The Minto train just keeps on rolling.
In what was supposed to be one of their sternest tests of the year, the Prince Albert Mintos had little trouble in disposing the Regina Pat Canadians 6-1 on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre and in the process reclaimed sole possession of first place in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings.
“I thought it would have been a lot tighter,” admitted Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison. “(But), we’re playing as a team and working hard for each other. No one is concerned about just themselves.”
“It’s good to get into first place, but harder to stay there,” added Morrison.
The win, which extended Prince Albert’s undefeated streak to 11 games – including eight straight victories - moves the Mintos two points ahead of the Pat Canadians and the Saskatoon Contacts, the defending league champions. Saskatoon won all three of its games this weekend to get back into the hunt.
Regina, which entered Sunday’s contest with the league’s stingiest defence allowing just 26 goals in 18 games, were overpowered by a red-hot offense as the Mintos scored four times in the second period to blow the game wide open.
“The guys are starting to believe if they work as a team they will be tough to beat,” said Morrison. “When we lost that game to Yorkton on home ice (5-2 on Oct. 28) it was not a good feeling.”
The Mintos have been feeling pretty good since then with the offense being spread in many directions, especially this weekend where they added a 5-0 win in Saskatoon against the Blazers to the current streak.
Scoring for Prince Albert on Sunday were Adam Osczevski, Kylar Sklar, Teal Sobkowicz, Lance Yaremchuk, Justin Boyer and Lochlan Morrison with Jordan Harris chipping in with a pair of assists. Sklar also set up a pair of tallies to give the first-year forward 24 points, second-best on the team behind only Yaremchuk (28 points).
On Saturday, Osczeveski, Yaremchuk, Joel Blaquiere, Bryton Sayers and Kody White provided the offense with Lane Michasiw stopping 21 shots in recording his first shutout at the Midget AAA level. Tanner Burgardt picked up the win on Sunday after making 25 saves.
The Mintos have a bit of a break with just a trip to Tisdale on Wednesday for a game against the Trojans on the schedule for this week. Prince Albert will then finish its pre-Christmas portion of the schedule with five games in nine days beginning on Dec. 11 at home against the Battlefords Stars. The Mintos will then head to Calgary for the annual Mac’s Invitational tournament where they were semifinalists a year ago.