do with the puck," he said.
But even with the Saints powerplay clicking, the Terriers were in the game, noted the rearguard.
"It was a hard fought battle," said Norrish.
Kale Thomson, who faced 41-shots in the loss, said he thought the team had a solid game, adding he was feeling better too after missing Game 1 of the WCC with the flu bug.
"Tonight I felt more like myself out there," he said.
Thomson said allowing seven power play goals in two games has hurt the Terriers.
"Obviously we've got to stay out of the box," he said, adding as Norrish had that the calibre of play among WCC teams means crisp puck movement with the man advantage.
The loss means a win Wednesday against the Coquitlam Express is the only way to guarantee making the WCC playoffs.
It is the first time this season the Terriers have faced a near must-win, possible elimination game.
Cassan said the best thing to tell the team before Wednesday's game is that a win is a must, or they could be eliminated, reasoning that is motivation enough.
"We have to play as hard as we can." said Norrish. "Play like it's the last game of the season."
"We just go out and play our game," said Thomson, adding they have been successful all season and through the SJHL playoffs doing that. "We give it our best 60-minute effort.
The game Wednesday is against British Columbia Junior Hockey League champion Coquitlam. Start-time is 7 p.m. Manitoba time.