The Yorkton Terriers opened the second half of their season with a bang.
They swept a pair of games against their arch-rival, the Melville Millionaires, as the Battle of Highway 10 was ignited. Both games had their physical moments, and in Melville, there was a pair of scraps with David Overbeeke and Quintin Unreiner getting fighting majors; the weekend also has good goaltending form Ethan Farrow, who posted a 1.50 GAA and a sparkling .950 SV% in the pair of wins, and he has won his last three starts.
Some key individuals highlighted the weekend.
Let’s go back to Saturday night, or as some might call it, the Jeff Hammond Show. The Boothwyn, PA, native capped off a spectacular night with a hattrick in the second period of Saturday’s 4-1 win on home ice.
Since coming over in a midseason trade from the North American Hockey League’s Lone Star Brahmas, Hammond has produced over a point-a-game clip with 21 points (11G 10A) in 20 games in a Terrier uniform. He also had a ten-game point streak where he found the back of the net five times and added eight assists.
The Jarron Desnoyers, Anthony Domina, and Hammond line plays a heavy game, plays fast, and is relentless on the forcecheck.
Head Coach and General Manager Emery Olauson spoke about the line’s recent success.
“They are playing very strong defensively, and it is converting into offensive production,” said Olauson. “They play unselfishly with the puck, play to the system very well, and it is fun to watch them evolve into the line they are,” added Olauson.
Desnoyers is second on the team in points with 31; he leads the team in assists with 21 and has been a spark for the orange and black most nights.
Domina is enjoying a nice run of play with points in seven of his last nine games, including four multi-point efforts (6G 6A). Domina now sits third in team scoring with 27 points in 27 games.
Monday afternoon, the spotlight shined down on rookie forward Jye Zawatsky. He opened the scoring on his shorthanded breakaway goal, added a pair of primary assists, and capped it off using his speed, finding the empty net and bringing his goal tally up to ten on the campaign.
It remains puzzling how Zawatsky managed to find the back of the twine five times last year during his time with the Estevan Bears of the Saskatchewan U18 AAA Hockey league. He is finding success alongside David Coyle on the Terrier’s second line.
A big talking point this season has been the Terriers’ special teams. Over the last two games, their special teams have arguably won them the hockey game. Saturday night, they scored a pair of powerplay goals, and yesterday, they scored two more and sprinkled in a shorthanded goal as well. The addition of Coyle to the powerplay has paid off in the short time he has been here, with two of his four goals coming on the man advantage. Their penalty kill over the weekend was killing 8 of the 9 penalties.
Olauson is happy with his team’s compete level in the last two games.
“I loved the way we battled. Obviously, playing in the Highway 10 series, things get excited and heated at times, but I liked our poise,” said Olauson. “The games were won with great goaltending and two great performances. Hammond’s hattrick at home, and Zawatsky with his four-point night in Melville. We have to continue to grow our team game, though, as we still have a mountain to climb,” stated Olauson.
The Terriers shift their focus to a pair of home games this week. Humboldt Broncos come to town Friday night, and the Terriers entertain the Notre Dame Hounds Saturday night.