Story Coming In:
It was not the start to the four game home-stand that the Terriers were looking for. After opening the scoring on a beautiful individual effort from Cohner Saleski, Notre Dame scored five straight to defeat the Terriers 5-1 on Parents and Billets Weekend. Now the Terriers are hoping for a response against a much improved Estevan Bruins team. Yorkton is 2-0 against the Bruins, but both games were on opening weekend where both teams were trending in different directions from where they currently are. The power-play needs to find a way to break through. Yorkton’s man advantage has gone 1-for its last 31, including not being able to score on their last four 5-on-3 advantages. More goals from their power-play could be the shot in the arm the Terriers need as they fight for a playoff spot, which Yorkton is four points out of.
View From Estevan:
At the beginning of the season, the Bruins were 1-6 and most people in the league thought this year’s Bruins would not make the playoffs. Granted this team does not have the same talent as last year’s SJHL championship squad, but since the start of the season, Estevan has improved to 14-13 and first place in the Viterra Division. Kade Runke leads the way on offence for the Bruins, while Alex Blanchard and Aleksa Babic power the defence. Cam Hrdlicka has also come into his own this season, emerging as one of the best goalies in the SJHL. The biggest question for Estevan right now is how do they handle the loss of Cody Davis to injury. The speedster not only is a threat night in and night out, but he also brings a lot of leadership to this Bruins team. With him gone, players like Jag Phangura and Ilia Chmelevski will have to step up to replace Davis’ production.
Rise Of The Youth:
The Yorkton Terriers are looking for consistency from their lineup. One game, they get a full team effort, the next, they fall asleep for a period and get beat. Part of the inconsistency issues is the youth in the lineup. It’s a big step going from U18 AAA hockey to Junior A, and it takes time and patience for young guys to make that adjustment. One player who is making that adjustment is Pavel McKenzie. The 17-year-old was with the Tisdale Trojans last year before making the jump to the Terriers. McKenzie is finding himself in and out of the lineup, but the Cumberland House product has shown flashes of offensive creativity and a lethal shot. If McKenzie can find a way to grow up quickly and become a regular in Yorkton’s lineup, then the Terriers have a weapon, not only for this season, but for potentially the next three seasons to come.
Stats Leaders For Yorkton:
Goals: Ruptash (9)
Assists: Nelson (8)
Points: Ruptash (14)
PIM: Mayes (72)
Goalie: Allen 7-8-0, 3.92, 0.900% 1SO 1G