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"1990 had left the Terriers hoping to complete some unfinished business. For the second time in three years, the team had advanced all the way to the SJHL championships. And for the second time, the Terriers were eliminated in the sixth game of the series... maybe 1991 would be the year!"
--Gene Krepakevich, The Puck Does Not Stop Here
And it was. Led by Patrice Robitaille and Sandy Gasseau, who both reached the 100 point level, and Barry Cummins, named the league's best defenceman, the team finished first in the south division, and first overall with a record of 47-19-2 for 96 points. There was a strong supporting cast with nine 20-goal scorers. The team scored an average of 5.3 goals and allowed 3.5 per game. Under Coach Dennis Polonich and assistant Rick Forst, the Terriers roared through the playoffs. They disposed of the Notre Dame Hounds in four games, the Weyburn Red Wings in five, and swept aside the Humboldt Broncos in four straight. Next were the Manitoba champions, the Winkler Flyers, who also went down in five games.
The Terriers had won the Anavet Cup and were headed for Sudbury for the national championship, the Centennial Cup! The championship included the host team, the Sudbury Cubs; the Pacific representatives the Vernon Lakers, the Halifax Canadians from the Maritimes; the central division winning Thunder Bay Flyers and the Terriers.
The Terriers won the round robin with three wins and one loss, only doing down to defeat in overtime against Vernon. They played Vernon again in the semi-final and after a hard fought game, the result was a 7-5 loss. Vernon would go on to win the final and the Centennial Cup for the second straight year. Coming so close and losing on the national stage was disappointing, but the season had been a tremendous success. In 23 playoff games, the Terriers had won 19 times, losing once each to Weyburn and Winkler, and the two games against Vernon. It had indeed been a remarkable season.
Team members were Mario Lacasse, Barry Cummins, President Gene Krepakevich, Gino Santerre, GM and Coach Dennis Polonich, Mike Merk, Scott Bellefontaine, stickboy Nick Ohochinsky, Director Donna Appell, Sandy Gasseau, Dwayne Brook, Dave Gerse, Rod Schultz, Steve Cox, Rick Forst, Michel Cook, Patrice Robitaille, Leigh Brookbank, Sheldon Bylsma, Dean Seymour, Blair Wagar, Trevor Roesslein, Scott Wotton, Dean Richards, Drew Schoneck, Bill Harrington, Bruno Guay, John Wells, Treasurer James Eftoda, Director Don Zazula, Director Harold Petkau, Vice President Norm Achtemichuk, Director Henry Malysh, Director Ray Matisho and Trainer Dale King.
It was a magical time for those who saw it unfold, and for the competitors it was an unforgettable experience. The team won the Thunder Bay Cash Spiel in November of 1998, and won just under $30,000 that winter. As usual, the chase for the Brier Tankard began at the local club level, moved to the district, and on to the northern or southern playdowns. The Shymko team qualified at each step and were successful in reaching the provincial championship held in Meadow Lake where they were joined by Yorkton clubmate Brian Derbowka and his rink. The two teams met in the final; never before had a Yorkton men's team come this far, let alone two teams. Only one can be the champion, however, and the Shymko team prevailed.
The team was awarded the Norm Balderston Sportsmanship Award. They received their green and white Saskatchewan sweaters and the coveted purple hearts. They were off to The Last Shootout of the Century, the Labatt's Brier, at the Skyreach Center in Edmonton. The team completed the round robin in third place and disposed of Russ Howard in the 3-4 game. Then came the semi-final where, with his last shot Quebec's popular Guy Hemmings had to draw to the pin and in the shot of a lifetime, he accomplished the task.
Gerald won the Ross Harstone Award for sportsmanship and curling ability, voted on by fellow curlers. Since 1999 Gerald, Gerry, and Arnie have been provincial mixed champions, and Neil was a two-time provincial junior champion prior to the Brier.
Team members were Gerald Shymko, Gerry Adam, Steve Sobkow, Arnie Geisler and Neil Curson.
For more than 20 years Allan Harrison was the backbone of minor hockey in Yorkton. At one time or another he held every executive position with minor sports. He coached or managed in the minor hockey system, from novice to midget, for a period of 22 years. Allan served as a delegate or representative to numerous provincial or national hockey advisory boards. As a Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association representative he assisted in the development of players, coaches, referees and trainers through the SaskFirst High Performance Hockey Program. He was instrumental in the Parkland Maller's initiation program for children learning the fundamentals of skating and hockey. Allan was the local chairperson for the World Junior Championship game played between Russia and Switzerland in Yorkton in 1989 and was co-chairperson in 1997 for the Western Bantam Championships.
Over his long career Allan attained a coaching Level III Certificate, an advanced coaching Level II from the Canadian Hockey Association, and Level III Theory from the National Coaching Association of Canada. In 1993 Yorkton Minor Hockey presented Allan with the Canadian Hockey Association 3M coaching recognition award for outstanding commitment and contribution to the coaching of amateur hockey. He coached the Zone 4 team to the gold medal in hockey in the 1990 Saskatchewan Winter Games. He coached at the Midget AAA level from 1992 to 1998 and was a scout for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League who won consecutive Memorial Cup Championships in 1987 and 1988. His crowning achievement as a coach was the Yorkton Parkland Mallers winning the gold medal at the Air Canada National Midget AAA Championship in 1993.
He was involved with the Yorkton Trap Club, the Yorkton Wildlife Federation, the International Goaltenders' School and the Parkland Mallers' Hockey School. He was a bus driver for many Yorkton Minor Sports teams from 1984 to 2000. In 2004 Allan posthumously became an Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association.
Curt was born in Brandon MB, the oldest of the children of Jim and Pat. He attended school in Winnipeg, and when the family came home to Yorkton in 1959 he continued his education at Simpson School and Angus Spice School, and the Yorkton Collegiate Institute. When his father left the city in 1970 Curt became the sports director at CJGX Radio. He spent two seasons at CKCK radio and television in Regina doing Pats' games and returned to Yorkton in 1974, doing news and sports at CKOS TV.
When the Winnipeg Jets joined the NHL in 1979 Curt joined the broadcast team, first as a colour commentator and in 1982 as the play-by-play announcer. The Voice of the Jets worked at CKY, CJOB and CKND. When the Jets moved south to become the Phoenix Coyotes, Curt went with them and remains as the team's lead broadcaster. In 1999, Curt was named Sportscaster of the Year in the Phoenix area. Since his first NHL game in 1979, Curt has been involved in the broadcasts of 2,149 games.
Jim and Curt did their first broadcast together at CJGX when Curt was 11 years old. Jim contributed commentary for Coyotes games in Phoenix, and the press box in Glendale Arena was named the Keilback Press Box in honour of Jim and Curt for their contributions to hockey in the Phoenix area.
Jim Keilback was born at Cloverleaf MB, east of Winnipeg. He attended school in this rural community and at Beausejour, before attending the University of Manitoba. Jim worked in the sports field at radio stations in Kenora ON, Brandon and Winnipeg. He did the first radio broadcast from the Winnipeg Arena, which closed its doors in November of 2004. In 1959 Jim became a minor shareholder in CJGX Radio in Yorkton and became its sports director. He did curling play by play during the 60s and was the Voice of the Senior Yorkton Terriers. He did Saskatchewan Roughriders football games in 1965, a year before they won the Grey Cup. In the early 1970s he was the sports director at CKRM in Regina.
Jim moved south in 1973 to do broadcasts for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey league, and then the Tucson Mavericks in the Central league. After a 10-year hiaitus he returned to broadcasting in 1985, doing colour commentary, play-by-play, and administrative work for the Roadrunners and was a consultant with the San Diego Gulls as they attempted to gain a franchise in the NHL. Jim retired in 1991.
Irene Konkin first became involved with curling in the Kamsack area. The Konkins moved to Yorkton in the early 1960s and Irene began her relationship with the Yorkton Curling Club. She served as president of the Ladies' Curling Club from 1969 to 1971. She was elected to the executive of the Saskatchewan Ladies' Curling Association and served as vice president, and then president for the 1974-1975 season. As president she attended the Canadian Senior Championships in Swift Current in 1975. In 1976 she was appointed as the SLCA delegate to the Canadian Ladies' Curling Association, and attended meetings and championships in Moncton, Halifax, Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal and Edmonton from 1976 to 1980. In 1979 Irene co-chaired the Canadian Junior Girls' Curling Championships held in Yorkton. She served on the publicity committee for the first joint Canadian Senior Ladies' and Men's Championships held in Yorkton in March 1985.
Irene was appointed the CLCA representative to the International Curling Federation in 1982. She attended meetings and championships in Geneva, Switzerland, Perth, Scotland, and Jonkiping, Sweden from 1982 to 1985. When the Ladies' World Championships were held in Moose Jaw in 1983, she served as chairperson, and was instrumental in finding a major sponsor for the event. She became a qualified Curl Canada official, and compiled a history of the World Women's Curling Championships.
Irene received the Saskatchewan Sport Volunteer Recognition Award in 1986. In 1987 she was inducted into the Canadian Ladies' Curling Association Hall of Fame as a builder. She received an Honorary Life Membership in the Yorkton Ladies Curling Club in 1990, and in the Saskatchewan Ladies' Curling Association in 1993.
Norm Lutcher won his first shooting trophy at the Strathcona Challenge Cup while a member of the 17th Squadron Air Cadets at age 15. Norm was instrumental in starting the first gun club in Yorkton for .22 rifle shooting. The Parkland Gun Club developed into the present Yorkton Gun Club. He became a provincial firearm safety Instructor in 1960 and in 1961 won the Dominion Marksman Expert Class Award, with a score of 5930 out of 6000 in .22 rifle competition. Norm tried trap shooting for the first time in 1969 and won his first competition by hitting 96 of 100 targets. In 1971, land was purchased at the York Lake Regional Park and a Trap Shooting Club was started.
As a competitor in the Singles AA Class over a 25-year period Norm's average was in the 97% range. Later in the Veteran's Class for those over 65, he maintains a 96% average. He competed all over Western Canada and in the United States. Every shooter aims for a perfect score and Norm achieved his first in July 1976. He has shot many 100 straights and at least five 200 straights. In one 500 shot marathon at the Yorkton Trap Club, he made 497 for 99.4 per cent. Norm and his daughter Donna were six-time winners of the provincial parent/child championship. His victories include the 2004 provincial singles and doubles championships in the Veteran's category..
Norm was involved with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation locally and provincially for more than 50 years, holding many executive positions through the years. He received the President's Appreciation Award in 1999, and was made a Life Member of the Federation in 2002. He has also been connected with archery, baseball, bowling and hockey and for many years operated the family sporting goods business, Lutcher's Sports and Manufacturing, originally begun as a harness shop by his father. He played hockey in seven decades.
Since 1976 Wilf Miller has been involved with the sport of karate. Wilf holds a second-degree black belt, was a provincial competitor from 1976 to 1982, and was active at the national level from 1978 to 1982. He was president of the Parkland Karate Association since 1986. He was a founding member, and a vice president of the Saskatchewan Karate Association for the past 20 years. Since 1980, he has been a board member of the Japan Karate Association of Canada, serving as treasurer beginning in 2003. Wilf became a provincial and national Level A referee in 1980 and since 1995 has been an international Level C referee and has officiated in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Italy.
Wilf has been the chief instructor and coach for East Central Saskatchewan since 1978, including clubs from Yorkton, Esterhazy, Churchbridge, Kamsack, Canora, Preeceville, Fishing Lake, Porcupine Plain, Hudson Bay and Roblin MB. He was a Saskatchewan team assistant coach from 1985 to 1995, and a national team assistant coach at the World Championship in Italy in 1995. Many of his students have gone on to form the nucleus of Saskatchewan and Canadian teams, winning medals at Canadian national competitions.
Earlier in life Wilf participated in track and field, played football with the Yorkton Regional High School Raiders, and was involved with touch football, fastball, slo-pitch and golf. He was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Broomball Association, and a competitor and representative in this sport for 20 years.
Jason Zawerucka first put on a pair of water skis at Crystal Lake at the age of 11. Two years later he attended tryouts at Crooked Lake, intent on making the Zone 4 water ski team for the 1980 Saskatchewan Summer Games. He was successful at making the four-member team, beating out many older competitors. After a two week ski camp at Crooked Lake, Jason competed in the games in Estevan in the slalom event. He was the youngest of 34 athletes, placing 14th in his first ever competition. This success lit a fire in the young Jason, leading to a 25-year journey in competitive water skiing. Difficulty in finding adequate training facilities led Jason to form the Crystal Lake Water Ski Club in 1983, acting as president for the next 10 years. He sparked much local interest and was an energetic fundraiser, resulting in the best training facility in Zone 4, allowing many athletes to attend local and provincial tournaments, often coached by Jason.
In 1988, Jason coached the Zone 4 team for the Summer Games in Melfort, then returned from the Canadian National Championships in Orangeville ON with a bronze medal. From 1988 to 2003 Jason won a total of 41 medals at the provincial, western Canadian and national levels. Jason was on the provincial team for 15 years, attending 23 consecutive provincial championships. He did not compete internationally or professionally, opting instead to attend the University of Saskatchewan where he attained a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. In 1996 Jason was elected to the board of the Saskatchewan Water Ski Association. He served as president-elect for four years, then president in 2000-2001, all while still competing at a high level.