The Yorkton Terriers won a pair of Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League games on the weekend.
With the wins the Terriers sit with a record of 10-7-1 for 21 points and the top spot in the SJHL’s Viterra Division. The Terriers hold a one-point lead on Estevan with 20 points, while Weyburn and Melville sit tied for third with 14 points each.
However, not everything went the team’s way in the last week.
The Terriers may have worn special Halloween jerseys last Tuesday, but the visiting Nipawin Hawks were not scared at all.
The Terriers started the scoring on a goal by Jared Legien, his 15th of the season.
But the Hawks would dominate the rest of the night.
Austen Flaman would score two in the first to give Nipawin a 2-1 lead at the first break.
In the second Jake Tremblay and Carson Erhardt would add unanswered goals for the Hawks to extend the lead to 4-1.
Zak Yewchuk and powerplay goals from Arik Breton and Jaxsen Wiebe made it 7-1 in the third before Legien added his second of the night to make it a 7-2 final.
Ben Laidlaw was in the Terrier net facing 32-shots in the loss, while Declan Hobbs had the win for Nipawin facing 26.
Terrier head coach Mat Hehr was not happy with the result.
“There’s no excuse for the Halloween game losing 7-2 like that,” he said in an interview with Yorkton This Week Monday. “But we did have a good response.”
The response came on the road trip north, as the Terriers headed to LaRonge for a weekend set.
Friday the Terriers held a 1-0 lead after the opening period on a goal by Aiden Bulych.
Branden Klatt and Cole Keenleyside scored powerplay goals in the opening half of the second frame to make it 3-0.
But then the hometown Ice Wolves offered some push back, with Zach Bannister scoring two, and Mitch Zambon adding one to make it 4-3 going into the third period.
The third would see Keenleyside add his second of the night and Chantz Petruic throwing one into an empty net to round out a 5-3 win for the Terriers.
Ryan Ouellette had the win in the net for Yorkton facing 30 shots, while Dabiel Davidson was tagged with the loss for LaRonge facing 34.
The teams went back at each other Saturday and the Terriers again scored first on a goal by Klatt, only 48 seconds into the contest.
Antonio Di Paolo would tie the score for the Ice Wolves less than three minutes later.
But Yorkton would add goals by Quinton Hobbs and Petruic to give the visiting Terriers a 3-1 lead through 20 minutes of play.
As happened a night earlier, the Ice Wolves showed push back in the second period as Zambon, and then Jake Gudjonson with a short-handed effort tied the score 3-3.
Then with 33 seconds left in the second Klatt scored his second of the night to give Yorkton a 4-3 lead after two periods.
The Terriers would control the third period as Legien scored two and Colby Brandt added one to round out a 7-3 Terrier win.
Ouellette was again in net for the win facing 37 shots while Jordan Frey took the loss for LaRonge also facing 37.
Hehr said the Terrier offence took over in LaRonge led by Legien, Klatt, Petruic and Bulych.
In Bulych the Terriers have the SJHL’s top point getter among rookies with 24.
“He really stepped it up,” said Hehr of Bulych’s effort in LaRonge, adding it is the continuation of a great season.
“He just started so fast … which shows the work he put in in the summer.”
The effort is drawing attention as Hehr said college scouts are already showing interest in the young forward.
By contrast Legien is 20, but is equally adept on offence, as he sits second in league scoring with 34 points, two back of Flin Flon’s Brandson Hein who has 36 but has played one more game.
“Whenever he’s out on the ice there’s a chance we can get a goal,” said Hehr.
After Laidlaw had a shaky outing against Nipawin Ouellette started Friday against the Ice Wolves and a steady outing earned him the start Saturday too.
Hehr said his goaltending is an area he is still looking for greater consistency from.
“When you look at our goals against and save percentage it’s not where I want it to be, or where they (his tandem) want it to be,” he said, adding his approach right now will be to go with the goaltender who is playing well.
The Terriers play in Humboldt Friday and then head to Wilcox to face the Notre Dame Hounds next Tuesday (Nov. 13).