The Yorkton Terriers have slipped to the worst record in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, but are only a point from third spot in the lowly Viterra Division.
The Terriers sit with a record of 13-20-2-3 for 31-points, one behind Estevan in the Viterra. Weyburn is second in the Division with 37-points, while Melville resides atop the pile with 39, a point total which would have them fourth in either the Kramer or Sherwood.
Friday the Humboldt Broncos rolled into Yorkton, a team that like the Terriers are fighting to stay out of the league basement.
The home team struck early, with Riley Hunt popping a power play goal 2:49 into the game with captain Kailum Gervais doing the same at 6:11.
But the two-goal lead would not be enough as the Terriers were outscored 5-1 the rest of the way.
Gage Joel cut the Yorkton lead in half at 10:29 of the first.
Trevor Posch would then knot the score 2-2 6:45 into the second.
A power play marker by Jon Brumwell at 12:43 of the middle frame would give Humboldt its first lead of the game, with Stuart Symenuk adding another at 19:46.
Matthew Kenny would make it 5-2 with a power play goal at the 11-minute mark of the third, before Gervais would get one back at 14:54 another goal with the man-advantage.
Dawson MacAuley took the loss in the Terrier net facing 40-shots, while Jack Romanuik faced 26 for the win.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan was not happy with the way the game went.
“As a coach you can handle losses if the effort is there,” he said.
However, Cassan said the effort is lacking with too many players at present.
“Seven, eight, nine guys are putting in an honest and consistent effort,” he said, which suggests a bigger half of the team is disappointing the coach.
“Some players are taking Junior hockey for granted,” said Cassan, who said players should realize they get to play by putting in an honest three hours effort every time they play a game.
That said, Cassan said a team coming off a national championship is likely to face a dip.
“I understand the ups and downs of Junior hockey. You can’t have a contending team every single year. No matter what team you can be off year-to-year. That’s the reality of it,” he said.
Cassan said with the situation of the Viterra, the Terriers can still make the playoffs, but they have to start to work a lot harder, and with greater constancy if they want to make such a run.
How the team responds the rest of the way will come down to how bad players want to take a step.
“I have a lot of pride in what this organization represents,” said Cassan, adding the players have to find that pride too.
Sunday the teams hooked up again, this time in Humboldt.
Gage Joel gave the host Broncos a 1-0 lead 2:30 into the frame, with Austin Duzan making it 2-0 at 17:55.
Zach Zadorozniak put the Terriers on the board 2:03 into the second with a power play goal, and Dallas Rossiter tied the game at 5:42, only to have Duzan re-establish a Bronco lead with a goal at 9:10.
Adam Santoro made it 3-3 with a Terrier goal 11:24 into the third, the only mark of the frame, sending the game to extra time.
It took Matthew Kenney only 1:19 of the five-minute, four-on-four overtime to score the winner for Humboldt.
MacAuley took the loss in the Terrier net facing 38-shots, while Romanuik faced 23 in the win.
Prior to Friday’s game the Terriers pulled a trade sending 20-year-old defenceman Dylan Baer to Kindersley for 1995-born rearguard Connor Veroba and future considerations.
The Terriers then sent Veroba to Flin Flon for more futures.
The Terriers did add defenceman Kevin Wolf from Canmore of the AJHL in a futures transaction. Wolf has 50-games of major junior experience with Seattle under his belt.
Veteran forward Kurt Johnas was dealt back to Virden for futures. The Terriers got him from Virden in the offseason.
Terriers thumped on home ice
Last Wednesday Yorkton hosted Weyburn, and suffered one of the worst home ice losses in recent memory.
Brandon Volpe scored a short-handed marker for the Wings 3:48 into the game and Weyburn flew from there.
Stephen Ryan and Jacob Jeske made it 3-0 by the end of the first period.
In the second Aldan Teilborg, Jake MacLachlan, Alex Bechtold and Jeske with his second had made it 7-0 before Kurt Johnas finally scored for Yorkton at 10:43 of the second.
Matt Eng would add an eighth Wing goal late in the second.
Jordan Evans would get one back for Yorkton in the third to complete the 8-2 contest.
Dawson MacAuley faced 15 shots and allowed four goals and Matt Kustra faced 31 allowing four in the loss for Yorkton, as Jack Burgart faced 34 for the Wings in the win.
The Terriers headed to Estevan last Tuesday, where they fell behind the host Bruins 1-0 when Taylor Ross scored on the power play 5:21 into the game.
Dylan Johnson would respond with a Terrier goal 18:49 in to send the teams to the dressing rooms tired 1-1 after 20-minutes.
Kurt Sonne and Chase McKersie would score the only second period markers to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead.
The Terriers would bounce back with three goals before the mid-point of the third to take a 4-3 lead, the goals from Jordan Evans, Daylan Gatzke and Dallas Rossiter.
Keaton Longpre would notch a goal at 16:30 to tie the contest 4-4, a score which held through the remainder of regulation time, and through a five-minute, four-on-four extra frame, forcing the game to a shoot-out.
In the shoot-out the Terriers failed to score, as the Bruins did on their first two tries to record a 5-4 win.
Dawson MacAuley was tagged with the loss facing 39-shots in the Terrier net, while Tyler Fuhr had the win facing 42 for Estevan.
The Terriers head to Wilcox to face the Notre Dame Hounds tonight (Wednesday), and then will host Weyburn at the Farrell Agencies Arena Thursday, with Nipawin here next Tuesday (Jan. 20).