After a hot start to the preseason at home, the Yorkton Terriers found themselves in deep at the Farrell Agencies Arena on Sunday and Tuesday as the Swan Valley Stampeders and the Melville Millionaires came into town. On Sunday the Terriers lost in a shootout to the Stampeders before losing 6-2 to their Highway 10 rivals in what was a rough night for the home team.
Sunday the Terriers came out strong for the majority of the game, looking like they would be able to dominate play and take the win over the MJHL club. However the Stampeders took advantage of their powerplay opportunities and both teams ended up at a stalemate going into overtime. A Patrick Martens overtime penalty in the closing moments of the period gave the Stampeders a 4 on 3 powerplay opportunity, but Kale Thomson shut the door in net on the penalty kill and sent the game to a shootout. In the end the Stampeders took the bragging rights in the meaningless shootout, handing the Terriers the loss in what was effectively a tie game. Things got chippy for the first time in the preseason as the extracurricular play after the whistle made its first appearances of the season, with both teams getting into some scrums in front of the net on numerous occasions showing some intensity as the season inches closer.
Tuesday night saw the second leg of a home and away back to back between the Terriers and their hated SJHL rivals in the Millionaires. In a game that was the most intense of the preseason fare at the FAA the Millionaires jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the second period and appeared to be on their way to a rout on the road. However two very quick goals by way of a Patrick Martens marker and an easy Jacob Dunlop tap in off of a Millionaires goalie gaffe gave the Terriers life as they shortened the lead to a 4-2 tally. The FAA saw its first fight of the season as Tayler Thompson tried to up the intensity and was subsequently tossed from the game in a moment you could see happening from the first period. Both teams were not shy to get involved in the after the whistle play and if it wasn’t for a very short leash from the officiating crew, who handed out a questionably high number of penalties for a game between two rivals, more fighting majors would have been seen. Nathan Murray was also questionably given a ten minute misconduct penalty for a high hit in the first period that started the trend of tight calls for the night. However the play between both teams ensured that there is no love lost between the two teams and that this years crop of players are embracing and carrying on the SJHL’s top rivalry. A playoff exit from the Terriers at the hands of the Millionaires last spring has to be fresh on the players minds as they were dictating most of the physical play, especially in the third period where every check was finished.
After the two home losses the Terriers have one more preseason game as they head to Manitoba to play the Waywayseecapo Wolverines in a rematch of the game that kicked off their preseason when they notched a win at the FAA. Both teams will likely look much different in their final preseason affair, but the Terriers will be hungry to head into the regular season on a high note. The 2012/13 SJHL season begins for the Terriers Friday, September 21 as they host the Weyburn Red Wings at 7:30 p.m.