With the SJHL season less then three weeks away, the Yorkton Terriers hosted their training camp with an impressive list of hopefuls looking to make the 40th rendition of the Junior A club. After a early playoff exit at the hands of the rival Melville Millionaires last season the Terriers are looking to rebuild towards getting back to the SJHL Finals , which was last achieved in the 2010-11 season. 44 players made up the intrasquad scrimmage to end training camp with eyes set on the final roster with a mix of returning players, young prospects, and new faces looking to claim their spot on the final roster. Three fifteen year olds earned spots in the final day of training camp as Grady Bjork, Matthew Perkins and Yorkton product Matt Kustra rounded out the group of 1997 born players at the camp. Kustra led a trio of Yorkton born goalies that played for Team Orange as Kustra, Harvest goalie Spencer Bombior and returning Terrier Kale Thomson all looked to impress and crack the hometown club. Other Yorkton talent included Elias Giannoulis, and brothers Dylan and Jeremy Johnson.
The trend of young players at camp was evident in the fact that only four players in the 1992 age group were at camp, giving the Terriers a squad that has the chance to grow and improve over the next couple of years. The 1992 group includes Jeremy Johnson, Nathan Murray, Brendan Poncelet, and Zak Majkowski who will be relied on to provide veteran leadership for the Terriers.
The game opened up with Team Orange taking a 1-0 lead into the first period before opening the second period up with a goal to extend their lead. Team Black bounced back with two straight goals to tie up the game before Team Orange regained the lead to make it a 3-2 game. Team Black then scored three unanswered goals, including an empty netter to seal up a 5-3 victory in what was an entertaining scrimmage. Both sides took advantage of each others mistakes as costly turnovers in the defensive zone led to multiple goals for both teams as players work out the early season kinks and develop chemistry with one another. Dylan Johnson had an impressive showing in his first tryout with the Terriers notching a goal and an assist for Team Black as well as nearly scoring a second crashing the net hard in his bid to crack the pre-season squad.
Quality goaltending was on display in the first period as both teams held their ground defensively in a 1-0 period that say steady defensive play before things opened up, especially in the third period where a significant amount of extra scoring chances were had by both teams.
Cuts will be made before the Terriers embark on their two week preseason before dropping the puck on their 2012-13 season at home against the Weyburn Red Wings on Friday, September 21 at the Farrell Agencies Arena.