Pavel McKenzie was the star of the weekend putting up seven points in two games, while the Yorkton Terriers knocked off the Melville Millionaires 8-4 and 5-3 over the weekend. Karsten Kruska was excellent posting six points on the weekend, while Caleb Allen claimed both wins in goal.
Friday proved the rivalry was alive and well! Both teams combined for 312 penalty minutes, while the Terriers exploded offensively. Logan Cyca opened the scoring after a bounce off the back wall eluded Clement LaBillois and ricocheted in front of an empty cage for the tap in by the captain. Melville tied the game 46 seconds later, when Carter McKay cashed in shorthanded, but the Terriers responded on the power-play moments later. Ashton Funk got his 1st career SJHL goal when his shot went through the glove of LaBillois, giving Yorkton a 2-1 lead. 23 seconds later, Yorkton scored again. A McKenzie shot was stopped by LaBillois and the rebound went right to Kruska, who cashed in for his fourth goal of the season. McKenzie scored one more the Terriers before the end of the frame and Yorkton led 4-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Give Melville credit, they didn’t back away. The Mils came out flying with a power-play goal early in the second. Nathan Fox sniped the top corner to make it 4-2. Then Melville made it 4-3, when Aiden Robson danced around Jaxon Sperling and beat Allen glove side. Yorkton responded courtesy of Greg Nelson, who found a hole between LaBillois and the post to make it 5-3. However, Melville scored once more to make it a one goal game, this time off the stick of Sam Schofield.
Things got crazy in the third period. JD Hall stripped the puck off of McKay to give himself a breakaway, and the Raymond, Alberta product hesitated enough to beat LaBillois over the glove to make it 6-4. Then McKenzie struck for his second of the game and 12th of the season to make it 7-4 Yorkton. After that hell broke loose. A dangerous hit on Dylan Ruptash sparked a response from the Terriers, which saw Cade Kennedy and Clay Sleeva drop the mitts, and the ensuing chaos included seeing Dalton Mayes getting pulled into the Melville penalty box by a Millionaire. The Terriers got a power-play out of the ordeal, and Karsten Kruska cashed in with his second of the night to make it 8-4.
The next day tempers were in check, but the special teams stood out for both teams. Yorkton opened the scoring on the power-play when a point shot by McKenzie was tipped home by Colton Koran. Aiden Knutson then sprung Kruska on the breakaway shorthanded, and the London, Ontario product made no mistake cashing in to make it 2-0. Melville charged back with a pair of power-play goals. The first by Tucker Buhay finished off a beautiful rush to make it 2-1, while Nathan Fox snuck a shot through Allen to make it 2-2. But Yorkton regained their lead, on yet another power-play goal with less than a minute in the opening frame. Cyca battled hard to keep the play alive on the half wall, pushing the puck to McKenzie, who found a wide open Koran for an easy tap in.
The second period was the Pavel McKenzie show. The Cumberland House product extended Yorkton’s lead with an absolute snipe over the glove of Ethan Rau to make it 4-2. A Carter McKay deflection on the power-play, brought the Mils back within one, but then McKenzie and the Terriers struck again. Kruska charged into the Melville zone and made the picture perfect pass to McKenzie for the rookie forward’s second goal of the game and 14th of the season, to give Yorkton a 5-3 victory.
The Terriers are back in action on Tuesday night when they can play spoiler against the Notre Dame Hounds. The game will be broadcast on the GX 94 online only stream, with the pre-game show starting at 6:50pm and play-by-play kicking off at 7:00pm from the Westland Insurance Arena