Mike Hockley

Logan Terness – a rookie season to remember

 

The Trail Smoke Eaters found themselves in a tough situation during training camp last year. 20-year-old Gabriel Waked and 19-year-old Donovan Buskey appeared to be the front runners to make the opening night roster.

After all, both had previous junior A and Canadian Hockey League experience. But a just-turned 17-years-old Logan Terness was ready to make an impression at camp after getting a taste of BCHL action in three games as an affiliate player for the Smoke Eaters in 2018-19.

Terness committed to the Smoke Eaters in January 2019 and was returned to the Vancouver North East Chiefs of the then-BC Major Midget League to finish out the 2018-19 season.

With three committed goaltenders in camp, it meant there was competition to make the roster. After a really strong camp and preseason, Terness found himself in the lineup on opening night in the backup role to Buskey. Waked was traded to Longueuil College Francais of the Quebec Junior Hockey League 10 days into the season.

It didn’t take Terness long to get on the ice as the Penticton Vees beat Buskey four times on 25 shots and chased him from the net.

In relief, Terness stopped all nine shots he faced in the 20 minutes of playing time. The next night, the Vees once again got to Buskey early and beat him on five of the 17 shots faced in just over 28 minutes of play.

Once again Terness was called upon and earned himself the Fortis Energy Player of the Game with a 21-save performance.

First start of the season

After the Smokies’ third loss in a row, Terness got his first start at home versus Salmon Arm.  The Silverbacks threw 21 shots at Terness in the first 20 minutes of the game, beating him once.

In the second, the Smoke Eaters struck for two goals and gave the young netminder a one-goal lead at the end of 40 minutes. At the 15:44 mark of the third period, Terness’s current teammate Noah Wakeford found the tying goal for the Silverbacks and sent the game to overtime.

In OT, the Silverbacks got the winning goal from Akito Hirose with just six seconds remaining. Terness stopped 42 shots and once again picked up the Fortis Energy Player of the Game award.

RECAP: Heartbreak for the Smoke Eaters as they fall late in OT

The Smoke Eaters fell to 0-5 at home to start the season as they dropped their next game 5-2 against the Powell River Kings. Terness started his second game in a row versus the Kings but didn’t finish as he gave way to Buskey early in the 3rd period after giving up three goals on 24 shots.

The Smoke Eaters extended their winless streak to 0-6 with a road loss against the Wenatchee Wild two nights later.

First win and the beginning of the streak

The following night the Smoke Eaters ended their road trip in West Kelowna against the Warriors. Terness got the start, and the Warriors tested him early as he faced 16 shots in the first 20 minutes.

The Smoke Eaters offense got to work early though and gave Terness a three-goal lead before Brandon Dent beat him with 1:20 remaining in the period.

But that was all the Warriors got on this night, and Terness picked up his first BCHL victory with a 33 save performance while breaking the losing skid for the Smoke Eaters.

The Smoke Eaters went on to win nine more games, going on a 10-0 run and set a new franchise record. Terness picked up five more wins during the Smokies’ incredible run.

Just a couple of days after the Smoke Eaters streak came to an end, Buskey announced that he was returning to the Western Hockey League and the Regina Pats. The Smoke Eaters took a couple of days but made a move to acquire 20-year-old BCHL veteran Matteo Paler-Chow from the Powell River Kings for defenseman Jordan Hendry.

Paler-Chow came to Trail to provide a veteran presence and solid number two for the rookie Terness who was now looked to be the number one netminder for the remainder of the season.

Terness was a rock for the Smoke Eaters for the rest of the season. Backstopping one the most feared offensive lineups in the BCHL, Terness finished the 2019-20 season near the top of all goaltending statistical categories.

He was second in games-played with 44, third in wins with 27, and save percentage at .932, and fourth in goals-against-average at 2.36. Terness had to wait until the fifth-to-last game of the season to get his first BCHL shutout. It came on Valentine’s Day against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in a 5-0 Smokies win.

Terness was rewarded with the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy as BCHL rookie of the year. He is the first Smoke Eater in 16 years to win rookie of the year, and the first rookie goaltender in 20 years to win the award. Terness was also named to the BCHL second all-start team and the all-rookie team.

Playoff time

The Smoke Eaters headed into the playoffs to face the Prince George Spruce Kings. The goaltenders were front and center in the series.

Terness met Jett Alexander as the series opened in Trail for the first two games. Alexander only allowed the Smoke Eaters offense to score twice in the first game as he turned aside 35 shots. The Spruce Kings directed 26 shots at Terness. He made 25 saves on his way to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory for the Smoke Eaters.

The next night was even closer and the two netminders were only beaten once each through regulation. Forward Owen Ozar netted the winner in overtime and gave Terness and the Smoke Eaters a 2-0 lead in the series.

Terness bested Alexander and the Spruce Kings in game three with a strong 24 save shutout performance as the Smoke Eaters took a 3-0 series lead with a 4-0 victory.

The Smoke Eaters completed the series sweep with a 3-1 victory and Terness stopped 24 Spruce Kings’ shots.

Terness and the Smoke Eaters were preparing for what was shaping up as an excellent second-round series versus the Salmon Arm Silverbacks when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the remainder of the BCHL season.

Connecting with Smokies fans

Terness kept himself busy during this long off-season and decided to have a mask design competition.

After an extended off-season, the Smoke Eaters have returned to historic Cominco Arena and are preparing for the 2020-21 BCHL season. Terness is back and this time is the undisputed number one goaltender going into the new season

Terness and the Smoke Eaters have exhibition season business to take care of first before the real thing begins. Bragging rights are up for grabs as the Smoke Eaters are in a battle with the expansion Cranbrook Bucks for Kootenay supremacy in the inaugural Kootenay Cup.