Story Coming In:
Things have looked bleak as of late for the Terriers. Still looking for the first win in the 2023 calendar year, Yorkton has dropped six straight, including the last four against division foes. Saturday’s game against Weyburn was especially cruel. A wicked bounce and a pair of leads evaporated, seeing the Terriers fall in a shootout. Some positives included the bounce back game by Caleb Allen, the penalty kill going a perfect 5-for-5, and Yorkton controlling the flow of the game. Now they take on a team who throttled them 10-2 in the last meeting between the teams. The Terriers will point to the circumstances leading up to that game to be the cause of the outcome (a bus breakdown and a two hour delay), however, Yorkton knows they will need to be stingy defensively and bring a full 60 minute effort if they want to ground the high flying Nipawin Hawks.
View From Nipawin:
It’s been an excellent start to 2023 for Tad Kozun’s squad. Nipawin has won three of their first four games of the calendar year, earning themselves some separation from the playoff cutoff line. Among those wins were defeats of the Melfort Mustangs and the La Ronge Ice Wolves, so the Hawks have been rolling against good teams in the SJHL. Offense has been carrying the Hawks all season long, as they played with a fast paced, intense mindset. Alex Johnson is the set up man, while Maguire Ratzlaff leads the team with 20 goals. With the departure of Alex Blanchard, Zander Stewart appears to be one of the front runners for top defencemen in the SJHL with his 31 points, good for third among SJHL defenders. The biggest key for Nipawin is keeping the puck out of their net, something that Jackson Fellner has been hit and miss on this season.
There haven’t been a lot of bright spots for the Terriers as of late, but one of them is rookie forward Dylan Ruptash. With goals in four straight games, Ruptash continues to lead the team in that category as well as points. His play also leads all SJHL rookies in goals and he now finds himself tied with Melfort’s Riley Ashe for the lead in rookie points. While the linemates have been juggled around a lot throughout the season, it seems like the combination of Ruptash, Saleski and McKenzie has started to click, with the line using their speed and skill to their advantage. With Yorkton building towards the future, Ruptash will be a large piece to the puzzle with the potential to become one of the best players in the SJHL in the next year or two. The Edmonton product, if he chooses, could also become one of the first Terriers to commit to a division one NCAA school in recent years.
Stats Leaders For Yorkton:
Goals: Ruptash (17)
Assists: Hall (14)
Points: Ruptash (27)
PIM: Mayes (144)
Goalie: Allen 12-17-1, 3.94, 0.892% 1SO 1G