The Yorkton Bantam UCT Terriers experienced something that they are definitely not used to this past weekend at the 37th annual John Reid Memorial Tournament (JRMT) in St. Albert, Alberta.
The UCT Terriers, who currently sit first overall in the 22-team SBAAHL with a record of 24-1-0 and who have scored an incredible 220 goals while allowing just 54, were winless at the JRMT with a record of 0-4-1, opening the tournament with a 6-2 loss to the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins before picking up their lone point in a 1-1 tie with Edge Academy.
Scoring for Yorkton against Burnaby were Aiden Bulych and Reid Perepeluk, while Carson Miller scored the lone goal against Edge Academy. Nolan Maier turned aside 31-of-37 Burnaby attempts in the opening game loss while Dakota Berezowski was in the Yorkton net for the draw where he stopped 24-of-25 Edge Academy shots.
They followed that up with a 7-4 loss to the Los Angeles Jr. Kings to end their hopes of advancing to the ‘A’ side playoffs. Scoring against the Kings were Brett Kemp, Kaleb Bulych, Kaeden Taphorn and Jordan Repsch while Tyson Byman stopped 21-of-28 shots in the loss.
The UCT Terriers then played two more games, losing to the SSAC Lions 4-3 in a shootout before falling to the Adam Foote and Joe Sakic coached Colorado Thunderbirds 5-2 in their final game of the tournament. Kemp, Miller and Perepeluk once again found the back of the net for the Terriers in a losing effort against the Lions while it was Aiden Bulych and Miller who scored in the 5-2 defeat to Colorado.
Maier shouldered the shootout loss to SSAC, turning aside 20-of-23 Lion shots while Berezowski felt the sting of defeat against the Thunderbirds, stopping 32-of-37 shots.
However despite the less than impressive 0-4-1 record, UCT Terriers head coach Graham Garrett felt that his team definitely competed with most of their competition, although at times it seemed as if they let their foot off the gas pedal a little bit. “I thought we competed well for the most part,” mentioned Garrett, continuing, “We need to be more consistent over the entire 60 minutes. We need to be more disciplined and not put ourselves in situations that end up costing us when we play against that better competition.
“Every game was competitive and there’s a fine line between winning and losing when you play in a competition like that and we didn’t make the right adjustments to fall on the winning side of the line this time.”
Garrett also mentioned that, while the trio of Kemp, Miller and Perepeluk certainly played well throughout much of the tournament, three other players that don’t generally get the recognition they deserve played equally as well. “Ashton Shewchuk had a great weekend. Kaeden Korczak I thought had a very good weekend as well,” suggested Garrett. “But Shewchuk, offensively and defensively, played the best hockey he has played all year and so did Jordan Repsch.
‘Both of them played their best hockey all season so far.”
While many could look at their record and assume they were blown out, the actual fact is that they weren’t.
Despite icing a team with several first year bantam players in a tournament were nearly every player on the opposing teams are second years, Yorkton competed, and in several games outplayed, their opponents.
In three of their five games (vs. Edge Academy, Los Angeles and SSAC) the UCT Terriers outshot their opponents by 10 or more shots.
In three of their four losses Yorkton had fought back to tie the game before giving up the eventual game winning goal (including the shootout game) and in two of their five games the Terriers opened the scoring meaning that the Terriers weren’t completely outclassed. Instead, they just couldn’t adjust to the fact that they found themselves behind in games; something that has happened only a handful of times so far this season.
But that’s something that Garrett believes they’ll have to adjust to when they play teams that are at that skill level in the future. “Every team was a top calibre team there and they all played the same type of hockey game and you have to be able to adjust and do certain things to win hockey games and we weren’t able to do that in St. Albert,” said the UCT Terrier bench boss. “That’s something that we have to work on for the future.”
The Yorkton UCT Terriers took on the Regina Monarchs on Tuesday, January 13 at the Farrell Agencies Arena, defeating the visiting Monarchs 7-0.
A scoreless first period saw the UCT Terriers shorthanded for 10 of the 20 minutes of play, however they still managed to carry the flow of play, outshooting Regina 8-4.
The UCT Terrier offence came to life in the second period as Ashton Shewchuk and Reid Perepeluk made it 2-0 Yorkton before a pair of Kaeden Korczak markers made it 4-0 for the hosts after 40 minutes of play.
Third period goals by Kaeden Taphorn, Carson Miller and Perepeluk made it a 7-0 final. Nolan Maier picked up the shutout win for Yorkton stopping 20 Regina shots while Nathan Moore was saddled with the loss.
The Yorkton UCT Terriers (24-1-0) will be in action tomorrow (Thursday) as they travel to Regina to once again take on the Monarchs (17-4-3).