YORKTON - Trailing their best-of-seven series with the Estevan Bruins the Yorkton Terriers were hoping home ice would turn things in their favour tonight, and it proved a nailbiter.
The game at the Westland Insurance Arena was a defensive affair early, as Kael DePape in the Terrier net and Boston Bilous in goal for the Bruins kept it a scoreless affair through a first period where the teams managed only a ‘baker’s dozen’ 13 shots combined.
A powerplay opportunity finally resulted in the game’s first goal, and it was for the home side. Erik Boers put the Terriers on the board at 6:33 of the middle stanza.
The Terriers held the one-goal lead until the 8:07 mark of the third period when the Bruins went on the powerplay and Eric Pearce scored to knot the score 1-1.
At 15:07 Mikol Sartor scored the only even-strength goal of the night giving the visiting Bruins a 2-1 lead, which would hold until the final buzzer, giving Estevan a three-games-to-one lead in the series.
The game was one where Terrier head coach Mat Hehr liked almost everything he saw, except for the final score.
“I am very happy with our effort,” he said in a post-game interview with Yorkton This Week. “. . . For almost 60-minutes we got the effort we wanted.”
Hehr said it came down to two miscues, and the Bruins turned both into third period goals.
Game 4 of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League series goes Thursday evening in Yorkton.
So how do the Terriers win the next game?
“We need to play similar to how we played games two and three. Very easily we could be up two games to one,” said Hehr.
The Terriers have also proven able to rebound this season.
“There’s no quit. We’ve been resilient all year. We just the need to same effort,” said Hehr, adding if they continue to work hard a bounce will come their way eventually, pointing to a couple of late-game efforts where the puck just bounced over a stick. “I thought we had our chances.”