Alexis Giroux stymied the Terriers making 38 saves on route to a 3-2 Melville victory in a shootout.
Colby Ball opened the scoring in the first period on the power-play. A slap-shot from the point hit a Terrier in front of Kael DePape, before flying into the net. The Millionaires had an opportunity to expand their lead, but DePape robbed Nicolas Samson with a left pad save keeping the score at 1-0.
Quickly into the second period, the Terriers found the equalizer. Greg Nelson found Maddux Nollski on the back-door, where he stuffed the puck past Giroux for his 11th goal of the season. Yorkton earned their first lead of the game, shorthanded. Nolan Wutzke chipped the puck past Noah Wills, springing JD Hall on a breakaway, and the Raymond, Alberta product sniped the shot over the blocker of Giroux to make it 2-1 Yorkton. It was Hall’s second shorthanded goal of the year, and his seven goal of the campaign. Melville tied the game before the end of the period. A turnover by Parker Jasper allowed Brayden Taschuk to go in alone on DePape, beating the Yorkton net-minder for his first career SJHL goal.
The Terriers pressed through the third period for the goal ahead goal, but Alexis Giroux stood tall in the Melville net, making phenomenal save after phenomenal save. Giroux would have to leave the game, however. With less then three minutes left in the third, Giroux went down with an apparent injury, and had to be replaced by Jared Thompson. Thompson stopped all five shots he faced through the remainder of the third and into the overtime frame. In overtime, Kishaun Gervais and Clay Sleeva had the best chances to win it for the Terriers, but Thompson denied them both.
In the shootout, Noah Wills scored the lone goal, while Thompson stopped Hall and Gervais, and Nollski hit the post.
The two teams face each other in the rematch at the Horizon Credit Union Centre in Melville on New Year’s Day. Puck drop is at 7pm. The game will be broadcast on GX 94 with Benny Walchuk.