Story Coming In:
For the first time since the 2008/2009 season, the Yorkton Terriers are starting the season with a 3-0 record. After back to back wins over Estevan, the Terriers were victorious on Wednesday night, 3-1 over Weyburn. Yorkton got goals from JD Hall, Brett Butz and Clay Sleeva, while Caleb Allen continued his strong play with 24 saves in the win. Allen has had a solid start to the year, playing in all three victories sporting a 2.33 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Now, the Terriers face an opponent outside of their division, as they prepare for the SJHL Showcase in Warman. Against the Nipawin Hawks last season, Yorkton went 2-0-1-1, including a playoff clinching victory at the Centennial Arena the last time these two teams played. Yorkton hopes they can continue their strong start to the season, this time at a neutral site, where the Terriers went 0-3 last year.
View From Nipawin:
This isn’t the Doug Johnson coached Nipawin Hawks. Those Hawks were defense first that had strong goaltending and would smother teams on route to a 2-1 victory. Instead, these Hawks, coached by Tad Kozen, play like Tad Kozun. High flying and wide open offensively, Nipawin has scored 16 goals in their first four games. Led by Bryden Kiesman’s league leading eight points, Nipawin are coming off a split with the Estevan Bruins, which included a 6-3 win at the Centennial Arena. While the Hawks are all offense early in the season, the biggest question mark is their goaltending. Reid Lalonde and Nolan McDowell are both rookies to the SJHL, and combined, have posted a 4.00 goals against average and an .881 save percentage. If one of them can lock down the starting job and post decent numbers, then the Hawks could do more than just contend for a playoff spot.
While the Terriers have six players tied for the team lead in points with 3, one of them has been instrumental in all three victories. JD Hall returns to Yorkton for his final season of junior hockey, and so far, he’s off to an excellent start. Hall began the season being named alternate captain, scored power-play markers in two games, and has contributed in all situations. With the Terriers looking to their veterans to fill the void with all the departures from last season, so far Hall has answered the call. Physical, a net presence on the power-play, reliable in the faceoff circle, Hall has all the tools to be one of the most underrated players in the SJHL this year.
Stats Leaders For Yorkton:
Goals: Hall & Sleeva (2)
Assists: Mayes & Perkins (3)
Points: Several with (3)
PIM: Nollski (24)
Goalie: Allen 3-0-0, 2.33, 0.930%