Hopefully the Prince Albert Mintos learned a valuable lesson on Sunday: never underestimate your opponent.
Having won their last two Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League games, the Mintos faced a struggling Yorkton Harvest team at the Art Hauser Centre. Yorkton limped into Prince Albert having won just one of their first nine games and were even beaten by the previously winless Beardy‚Äôs Blackhawks on Saturday.
‚ÄúWe started out slow, but we had the momentum after the second period and too many of our guys thought the game was ours already,‚ÄĚ commented Mintos‚Äô assistant coach Todd Becker. ‚ÄúIn the first period they outworked us and out hit us and our philosophy is no one will outwork us no matter what rink we are in.‚ÄĚ
It didn‚Äôt work out that way.
After Justin Boyer and Adam Osczevski had given the Mintos a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play, the Harvest scored four unanswered goals in the final frame to skate away with a 5-2 victory.
‚ÄúWe have to be better prepared mentally right from the beginning,‚ÄĚ said Becker. ‚ÄúThey took it for granted what happened in Beardy‚Äôs last night. You can‚Äôt take a night off in this league.‚ÄĚ
Lane Michasiw faced 26 shots in the Minto goal while Prince Albert directed 29 blasts at the Yorkton net.
Prince Albert was without the services of starting netminder Tanner Burgardt, who has returned home to take care of a severe case of tonsillitis. Backing up Michasiw was affiliate player Jeff Crawford. Also not in the line-up were Kody White and Tye Antoniuk, both out with upper-body injuries. Ryan Rothenburger suited up for the Mintos, but saw limited ice time.
Immediately following the game, White and Lochlan Morrison were off to Regina to join Team Saskatchewan that will compete in the under-16 hockey challenge next weekend in Calgary. Morrison was recently named the captain of the team that will compete against three other squads in a round-robin format that begins on Thursday. Team Saskatchewan is to have one exhibition game in Medicine Hat prior to the start of the tournament.
White and Morrison will therefore be unavailable to play in Prince Albert‚Äôs next game, which is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre against the Saskatoon Blazers. The pair will also miss a trip to Swift Current next weekend for a doubleheader against the Legionnaires.