The Yorkton Terriers dropped two games on the weekend, and as a result dropped to second place in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Viterra Division.
The losses leave Yorkton with a 24-21-1 record and 49 points, two back of Estevan who have 51. Melville sits third with 37 points, three up on Weyburn.
“Both of our goalies – we’ve kind of been hanging them out to dry quite a few times.”
— Terrier coach Mat Hehr
Friday the Terriers hosted the Kindersley Klippers in action at the Farrell Agencies Arena.
The Terriers had a good start with Brendan Mark giving the home side a 1-0 lead with a goal 5:08 into the game.
Kurri Woodlord made it 2-0 at 14:03.
Unfortunately that would be it for the Terrier offence on the night.
Steven Avalone cut the Yorkton lead in half with 50-seconds left in the first period.
In the second frame Devon Cyr tied the contest at 10:04, and 43-sconds later Ty Enns gave the Klippers a 3-2 lead.
Then again late, this time with 20-seconds left, Cyr made it 4-2 over the Terriers, a score that held through a scoreless third period.
Andrew Henderson was in the Terrier net to be tagged with the loss facing 37-shots, while Justen Close had the win for Kindersley facing 22.
A night later things just got ugly for the Terriers as Battlefords rolled into the Farrell Agencies Arena.
The North Stars had a goal 2:43 into the game from Dylan Esau, then Braydon Buziak added a powerplay goal to lead 2-0 after 20-minutes of play.
It was more of the same in the second, as Austin Becker, Macgregor Sinclair, Brett Gammer on the powerplay, and Buziak with a short-handed effort made it 6-0 through two periods.
Branden Klatt finally put the Terriers on the board at 8:29 of the third, but the Stars poured it on after that.
Esau and Gammer both scored their second of the night, and Elijah Loon-Stewardson netted one as well to round out a 9-1 drubbing by Battlefords.
Joel Grzybowski was in the North Stars net facing only 20-shots for the win.
Ryan Ouellette and Andrew Henderson both played in the loss for Yorkton, Ouellette guarding the net for the first two periods, and Henderson playing out the final frame.
The Terriers have struggled through more than weekend action with only three wins in their last 10-outings.
Asked what the problem has been in recent games Terrier head coach Mat Hehr couldn’t put his finger on a single thing.
“I think it’s a combination of lots of things,” he said, adding that includes being game ready which he said is his problem to remedy in terms of “game day preparation.”
Once on the ice the Terriers need to refocus on stopping goals.
“When we step out on the ice everybody’s mindset is offence, offence, offence,” said Hehr, adding when the team was rolling before the league’s Christmas break their offence was coming off working on defence, “on playing a good 200-foot game.”
Through the downturn the goals against have jumped too, but Hehr is not pointing fingers at his netminders.
“Both of our goalies – we’ve kind of been hanging them out to dry quite a few times,” he said.
So it’s back to some basics, focusing on defensive structures in practice, said Hehr.
If the team can get back to preventing goals, the rest will come.
“It’s about everyone kind of regaining their confidence,” said Hehr.
Overall, Hehr said the team is simply slumping, which happens to teams.
“I’d rather go through a slump now than a month from now (in the playoffs),” he said.
The visiting Kindersley Klippers started the scoring at the Farrell Agencies Arena Tuesday as Blake Kleiner scored 1:04 into the game.
A short-handed effort by Cole Keenleyside tied the game at the 4:49 mark.
But the Klippers would go to the dressing room after 20-minutes with the lead thanks to a goal by Austin Nault at 7:50.
It took almost the entire second frame before another goal would be tallied, but when it came with only 42-seconds left in the period it extended the Klipper lead to 3-1. Devin Cyr notched the goal.
Tyler Traptow made it 4-1 Kindersley at the 6:35 mark of the third.
The Terriers would make it interesting as Colby Brandt scored at 7:40, and Keenleyside added his second of the contest at 19:06, but the Yorkton comeback would get no closer as Kindersley held on for a 4-3 win.
Ryan Ouellette took the loss in the Terrier net facing 42-shots, while Zach Johnson backstopped the Klippers to the win facing 43.
Yorkton will visit Battlefords Friday and head to Kindersley Saturday for action.