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Yorkton Terriers coach disappointed by weekend losses

The Terriers next head to Estevan Wednesday to face the Bruins, then host Weyburn Saturday. 
The Yorkton Terriers dropped a weekend pair of SJHL games to Melville,

YORKTON - The new year has not started the way the Yorkton Terriers would have hoped. 

Saturday evening the Terriers dropped their second straight to the rival Millionaires, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League game in Melville. 

“It was definitely not the way we wanted to start the new year,” said Terrier head coach Mat Hehr Monday morning after a day of reflection. “We kind of put up a couple of duds back-to-back.” 

So were players still thinking of Christmas turkey after the seasonal break? 

Hehr said they actually brought players back a week before the games to get them refocused. 

“Our practises were pretty good,” he said. 

But in both games the Terriers were behind early, and that made it up hill all the way, said Hehr, adding that has been an issue all season. 

“We put ourselves behind the eight ball with some of our first periods,” he said. 

Hehr then added offensively the Terriers were not sharp. 

“Two goals in a game won’t win you many,” said Hehr, adding they need “… work on getting to the crease.” 

In the game Saturday the first period was scoreless but the Millionaires scored three unanswered goals in the middle frame. 

Alden Robson started things with a powerplay goal at 8:28. 

Louis-Frederic Theberge then scored at 16:19, again with Melville having a man advantage. 

It was then Isaac Suppin scoring at 19:40, again on the powerplay. 

The Terriers made a push to get back into the game in the third period as Pavel Mckenzie scored at 3:28, and Dylan Ruptash at 7:24 to make it 3-2. 

But, a marker by Nathan Fox at 10:22 and a Zach Bansley goal at 17:19 finalized a Mills’ win, their second 5-2 win in two days over the Terriers. 

Tysen Smith took the loss in the Terrier net facing 33 shots, while Clement Labillois earned the win for Melville facing 25 shots. 

On home ice 

The first game of the Highway #10 rivalry of 2023 went to the visiting Melville Millionaires Friday evening. 

The Mills got off to an early start at the Westland Arena in Yorkton scoring three unanswered first period markers. 

Isaac Suppin started things scoring at 4:05 and 6:07. 

Caden Drury added the third goal at 12:21. 

Cooper Chisholm struck on the powerplay at 5:20 of the second frame to make it 4-0. 

It was finally a man advantage goal by Brett Butz at 8:48 that put the Terriers on the board making it 4-1. 

Tucker Buhay would score the fifth Mills goal at 12:48. 

In the third Dylan Ruptash would give the locals faithful hope scoring at 6:32 to make it 5-2 but that would be it for scoring as Melville would board the bus to go home with a 5-2 win.  

Both teams would give both their netminders time, Caleb Allen starting for Yorkton and giving up all five goals on 18 shots, before giving way to Tysen Smith. 

Clement Labillois would allow two goals on 25 shots before Luke Brunen played the final 13:28. 

The Terriers next head to Estevan Wednesday to face the Bruins, then host Weyburn Saturday. 

Before the two games the SJHL trade deadline will come and go. 

Hehr said the weekend losses to Melville were changing their approach to making moves. 

“We’ve kind of had a plan in mind all year,” he said. 

That plan is somewhat multifaceted including not looking to add another 20 year-old since they are satisfied with whom they have, said Hehr. 

There is also little appetite to trade an young 18-year-old, because Hehr said he sees a strong foundation in place for next year with both netminders, his core ‘D’ and forwards eligible to return. 

That said, Hehr said they have unsigned cards and he expects to add a couple of players without sending anyone out, meaning a WHL cut, Junior ‘B’ pick-up or a trade for draft picks or cash.

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