Prince Albert has become unkind hosts to Notre Dame midget hockey teams.
For the second time in three days, a visiting team from Wilcox was swept from a Midget AAA series as the Prince Albert Mintos did the trick on Tuesday with a 6-2 triumph over the Argos in Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League action at the Art Hauser Centre.
On Sunday, it was the A&W Bears bringing out the brooms in a 4-0 decision over the Notre Dame Hounds in a Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League quarter-final match-up.
“It was a pretty solid effort,” said Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison. “It was a good team effort and I thought everybody did a pretty good job.”
“We knew they (Notre Dame) weren’t going to quit so we had to be ready,” added Morrison.
The Mintos’ big line of Joel Blaquiere, Lance Yaremchuk and Jason Duret once again dominated the play as that unit combined for eight points, including four goals. Blaquiere had two goals and an assist, Yaremchuk had one tally and two helpers and Duret netted one goal and set up another. The trio is now tied for second in playoff scoring – all with six points – behind just Mitch Lipon of the Regina Pat Canadians who leads the way with seven points.
Cody Young also had a goal and an assist with Keegan Kjargaard completing the scoring into an empty net in the final minute. Zack Harms chipped in with three assists.
Tanner Burgardt faced 24 shots in the Prince Albert goal while the Mintos directed 23 blasts at the Notre Dame net.
It was a night of celebration from start to finish as before the opening face-off the Mintos were presented with their regular-season championship trophy by league president Lloyd Friesen. A pair of Mintos were also honoured for individual performances as Duret was named the most committed and dedicated player in the league on a vote by team representatives while Bryton Sayers was selected as the top defenseman after recording 12 goals and 41 assists.
“It means a big deal,” said Sayers after the game. “Coming into the season I wasn’t sure about putting up points, but it means a lot (especially) to be on such a great team.”
It is the third straight year that a Minto defenseman has claimed the league honour as Jordan Swenson collected award two years ago while Michael Statchuk received the nod last year.
One other presentation was made before the game started and that was local referee Bob Schrader being named top official in the SMAAAHL. That award was also selected by the teams.
Prince Albert will have a few days off before they find out who they will play in the semifinals. The Saskatoon Contacts completed a sweep of their own on Tuesday when they beat the Battlefords Stars 4-1, but the other two series are being extended after Regina outscored the Yorkton Harvest 5-2 and the Saskatoon Blazers surprised the Moose Jaw Generals 2-1. Regina is ahead 2-1 going back to Yorkton for Game 4 on Thursday while the Blazers can eliminate Moose Jaw with a win at home tonight.
Should the Blazers win, they would be Prince Albert’s next opponent regardless of the outcome of the other series, but if Moose Jaw bounces back then the Mintos will take on either Regina or Yorkton. Regardless, the next series is not expected to start until Monday with Prince Albert having home-ice advantage.