The Yorkton Kinsmen Terriers have had a confusing 2014/15 SSMHL Midget Division season.
One minute they’re hot and the best team in the league, another and they’re the opposite, struggling to hold on to a lead and only barely eking out draws to keep their heads above the slowly rising water.
As of late it’s been the latter, with the Kinsmen Terriers going a paltry 1-5-2 in their last eight games including a record of 0-2-2 in 2015, most recently earning a last minute 5-5 tie against the Melville Millionaires on a Tayon Metzler goal with five seconds left to salvage a point in what should have been a victory.
Also scoring for the Kinsmen Terriers in the draw with Melville were Jonah Sutter, Josh Rohatynsky and Jarvis Gelowitz, while Metzler added another one. Brooks Fleury, Mitchell Cook, Tanner Mak, Jayden Napady and Cole Rathgeber found the back of the net for the Mils in the game.
That was followed by another draw, this time, 3-3 with the Notre Dame Bantam Hounds on a pair of late third period power play goals by Caleb Sutter and Metzler (Kholton Shewchuk also scored) and a hard luck 6-5 loss to the Notre Dame Hounds when Hounds’ Russian forward Artem Chupin scored twice with less than 1:30 left in the third period to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Scoring for the Kinsmen Terriers in the 6-5 loss were Jarvis Gelowitz with three and singles by both Brodie Ottenbreit and Rohatynsky. “We’ve had bad luck recently,” offered Kinsmen Terrier head coach Noel Budz via a phone interview Monday night. “We get a tie here and there but then we lose that game against Notre Dame after their guy blocks a shot and we give up a breakaway goal and it’s tough.”
However Budz does realize that there are positives in the way his team is playing. The power play is strong, as proven by the fact that it has scored five goals in 14 chances over the last three games for a 35.7% success rate.
The play of Gelowitz, too, has been a big positive this season.
Not only has the Yorkton forward put up points this year, he has 15 goals and 18 assists in 25 games including five points, three goals and two assists, over the past two games, but his defensive game has also been a talking point. “I think the most impressive thing about Gelowitz is his defensive play, his ability to kill penalties,” offered coach Budz on Gelowitz’s play without the puck. “I can’t remember the last time that Jarvis has been out there for a power play goal against.
“He’s that good defensively.”
Budz also expects that the luck will turn their way soon. “I’ve mentioned before that we’re having some bad luck right now, it’s not that the guys are playing bad, because they’re not,” suggested the coach, continuing, “it’s just that we’re not getting the bounces that the other team is getting right now.
“But that will change eventually.”
The Yorkton Kinsmen Terriers have also recently started their quest for the 2014/15 Provincial championship, taking on the Swift Current K-Motel Hurricanes in Game One of their first round provincial two game total points series, skating to a come-from-behind 3-3 tie in Swift Current.
It took the host Hurricanes a little under 21 minutes to open the scoring thanks to some impressive goaltending by Kinsmen Terrier netminder Carter Park in the first period. “Carter (Park) played great against the Hurricanes, not only in the first but throughout the entire game,” suggested Kinsmen Terrier head coach Noel Budz. “It might have been the best he has played all season.”
After a scoreless first period Swift Current’s Carter Tangen made it 1-0 for the Hurricanes when his shot eluded Park just 54 seconds into the second period.
A pair of Drieden Gauthier goals, one in the second and one very early on in the third, made it 3-0 for Swift Current and it looked as if the Kinsmen Terriers were in trouble.
However someone forgot to tell the Kinsmen Terriers that, as they stormed back with three goals in just under four minutes.
Tayon Metzler put the Terriers on the board with 18:23 remaining in the third to make it a 3-1 game.
Josh Rohatynsky followed suit with a power play goal 4:51 into the final frame, before Jarvis Gelowitz did the same, also beating Hurricanes goaltender Kyle Zinger on the man advantage to bring the Kinsmen Terriers even at 3-3 with 14:41 remaining in the third period.
Yorkton then pushed hard for the go-ahead goal, frustrating the entire Swift Current team and causing two Hurricane players in particular, Marcus Kouri and Gauthier, to lose their cool and get ejected from the game.
However Zinger kept his team in the game, not surrendering another goal the rest of the way to ensure that the game ended in a 3-3 tie.
But while the Kinsmen Terriers were not able to completely finish the comeback, falling just one goal shy of the win, they did do something arguably equally as important.
They stole the momentum. “No doubt that’s huge,” suggested Budz on Monday night. “Swift Current is one of the better teams in the league and they’ve been the hottest here recently, so to go in there and come back to get the tie to send it to Yorkton even, that’s big.
“Now we’ve got to make sure that we take advantage of that in Game Two.”
As for Game Two, that was played last night (Tuesday) at the Yorkton Kinsmen Arena, however results were not available at press time.
The next action for the Yorkton Kinsmen Terriers (12-12-6) will be Saturday when they visit the Melville Millionaires at the Horizon Credit Union Centre for an 11:30a.m. start.