Chantz Petruic is having a season that most junior players dream of. Sometimes, it’s not that easy to achieve a dream. For Chantz, clearly, it is.
Playing with the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the 20-year-old from Moose Jaw is well on his way to joining some very elite company while his team is also enjoying success.
Petruic, who also spent time with his hometown Moose Jaw Warriors, leads the league with 101 points (54G) through 47 games. That adds up to an average of 2.15 points-per-game. He also has 33 more points than Alec Malo who is second in league scoring.
Chantz has been so dominant that it’s very likely he will end up recording the most points in a season dating back more than 20 years in the SJHL.
If he continues at the pace he’s on right now, Chantz would finish the 60-game regular season with 131 points. That would be tied for the 27th most points in an SJHL regular-season with Scott Burfoot. He recorded 131 way back in the 1987-88 season. As of right now, Chantz is already just outside the top-100 for the most points ever recorded in one season.
“Yeah, it’s been going good and a lot of things have been going right. I obviously have to thank my teammates because I can’t do this by myself,” said Petruic. “Things have been pretty surreal. Personal success is always nice, but with that said, I want to win a title this year, that’s what really matters to me and everyone on this team.”
“I’m hard on myself and I knew I was capable of doing something special this year.”
The Terriers are third place in the SJHL at 27-18-1-1, good for 56 points which is one back of Flin Flon for second overall. However, the Terriers have played the most games in the league — seven more than Flin Flon. With the MJHL/SJHL Showcase taking place right now in Regina, no team in the league plays another game until Friday.
Yorkton has only one more game this month which comes on Saturday on home ice against Weyburn. After that game, the team won’t play another until February 4.
Going into Saturday’s contest, the Terriers have points in their last three and will look to build more momentum leading up to the playoffs. Last season, the team advanced to the semifinals but fell short of the championship. With another solid group this year, Petruic believes this could be an extra special year.
“The guys that are still here from last year know that feeling of losing and it still hurts,” continued Petruic. “We have to use that as motivation moving forward this year. We have a good group and we’re all working hard to achieve one goal and that’s to win a title.”
“I think this extra break is going to help us. It will allow some of our players with banged-up bodies to get better,” added Petruic. “That can only help us in the long run.”
When this season comes to an end, Petruic will be out of junior eligibility. That means he won’t return to Yorkton. However, his aim is to play hockey at the next level. He should have no problem achieving that goal.
“I’ve sent some stuff out to schools so we’ll see what happens,” concluded Petruic. With that said, I’m not worried about that right now, I just want to live in the present and win with Yorkton.”
Yorkton ends its regular season on Saturday, February 29, in Melville against the Millionaires.