A year ago when the Prince Albert Mintos finished in first place in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings, they had to go right down to the wire to edge out the Saskatoon Contacts.
In fact, that race was decided by a tie-breaking formula as the Mintos and Contacts were both tied with 67 points and identical 32-9-3-0 records.
It doesn’t appear that will be the case this year as the Mintos extended their lead atop the standings to 11 points with a pair of one-goal victories in southern Saskatchewan on the weekend.
Prince Albert beat the Notre Dame Argos 3-2 on Saturday and Moose Jaw Generals 2-1 on Sunday to run their winning streak to nine games and their overall record to 27-5-2-0. With 10 games left on the schedule, the weekend results secured the Mintos a playoff spot and reduced Prince Albert’s magic number to five to nail down home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
In Wilcox on Saturday, Kody White, Justin Boyer and Lance Yaremchuk scored for the Mintos, who built a 3-0 lead before the Argos battled back to make the game close. Teal Sobkowicz chipped in with a pair of assists and Lane Michasiw turned aside 13 shots to record the victory in the Prince Albert goal.
The game in Moose Jaw on Sunday had the second-place Generals open the scoring before Sobkowicz and Joel Blaquiere got Prince Albert untracked and a last-minute Moose Jaw goal was disallowed giving the Mintos the victory.
Tanner Burgardt stopped 23 of 24 shots for the win to lower his goals-against average to 1.83, fourth best in the league. Michasiw is second in the league in that statistic as his performance on Saturday gives him a 1.60 GAA.
Prince Albert will look to inch closer to claiming the regular-season title when they host the Tisdale Trojans on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre. The Mintos will then be in Beardy’s on Thursday before having almost a week off to prepare for the final stretch of the regular schedule.