The Yorkton Terriers out-shot the Melville Millionaires 49-26 on New Years Day, but just like on Friday, the best player on the ice was Melville goalie Blake Voth.
Voth stopped 47/49 shots on Sunday, as the Mils won 3-2 in a shootout, which pulls them into a tie with Yorkton for 3rd place in the Sherwood Conference. Voth stopped 92/95 shots (.968) over the weekend.
Melville never trailed on Sunday. Russell Trudeau opened the scoring late in the first period, Tayler Thompson tied it early in the 2nd, and Michael Desjarlais but the Mils back in front last in the middle frame.
Shortly after, Mils' defenseman Tyler Bird clipped Terrier forward with a knee-on-knee hit right at centre ice, and Oliver had to be helped off the ice. Devon McMullen took exception and dropped the mitts with Bird. Bird was given 2 for roughing, and 5 and a game for kneeing. McMullen received 2 for instigating, 5 for figthing and a 10 minute misconduct, so it was evened up and the Terriers didn't get a powerplay. That part was surprising, but Bird must not have dropped his gloves (he'd already fought Zak Majkowski earlier in the game and likely didn't want to add another scrap to his season total because of suspension reasons).
Hopefully Oliver's not out for an extended period... I saw him after the game at Boston Pizza and wished him well. He's had a heckuva rookie season. Knee-on-knee hits often aren't intentional, it's usually a matter of only catching half of the guy instead of all of him, and Bird and Oliver were both at full speed in opposite directions and it was a big collision, and I think the right call was made.
After McMullen spent most of the third period in the box, he returned to poke home a Brent Struble rebound with 3:09 remaining and force overtime.
That was easily the most exciting game to call this season, and maybe the best Yorkton/Melville regular season game in the last few years. It's the only one of this season decided by less than three goals, and this one went to a shootout.
Had Estevan lost today, there would have been a three way tie for 2nd place, but they kept sole possession with a 3-2 win over Weyburn.
Our two teams are busy coming up this month, as they both have four games in hand on Estevan, and will start making those games up. The Millionaires have a four game homestand (Weyburn on Tuesday, then Flin Flon, Melfort, Nipawin). The Weyburn game on Tuesday is already their last game before the January 10th deadline, as they have 8 days before their next game.
The Terriers are on the road for three games this week, in Melfort Wednesday, Humboldt Friday (on GX94) and Kindersley on Saturday.
Yorkton and Melville play another home and home this month, on January 20th and 21st, and that will wrap up their season series, in which the Mils are now 4-2, and Yorkton's 2-3-0-1. The Terriers hope the pattern stays the same, and they grab two wins in three weeks time.
Happy New Year! I'm going to enjoy my Monday off, and continue a busy January after that. Next broadcast is Wednesday in Swan between the Stamps and Wayway, before I head to Humboldt with the Terriers on Friday.