The Prince Albert Mintos played for a friend, for a sense of accomplishment and to prove a lesson was learned when they skated to a 4-1 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League victory over the Moose Jaw Generals on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre.
Having learned that starting netminder Tanner Burgardt’s grandfather had passed away, the Mintos wanted to win the game for their teammate.
“The guy’s are playing for each other and working for each other,” said Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison. “With Burgy’s (Burgardt) grandfather passing away, that was extra (motivation).”
The win, which improved Prince Albert’s overall record to 13-3-0-2 and keeps them in first place in the overall standings, allows the club to post an unbeaten record for the month of November. In nine games, the Mintos won eight and tied another and the run of success secured the club an invitation to the prestigious Mac’s tournament in Calgary over the Christmas holidays.
“If someone would have asked me before the start of the month, ‘would we go undefeated,’ I would have said I doubt that will happen,” said Morrison. “Part way through the month we started playing with some confidence. If we work hard we can play with most teams in the league.”
It took a really off-night during the final game of October for the team to learn that message. Playing the lowly Yorkton Harvest, a team that had lost the previous night to the Beardy’s Blackhawks, a club that had not won yet this year, the Mintos assumed it would be automatic to chalk up two more points in the standings.
Instead, the Harvest played an inspired game and skated away with a 5-2 victory, the last time Prince Albert has tasted defeat.
“There is really no team in this league that is a slouch,” said Morrison. “If you don’t show up on any given night you will lose.”
On Sunday against Moose Jaw, the scenario was eerily familiar as the Generals had lost to Beardy’s on Saturday – just the Blackhawks’ second win of the year. And, less than a minute into the game, Moose Jaw grabbed a 1-0 advantage on a goal by Regan Nagy.
The Mintos apparently remembered what happened a month ago and from then on it was all Prince Albert as Lance Yaremchuk, with two goals, Bryton Sayers and Jason Duret scored for the Mintos. Yaremchuk also had two assists to add to his team-leading point total and Duret picked up a pair of helpers in addition to his shorthanded effort into an empty net in the final minute of play.
Lane Michasiw turned aside 17 shots in the Prince Albert goal to record the win while the Mintos fired 23 shots at the Moose Jaw net. Logan Morhart, who normally plays for the Liteway Electric Raiders, was summoned to be the back-up goaltender in place of Burgardt.
The Mintos will have the week off before they return to action on Saturday with a trip to Saskatoon to face the Blazers. The next home game is on Sunday when the Regina Pat Canadians will pay a visit to the Art Hauser Centre. That contest, which starts at 1:30 p.m., will have first place on the line as the Pat Canadians are in
second place, two points behind the Mintos.