The Terriers did not have the start they were hoping for in Melville Saturday.
The host Millionaires opened the scoring with two unanswered goals in the first period; Jaden Shewchuk opening things with a powerplay marker, and Josh Borynec adding one at 18:29.
Terrier head coach Mat Hehr said the Terriers didn’t start the game all that badly.
“I think for about the first 10 minutes we were really good,” he said, adding the Terriers led 7-0 in shots at one point.
But then a touch of frustration set in, the Terriers headed to the box and were down 2-0.
It was 3-0 Melville 1:33 into the second as Aidan Steinke added a short-handed effort to the Mills total.
“That really put us behind the eight ball,” said Hehr.
Karstin McDonald finally put Yorkton on the board with a powerplay effort at 3:11 of the second frame. The goal provided the Terriers with a spark. Chantz Petruic scored a powerplay goal, and then at 10:39 Cole Keenleyside scored to tie the game 3-3.
“It was nice to see the no-quit attitude,” said Hehr, adding “we’re always in games because of our offence.”
But the Mills were not done. With exactly two-minutes left in the second period Tristan Shewchuk gave the home team back a lead with another man advantage marker.
Cody Bruchkowski scored 7:49 into the third to draw the Terriers even at 4-4.
But the Millionaire powerplay would prove the difference on the night as Max McPeak used it to score at 18:12. The goal would prove the game-winner in the 5-4 contest.
Ryan Ouellette was in the Terrier net for the loss facing 35-shots, while Colby Entz took the win for the Mills facing 32.
Hehr said in the end penalties hurt the Terriers.
“We had 10 penalties. You give a team 10 powerplays you’re not going to win a lot of hockey games,” he said.
So what is the issue with taking so many penalties?
“I think it starts with me,” offered Hehr.
The Terrier coach said during drills he hasn’t been blowing his whistle when a player does something that would be a penalty in-game. That is about to change, said Hehr who said he’ll be acting as a referee in practice and calling out players who are taking liberties during drills to make sure that sort of response to a situation does not transfer to a game.
With only one game on the week the Terrier record fell to 8-6-1 for 17-points, but still sit atop the SJHL’s Viterra Division a single point better than Estevan, and five up on Weyburn. Melville remains in the basement of the division with 10 points.
The Terriers head north to play LaRonge Friday and Saturday, then swing south next Tuesday to play Estevan.
Hehr said LaRonge has not put a lot of wins on the board so far this season, but that does not mean the Terriers can take them lightly.
“It’s a really tough building to play in. LaRonge is definitely not a pushover. They always come to work,” he said.