The Yorkton Terriers welcomed the new year with a split in a pair of games with rival Melville.
New Year’s Day the Millionaires won 3-0 in their own barn.
A day later the Terriers would turn the tables winning 3-1 in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League action at the Farrell Agencies Arena in the city.
The Millionaires sit atop the SJHL Viterra Division with 37-points, with Weyburn second at 35. Estevan is third with 30.
The Terriers sit last with 29-points based on a record of 13-18-1-2.
New Year’s Day the Mils jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20-minutes as Tyler Kreklewich scored at 5:46 and 18:31 of the frame.
The second was scoreless, but in the third Reed Murray would score at 7:22 to finish off a 3-0 win.
Troy Trombley had the shut out for the Millionaires turning away 27-shots, while Dawson MacAuley took the loss for Yorkton facing 39.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said his team did not have “a good effort,” in Melville.
“We really didn’t create many scoring chances,” he said.
The following day the teams matched up in Yorkton.
Texan Brennen Miller scored on the power play 9:35 in to give Melville a 1-0 lead, which they would carry into the third.
In the final stanza Kurt Johnas would tie the contest only 52-seconds in.
Jordan Evans, with his first as a Terrier, gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead at 8:32 with a powerplay marker.
Riley Hunt would add an insurance marker at 19:40, as the Terriers came away with a 3-1 win.
MacAuley secured the win facing 28-shots, as Trombley took the loss facing 34.
Evans was all smiles having his first SJHL goal be a game-winner.
“We just had pressure on in their end,” he said, noting Jordan Ross made the set up and he put it in. He added it was good “to be rewarded for my hard work.”
As for the win, Evans, even as a recent newcomer to the Terriers knew it was a game the team needed to win, especially coming off the loss in Melville.
“Hopping into the game we were all talking,” he said. “… We don’t lose at home to these guys.”
Cassan said the Terriers stayed focused on the need for a win Friday.
The Terrier coach said after a first period where they gave the Mils too many minutes with the man advantage, the team settled down.
“I think in the second territorially we played pretty good,” he said.
And finally the offence found a way to score.
“Five periods without scoring you either get down or get desperate,” said Cassan.
Cassan said the win was earned.
“Certainly our effort was one we needed in the third,” he said.
The Terriers need to find a way to lose fewer games in the final two months of the season too.
Evans said they are working on that.
“The team is working on composure,” he said, adding they also recognize they have to win the individual battles every night to turn the season around.
And the team thinks it is close to having a better fate in many games.
“Definitely all the guys know we’re right at that point where we’re close,” said Evans, adding they just need a few pucks to go in at the right time to improve on the wins.
Cassan said if the Terriers are going to make a push for serious toward the playoffs the team must find ways to win away from the Farrell Agencies Arena.
“We’ve got to be better on the road,” he said, adding the Terrier record on the road is not good.” Our desperation level on the road hasn’t been very good.”
The Terriers also need to score more.
“We’re right at the bottom for ‘goals-for’,” said Cassan. He added to turn that around “It’s not going to come from one or two players.”
Instead the Terriers need everyone “to elevate their play a little bit at both ends of the rink,” said Cassan.
The league trade deadline arrives Saturday, so will the Terriers make moves to change their fate?
“It will be a busy time,” said Cassan. “… There’ll be lots of emails, lots of phone calls.”
But what the Terriers hope to accomplish by midnight Saturday is something Cassan did not go into detail on.
The Terriers were scheduled to play in Estevan last night (Tuesday), but results were not available at press time.
Tonight (Wednesday), Weyburn rolls into the Farrell Agencies Arena to play the Terriers, with Humboldt here Friday.
Sunday Yorkton will head west to visit the same Broncos in their home barn.