YORKTON - When the Yorkton Sports Hall of Fame and Museum holds its first induction in eight years Sept. 24, the 2005-06 edition of the Yorkton Junior Terriers will be one of two teams added to the roll.
“It was a real pleasant surprise,” said Ed Zawatsky who coached the 2005-06 Terriers. “It’s exciting, a real honour for the team.”
“It’s totally an honour,” said former player Dustin Nehring, adding “it’s been almost 20 years now . . . To get the call it’s super cool.”
That year the Terriers put together a string of accomplishments that had them on the cusp of a national championship.
The team tied for regular season championship in the Saskatchewan Junior A Hockey League, topping the Sherwood Division, then proceeding to take the Credential Cup the league championship.
As SJHL champs the team advanced to the ANAVET Cup defeating the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Winnipeg South Blues.
It was on to the five‐team 2006 Royal Bank Cup national junior A championship in Brampton, Ont. as the prairie representative.
The Terriers made it to the final defeating the host Streetsville Derbys 2-1 in semi final action, but lost to the Burnaby Express in the championship.
In the RBC final the Express came out with three quick goals in the first period and at one point were up 6-0 over Yorkton in the middle of the second period, on their way to an 8-2 win.
Future National Hockey Leaguer Kyle Turris stole the show for Burnaby with a hat-trick, the only one of the tournament. He was the tournament's leading scorer with seven goals and six assists in six games.
Zawatsky said after learning of the upcoming induction it created an impetus to look back on the season, and in particular the RBC.
“It brings back a lot of memories,” he said, adding the national event was something of a roller coaster.
“In the round robin we thought we were out,” he said, but the team battled back into contention.
Zawatsky said the Terriers had a bunch of character guys who played well to get them to the final, led by Captain Brett McRuvie.
“He was one of the best Captains in Terrier history,” offered his former coach. “He was definitely a stand out for me.”
But there were others too including Nehring, Chris Korchiniski, Jason Wagar, Sheldon Dubnyk and Todd Rusnak, offered Zawatsky.
Nehring said there are players on the team he has had little contact with over the years as they moved away to start their adult lives, but the call from the Hall of Fame has provided a reason to reconnect and share some memories with a number of teammates.
“When you look back on it, it was the time of our lives. We were in the NHL (metaphorically),” he said.
“Do I wish we had dig deep and won one more game? Of course, but the SJHL championship, the ANAVET Cup, the RBC it was all great success.”
And, then there was Kyle Turris.
“At the time we didn’t realize how good Kyle Turris was,” said Zawatsky, adding they found out first hand in the final game.
Nehring recalled watching Turris from the stands in a round robin game.
“I thought, ‘he’s OK but we’ll be able to handle him’,” he said, adding in their round robin game they did control Turris fairly well, but his talent simply came to the forefront in the biggest game of the year.
The Terriers will be joined at this year’s induction by the 1964 Yorkton Collegiate Institute Gridders eight‐man high school football team, and individuals Ian Gordon, Susanne Mitchell, Randy Atkinson and posthumously Vic Kreklewetz and Larry Renton.