The Melville Millionaires won the first game of the season against their rivals from Yorkton, beating the Terriers 5-1 on Friday.
The Mils' top line of Jesse Mireau (2g), Ian McNulty (1g-3a) and Mark Owen (1g-2a) combined for 9 points, and special teams told the story. The Mils opened the scoring short-handed, and scored on each of their first three powerplays. Brett Kipling also scored for Melville, while Ryan Sookro broke Alex Wakaluk's shutout bid. Wakaluk made 33/34 saves in goal for the Mils.
Dawson MacAuley made his Terrier debut in goal, making 27 saves. The 6'5" 208 lb 17-year-old was acquired from the Battlefords North Stars this week for a list player, after he was reassigned by the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The win gets the Millionaires playing .500 hockey on the road, at 2-2-1-1, and 2-3-1-1 overall, after opening things up with a heavy stretch away from home.
The game featured some hostility, as Yorkton/Melville games often do, and should. Mils' forward Andre Parker got tagged with 5 and a game for a hit to the head. Parker just stepped out of the penalty box, and Ryan Sookro didn't see him. Sookro went down hard, and a penalty wasn't coming, until the officials had a conference, and ruled 5 and a game. Sookro went to the dressing room, but didn't miss much time.
Terrier forward John Odgers was also given 5 and a game for high sticking, and ended up scrapping with T.J. Reeve in the same stoppage.
Another weird twist saw a 5-10 minute delay, when referee Jason Mercer required attention at the Millionaires' bench. After struggling off the ice, Mark Dubriel, who happened to be in the building, got his gear on and replaced Mercer. Mils' Coach Jamie Fiesel told us on the Post Game Show that Mercer had a vertigo spell, felt like everything was spinning. Mercer wanted to return, but the coaches convinced him to stay off the ice as a precaution, and Dubriel stepped right in.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Melville.
It was a tough start to the MJHL Showcase for both the Wayway Wolverines and Swan Valley Stampeders.
For the third time in their last four games, the Wolverines gave up 7+ goals, falling 7-4 to the Portage Terriers.
James Davidson played goal for Wayway. Brett Lafond, Bobby Janzen, Pierre Landry and Ashley Howie did the scoring.
The Stampeders once again struggled to score.
Jayson Argue made 24/26 saves, but the Stamps managed just one goal, off the stick of defenseman Troy Hoban, in a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Blues.