Story Coming In:
It was as slow of a start to 2023 as it could get. The Terriers spotted Melville a 4-0 lead and couldn’t get themselves back in the game, falling 5-2 to their arch-rivals in the first game back from the holiday break. With Weyburn also winning last night, there are now three points separating 8th from 11th in the SJHL, making tonight a must win for the Terriers. Dylan Ruptash continued his strong season with his 14th goals of the season, while Brett Butz cashed in on the power-play for his 17th point of the season. Defensive coverage will be a point of emphasis by the coaches, as Yorkton gave up too many odd man rushes, which Melville capitalized on. A win tonight would put Yorkton in sole possession of the final playoff spot in the SJHL with two more crucial divisional games coming up.
View From Melville:
It was a dream start to 2023 for the Millionaires. A 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play, scoring from depth players like Caden Drury and Cooper Chisholm, and two points against their bitter rivals putting Melville square in the playoff hunt. Drury was the best player on the ice, followed by 20-year-olds Nathan Fox and Isaac Suppin. Clement Labillois was also solid in goal, making 23 saves, before leaving the game with cramps. A win tonight would put Melville one point back of a playoff spot. It is also Teddy Bear Toss night for the Millionaires, so expectations are that the Horizon Credit Union Centre will be packed for the 4th installment of the Battle of Highway 10.
Needing the Vets:
To be successful in junior hockey, your veteran players, particularly your 20-year-olds, need to be your best players. More often than not, that has not happened with the Terriers this season. Greg Nelson has produced the most out of the 20s, but it has mainly been a big output in one game and silence for the next few. Maddux Nollski has not produced at the level the team expected, Logan Cyca has suffered from a slow start, and inconsistency has plagued Cohner Saleski. With the trade deadline approaching, there is a possibility one or more 20-year-old could be offered if the price is right. However, if Yorkton plans on making a run for the playoffs, they need more consistent efforts from their eldest players in order to be a threat night in and night out.
Stats Leaders For Yorkton:
Goals: Ruptash (14)
Assists: Butz (13)
Points: Ruptash (23)
PIM: Mayes (127)
Goalie: Allen 12-16-0, 3.99, 0.892% 1SO 1G