The Yorkton Terriers have managed only two wins in their last 10.
Included in the losses are a pair this week, which leaves Yorkton with a record of 13-22-2-3 and 31-points, last overall in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, and the League’s Viterra Division. Melville leads the Viterra with 41-points, Weyburn sits second with 40, and Estevan has 35 for third.
The most recent loss came Monday, as Weyburn rolled into the Farrell Agencies Arena to make up a game postponed from last Thursday.
Braden Mellon and Brandon Volpe both scored for the Wings in the first period, and Tucker Neuberger made it 3-0 with a power play goal 14:35 into the middle frame.
Alex Cheveldave finally broke Wings netminder Jack Burgart’s shut-out bid with a Terrier power play goal at 9:57.
There would be no comeback for the home team as Alex Bechtold added an empty netter to seal a 4-1 Wing win.
Burgart faced 21-shots in the win, while Dawson MacAuley faced 35 in the loss.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan had not been happy after the Terriers lost 5-3 to Humboldt Jan. 16, after leading 2-0 early.
At the time Cassan questioned the effort of some players, and after the second loss on the week Monday he was asked if that was still a concern.
“The fact we’re even talking about this at this point of the year answers that,” he said Monday.
So if effort is still an issue, what needs to be done to salvage the situation?
“I don’t know,” said Cassan. “Honestly, it’s been very challenging.”
The Terriers struggled Monday to generate shots through the opening two periods. Cassan said consistency continues to elude the team.
“We have some spurts, but we don’t sustain a lot,” he said.
Cassan said the issue starts with breaking out of their own end, where the Terriers often miss the first pass to get the rush headed toward the opposition end. He said it might be 200-feet from the opposition goal, but the pass is essential.
“It’s not Pee Wee where a player picks up the puck and skates through four guys,” he said.
While the Terriers may be young and adjusting after winning it all last season, Cassan said that is an excuse that no longer holds merit in mid-January.
In fact, he said a year like this is omen of opportunity for players both new, and veteran.
“Guys are getting to play in a lot of different situations,” he said, adding players should relish the opportunity to “take advantage of that.”
The problem is many players do not seem to be stepping up to the opportunities, said Cassan.
As a coach, Cassan said he is finding the season trying.
“This is new to me too,” he said, adding he is learning “a lot as coach.” Part of that education is how to keep an even keel emotionally as the boss.
“There’s only so many buttons you can push. Some days things work, and some days they don’t,” he said.
On Jan. 14, Yorkton headed to Wilcox to play the Notre Dame Hounds.
Dylan Johnson gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead 4:21 into the contest, but Spencer Trapp tied the contest at 8:11.
Jordan Evans then struck with 25-seconds left on the clock in the first period to send Yorkton to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead.
Sam Aulie tied the game for the Hounds at 10:50 of the second, with Ian Williams adding what would be the eventual game-winner at 18:16 of the frame, as the third would be scoreless in the 3-2 Notre Dame win.
Matt Kustra was in the net for the Terriers facing 37-shots in the loss. The Terriers managed only 19-shorts against Hound net minder Alexi Thibaudeau.
The Terriers were scheduled to host Nipawin Tuesday, but game results were not available at press time.
Friday and Saturday the Terriers will head north to face Flin Flon in back-to-back contests.