Daily Herald Staff
The Prince Albert Mintos have become something of an enigma.
Having won just one of their first six games and scored just 10 goals in that span, not much was expected on Thursday when they travelled to the Battlefords to take on the league-leading Stars.
Not only did the Mintos hand the Stars their first regulation loss of the season, they did it in style as Lane Michasiw stopped all 24 shots in leading Prince Albert to a convincing 3-0 victory.
The win improves the Mintos’ record to 2-3-2 on the season and gives them a boost for a weekend series in Wilcox as they will play the Argos on Saturday and Hounds on Sunday.
On Thursday, the Mintos and Stars battled through a scoreless opening session before Prince Albert got untracked in the second with goals from Dalin Graham and Keegan Kjargaard. Ryan Duret completed the scoring with a power-play marker late in the final frame. Graham and Duret each collected an assist to finish with two-point outings.
For Michasiw, the victory was his first of the season as he was in goal for all three losses while Connor Ingram had collected the other victory and a pair of ties. Michasiw, who is in his second season with the Mintos, has played exceptional for Prince Albert all year, but just never had the results to show for his efforts. Until Thursday that is!
The shutout lowered his goals-against average to 2.26 and raised his save percentage to .934. Ingram’s numbers are a bit better at 1.58 and .938, but it is no secret that the Mintos’ success this year will rely largely on goaltending – no matter who is between the pipes.
The Saturday game against the Argos will be another stiff test as that Notre Dame squad was tied with the Battlefords for first place entering this week’s action. Prince Albert lost 3-2 to the Argos in their first meeting earlier this month at the Art Hauser Centre.
The Hounds are in last place in the 12-team league having won just once in their first eight games with the Mintos skating to a 3-1 victory in their only previous clash this year.
The next home game for the Mintos will be on Halloween night when the Beardy’s Blackhawks pay a visit to the Art Hauser Centre. Game time that night will be 7 p.m.