The Yorkton Terriers rode a hot start to down the Melfort Mustangs 5-2 and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Kishaun Gervais, Karsten Kruska and Clay Sleeva each had a two point night, while Kael DePape made 38 saves in the victory.
The Terriers opened the scoring just 18 seconds into the contest. Gervais fed Kruska at the side of the Mustang net, and the London, Ontario product jammed home the puck for his 2nd goal of the postseason. Yorkton extended their lead at the 4:04 mark. A dump pass from Sleeva was picked up by Tyson Janzen who slapped home a shot along the ice past Joel Favreau to make it 2-0 Yorkton. The Terriers weren’t done yet. Colby Vranai swung the puck to the left point where Kody Norberg fired it past a screened Favreau to make it 3-0 Yorkton. It was Norberg’s first goal of his SJHL career to wrap up the scoring for the opening 20 minutes of play.
Melfort found a way onto the score-sheet in the middle stanza. On a broken play, Curtis Hammond corralled a bouncing puck and flipped it over the shoulder of DePape to make it a 3-1 hockey game. However, Yorkton responded just 36 seconds later. Greg Nelson picked up his own rebound in behind the Melfort cage and steered it to the top of the crease, where JD Hall slammed the puck through the legs of Favreau for his first goal of the playoffs.
The Mustangs made things interesting in the third period. Hammond drove around Carter Herman and onto goal where he chipped the puck over the shoulder of DePape to make it 4-2. Melfort pressed to cut further into the Yorkton lead, which included an opportunity on the power-play, however, the Terriers and DePape stood strong. Gervais wrapped up the victory with an empty goal, sending the home crowd away with a 5-2 victory.
Yorkton will get their first opportunity to close out the series on Friday night when they travel to the Northern Lights Palace. GX 94 will broadcast the game with the pregame show at 7:20pm and play-by-play at 7:30pm.