Daily Herald Staff
Getting a split in a pair of weekend road games is generally considered a success. For the Prince Albert Mintos it has to be a monumental accomplishment.
With four regulars sidelined for various reasons and another two dressed, but used sparingly due other ailments, the Mintos came away from a weekend trip in southern Saskatchewan with a win and a loss and could possibly have won both if they had been healthy.
The Mintos, who crushed the Notre Dame Hounds 9-2 on Saturday in Wilcox before falling 2-1 to the Generals in Moose Jaw on Sunday, are now 23-9-4-0 on the season and in third place in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings. Prince Albert remains six points back of the league-leading Notre Dame Argos and three in arrears of second-place Battlefords.
While the loss to Moose Jaw allowed the Generals to move to within two points of the Mintos and still hold a pair of games in hand, the result can only be a positive for Prince Albert as they enter the final three weeks of the regular schedule.
Chad Grambo led the Minto attack on Saturday scoring a pair of goals while Lance Yaremchuk, Brody Reimer, Teal Sobkowicz, Kody White and Wyatt Grant each had one goal and one assist. Josh Roberts, with his first SMAAAHL goal (he had three goals in the Mac’s Invitational tournament in Calgary over the Christmas holidays, but none in league play) and Carson Cayer also scored for Prince Albert, while Keegan Kjargaard chipped in with four assists.
Connor Ingram turned aside 24 shots to pick up the win in the Prince Albert net and lowered his league-leading goals against average to 1.75.
Sunday’s game was an endurance test in more ways than one.
With roads heading out of Wilcox towards Moose Jaw shut down due to winter storms, the Mintos had to travel back to Regina and go through Chamberlin before finally arriving in Moose Jaw.
That resulted in the start of the game being pushed back an hour, but it didn’t slow the Mintos down.
Kjargaard broke a scoreless tie early in the second period while Prince Albert was on a powerplay, but Moose Jaw evened the count at 1-1 with a man-advantage tally of their own before the middle session was completed.
The tank finally ran empty on the Mintos in the third period as they were outshot 9-3 and allowed the go-ahead marker by Jared Legien with 12 minutes to play. Riley Cannon had the other Moose Jaw goal.
Lane Michasiw had a strong game in the Prince Albert net stopping 28 shots while the Mintos managed 22 blasts at the Generals goal.
MINTO NOTES: Not dressed for the Mintos on the weekend were defenceman Braden Lozinski and forwards Ryan Duret, Dalin Graham and Dakota Boutin. Rhys Kipling and Jared Blaquiere were in the line-up, but saw limited action due to injuries. Brody Madarash from Martensville was called up for both games and collected an assist on Saturday while Daven Smith from Warman dressed for Sunday’s game…The Mintos will resume their four-game road trip on Thursday with a visit to Beardy’s and complete the swing with a stop in Tisdale on Saturday. The next home game for the Mintos is on Feb. 6 when Tisdale will make its final visit of the season.