The Yorkton Terriers won twice over the weekend and once on Tuesday, securing first place in the Viterra Division of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The Terriers have 35 points based on a record of 17-10-1, narrowly ahead of Estevan who sits at a record of 15-17-2. Weyburn are third with 23 points, with Melville sitting fourth with 20.
The Terriers met Estevan on Tuesday at the Farrell Agencies Arena in a matchup that would decide who took over the top spot in the division.
Estevan lead off the scoring with an unassisted goal by Turner Ripplinger in the first. The Terriers met that goal with one of their own, with Cole Keenleyside scoring at 14:19, assisted by Quinten Hobbs and Karstin McDonald.
In the second Estevan pulled ahead with a goal by Jayden Davis, assited by TJ Irey.
The Terriers tied it up at 18:52 in the third, with a power play goal by Colby Brandt, assisted by Branden Klatt and Cody Bruchkowski. This goal lead the game to overtime.
At 1:46 in the extra frame, Yorkton's Cody Bruchkowski ended the contest and handed victory, and first place in the division, to the Terriers, with Chantz Petruic and Cody Dubas getting credited with the assist.
The Terriers were in Humboldt Sunday for a rare afternoon tilt.
Jared Legien gave the Terriers the 1-0 lead at the 6:50 mark of the first period, but Zach McIntyre would even the score with a powerplay marker at 15:47.
Moving to the second period the Terriers struck early and often.
Cody Bruchkowski gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead 1:08 into the period, with Quinton Hobbs adding a third goal 14-seconds later.
Chantz Petruic made it 4-1 with an unassisted powerplay goal for Yorkton at 7:15, followed by a Colby Brandt goal 21-seconds later to make it a 5-1 score.
A powerplay goal by Michael Clarke gave the Broncos hope before then end of the second.
But the third period would only result in each team adding one to their totals, Mason Mullaney for Yorkton and Bryson Cecconi for Humboldt to round out a 6-3 Terrier win.
Ryan Ouellette earned the win in the Terrier net facing 31-shots, while Dane Dow started for Humboldt being pulled after allowing five goals on 26-shots. Dawson Cochrane finished the game facing 22-shots.
Friday the Terriers were visitors to the Northern Lights Palace to take on the Melfort Mustangs, the leaders of the Sherwood Division.
In the first period a pair of Terrier goals by Chantz Petruic and Cody Bruchkowski sandwiched a Mustang goal by Justin Ball sending the visitors to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead after 20-minutes.
Bruchkowski would extend the lead to 3-1 with the only goal of the second period.
In the third Kurri Woodford made it a 4-1 lead 30-seconds into the frame, and it was 5-1 when Branden Klatt scored at 1:12.
With 40-seconds left on the game clock Braeden Young would add one for the Mustangs to make it a 5-2 final in favour of the Terriers.
Ryan Ouellette earned the win in the Terrier net facing 32-shots.
Hunter Arps started in the Melfort net allowing all five goals on 27-shots before being relieved by Shawn Parkinson who stopped the 11-shots he faced.
“It was a very nice weekend,” summed up Terrier head coach Mat Hehr when contacted Monday. “It was two big road games going into each of their rinks and getting two wins.”
So what was the key to the pair of victories in hostile territory?
“Defence,” said Hehr. “We played really good defence. We carried the play and played a full 60-minutes.”
Hehr said the Terriers are focusing on playing defence first and letting the offence generate off stopping the other team.
It is a style he wants to instill now because it gets more important when the playoffs come around.
“The old saying is defence wins championships and I’m a believer in that,” he said, adding he likes seeing good defensive habits developing now.
The Terriers are scheduled to host the Nipawin Hawks at the Farrell Agencies Arena Friday, with Melfort in the city for action next Tuesday.