Friday, March 2, 2012

GX94 SJHL Playoff Preview: (3) Melville Millionaires vs (2) Yorkton Terriers

Millionaires (29-21-4-4) 66 points vs Terriers (33-20-2-3) 71 points


Ian McNulty 58 GP (39g-47a-86p)
Jesse Mireau 49 GP (29g-42a-71p)
Russell Trudeau 42 GP (29g-25a-54p)
Tyson Newell 57 GP (10g-44a-54p)

In Goal
Blake Voth: 16-11-1, 3.05, .915%, 1 SO
Alex Wakaluk: 13-10-2, 2.97, .910%, 1SO

Zak Majkowski 56 GP (19g-36a-55p)
Jeremy Johnson 56 GP (23g-22a-45p)
Brent Struble 46 GP (14g-30a-44p)
Tyler Giebel 40 GP (18g-21a-39p)

Ryon Sookro 55 GP (20g-16a-36p)

In Goal
Warren Shymko: 18-11-2, 2.46 GAA, .912%, 2 SO
Kale Thomson: 8-5-1, 2.69 GAA, .911%, 1 SO
Dawson MacAuley: 6-4, 2.97 GAA, .895%, 1 SO

Oct/7: Melville 5 @ Yorkton 1
Oct/8: Yorkton 1 @ Melville 5
Nov/25: Yorkton 6 @ Melville 3
Nov/26: Melville 1 @ Yorkton 5
Dec/30: Yorkton 1 @ Melville 4
Jan/1: Melville 3 @ Yorkton 2 (SO)
Jan/20: Melville 1 @ Yorkton 3
Jan/21: Yorkton 5 @ Melville 6 (OT)

Melville: 5-3 (10 points)
Yorkton: 3-3-1-1 (8 points)

In YOR: MVL 2-2 / YOR 2-1-0-1
In MVL: MVL 3-1 / YOR 1-2-1-0

Home Team: 5-2-0-1
Road Team: 3-4-1-0


Terriers vs Melville
Tayler Thompson 6GP (2-5-7)
Zak Majkowski 8 GP (2-4-6)
Ryon Sookro 7 GP (3-2-5)
Jeremy Johnson 8 GP (2-3-5)
Curtis Oliver 7 GP (1-4-5)

Warren Shymko: 2-2-1, 2.29 GAA, .928%
Dawson MacAuley: 1-2, 4.50 GAA, .884%
Kale Thomson: N/A

Millionaires vs Yorkton
Ian McNulty 8 GP (3-6-9)
Tyson Newell 8 GP (3-6-9)
Jesse Mireau 8 GP (3-5-8)
Michael Desjarlais 8 GP (3-3-6)
Lee Christensen 6 GP (1-5-6)

Blake Voth 3-2, 3.12 GAA, .927%
Alex Wakaluk 2-1, 2.01 GAA, .935%


PP: 21.8% (3)
PK: 80.1% (8)

PP: 23% (2)
PK: 82.7% (4)


3/5, 3/7, 1/5, 0/2, 2/4, 0/2, 0/5, 2/10 = 11/40 (27.5%) (Yorkton PK 72.5%)

0/7, 0/5, 2/4, 1/3, 0/2, 0/2, 0/6, 2/5 = 5/34 (14.7%) (Melville PK 85.3%)


Melville: 13 times (4-4 in OT, 1-4 in SO)
Yorkton: 11 times (4-2 in OT, 2-3 in SO)


This is my 5th year at GX94, and the 4th time these clubs have played in the playoffs. It's also the first time since I've been here that the Terriers have had home ice against the Millionaires.

Back when the Survivor Series was a Best-of-Seven, and the top three teams played the "Selection Series" (double round-robin with the winner selecting their first round opponent). Yorkton finished 5th, but beat 4th place Estevan in 6 games. Melville finished 2nd but won the Selection Series over 1st place Weyburn and 3rd place Kindersley and picked Yorkton, for obvious travel reasons (and I think they went 8-0 against them that season). They continued that into the playoffs, sweeping the Terriers in 4. Although, it wasn't a clean sweep by any means. The Mils won the opener 2-1 in overtime (Kale Dolinski) on home ice, and followed that with a 2-1 win in double overtime (Jordan Wilson) in Yorkton. Games 3 and 4 weren't as close.

Melville was 2nd, and Yorkton 3rd. A whacky series that saw the Millionaires win the first two games, but Yorkton storm back to win the next three. Game 4 in Yorkton saw the Terriers win in double overtime (Corey Silverson), and then take Game 5 in Melville in OT (Derek Serdachny). Game 6 was the next night, and Yorkton led 1-0 after two periods, and Melville looked frustrated. They tied it in the third, and Michael Jordan scored late in the third to force Game 7, a Game 7 that wasn't close. The Mils won 5-1 on home ice, upset Weyburn in 6, and then lost to Humboldt in 5 in the final, despite winning the opener and out-playing the Broncos in the first four games of the series.

Survivor Series. Yorkton led Game 1 4-1 in Melville, but the Mils charged back, forced overtime, and Matt Kinnunen scored on a short-handed breakaway. Most people thought that would crush Yorkton and they'd fold. Not so. The Terriers won the next three games, taking the Best-of-Five in four. And then the team that was 6 games under .500 in the regular season, and 10th place in the 12 team league, went all the way to the final, running over the top-seeded Weyburn Red Wings in 5, had a great 7 game series win over Kindersley, before falling to La Ronge in 6.


There's no question who was hotter to finish the regular season. The Terriers went 9-1-0-1 in their last 11 games to wrap things up. Melville had a hot and cold season in general. Started with one win in their first 6, went 8-0-1 from Nov/5 - Nov/22, and followed it immediately with a 6 game losing streak. They had just 2 regulation losses in 11 games from Jan/21 - Feb/8, but then struggled to keep the puck out of their net late in the season, routinely giving up 4+ goals down the stretch. These teams are built very different. Yorkton had no one finish with a point per game, but they probably had more lines score consistently. At times, the Mils lived and died with Mireau/McNulty/Trudeau. Trudeau won't likely play in Games 1 & 2, and they'll need some secondary scoring from the likes of Sagen, Desjarlais, Froese, Kilback, Aschim and company. When this team's healthy, I think their four lines on paper are arguably tops in the Sherwood, and right up there in the entire league... but they weren't healthy all year, and they're not even close on the day of Game 1 of the playoffs. Tyson Newell will miss the whole series and quite possibly beyond, and they could be without three 20-year-olds on defense, at least to start. They've got some question marks up front as well, and rookie T.J. Reeve is definitely a no-go. Yorkton has some similar question marks. Both teams were understandably tight-lipped about injuries, but I think some guys are legitimately game-time decisions on both sides. Hopefully both teams have as many guys healthy as possible, at least at some point in this series, to give each club their best lineup and have the best talent out there for themselves and the fans.

These teams were one Melville goal away from meeting last year in the playoffs... and it's good to have the Highway 10 rivalry back again this post season!

Series Schedule
Fri/Mar/2: @ Yorkton (GX94)**
Sat/Mar/3: @ Melville (GX94)
Mon/Mar/5: @ Yorkton (GX94)**
Wed/Mar/7: @ Melville (GX94)
Fri/Mar/9: @ Yorkton (GX94)**
Sat/Mar/10: @ Melville (GX94)
Mon/Mar/12: @ Yorkton

**Games 1, 3 & 5 will be on GX94 during the intermissions and following the Swan Valley @ OCN game. About half of the first and second periods, and all of the third period, should be on the air.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Craig you said wait till playoffs to see whose side your on and it is obvious....the Dogs..

Yorkton has been lucky all year with no injuries that have plaqued the Mills all year round.

It is too bad Melville is good enough for your wife to work here;
and the Mills keep asking you to be a MC at their functions.

Craig Stein said...

It's obvious is it?! Well thanks for letting me know! See you tomorrow anonymous! Leave my wife out of it, that has nothing to do with anything you clown. What's your name anyway, why so shy?

Gary G. said...

Yorkton over Melville in 6. Yorkton is the better team although Melville has more skill. The boys play for Trent than they do for Feisel.

Anonymous said...

Don't mind the morons Craig. You are a true professional... a classy guy. Many people appreciate your hard work! Keep it up Steiner!

Anonymous said...

the previous comment is from a true Mils in Yorkton. Cheers.

Craig Stein said...

Ya I'm not sure why I even give someone like that the time of day. I guess I like stirring the pot a little too!

Anonymous said...

Not all of us Mils fans are arrogant like that Craig. Just know that Steiner.

Craig Stein said...

Oh I know! I love covering the Mils and Fiesel's my favourite person I deal with in my job, and I like the community and my wife loves her job there. I wouldn't paint everyone with that guy's brush!

When Melville was beating Yorkton when I first started here there were brave anonymous souls on here calling me a Mils lover, etc, etc. Some people are just bitter and expect me to be a cheerleader for their team and not acknowledge the other team.

And yes I feel fortunate already knowing I'm going to Weyburn or Estevan with one of them next round, and I'll be happy regardless!