Painted on the wall just inside the Prince Albert Mintos dressing room are four words: hard work and discipline.
The Mintos fulfilled the former in the opening 20 minutes of their Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League game against the Saskatoon Blazers on Tuesday at the Art Hauser Centre. They, however, dropped the ball on the latter in the middle frame and for the final 12 minutes of the third period showed neither characteristic that is expected of them as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
“These guys have a lot to learn about winning hockey games,” said an obviously dejected Ken Morrison, the Mintos’ head coach. “I thought we played a good first period and for whatever reason we were 12 minutes (actually it was 10) shorthanded in the second and we lost the momentum. We played a little better in the first half of the third.”
The Mintos burst out of the gates on Tuesday when Dalin Graham scored just 33 seconds into the first period. Prince Albert would fire 22 shots at Saskatoon netminder Austin Swystun, but that early marker was all they could muster.
The second period saw the Mintos have a steady stream to the penalty box and as a result added just one more shot on net and that came in the dying seconds of the period. To their credit, Prince Albert did kill off all 10 minutes they were shorthanded and maintained the slim 1-0 advantage going into the third period.
Minto captain Teal Sobkowicz buried a nice feed from linemate Ryan Duret early in the final frame to stretch the lead to 2-0, but just over a minute later the Blazers countered when Tyler Pickett’s weak shot got past Prince Albert netminder Connor Ingram.
The Mintos looked like they were going to collect their second win of the season, but with 18.8 seconds left former Prince Albert Raider draft pick Connor Hobbs sent a bullet from the point that whistled over Ingram’s shoulder to send the game to overtime.
Both teams had their chances in the extra session as Hobbs and Lane Pederson had breakaways for the Blazers while Wyatt Grant sent his shot over the net after being set up all alone in front of Swystun.
Morrison said that a 10-day break didn’t affect the way the team played, but he did question the string of penalties given his club.
“It’s not like they (Blazers) didn’t take penalties,” said Morrison. “They just didn’t call them.”
MINTO NOTES: Ingram finished the game with 22 saves while Swystun turned aside 33…Serving as alternate captains for Prince Albert this year will be Lochlan Morrison, Keegan Kjargaard and Duret…Tuesday’s game was the first time all season the Mintos had their full roster as both Carson Cayer and Zach Paziuk returned to the line-up after suffering injuries during training camp…Prince Albert is now 1-3-2 on the season and alone in second-last place in the 12-team standings. They do, however, have a number of games on all other teams…The road doesn’t get any easier for the Mintos as they face the top two teams in their next two games. On Thursday they will be in the Battlefords to face the Stars and on Saturday they will travel to Wilcox to take on the Notre Dame Argos. Prince Albert will also play the Notre Dame Hounds on Sunday before returning home for a game against the Beardy’s Blackhawks on Halloween night…While they finally have a healthy line-up, the Mintos will lose a pair of players for close to a week starting next weekend when Matthew Parsons and Cole Young travel to Calgary as members of Team Saskatchewan for the Western Canada under-16 Challenge Cup. The two rookies could miss as many as three games.