© Herald Photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Mintos forward Kody White jumps into the air as the puck
deflects away from Notre Dame Argos goalie Dylan Ferguson under the
watchful eye of defenceman Elijah Francis during their AAA Midget
Western Regionals game on Saturday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre
in Prince Albert. The teams meet again in the final on Sunday at 2
In a game that had absolutely no bearing on the final outcome of the 2014 Western Regional championship being played at the Art Hauser Centre, the Notre Dame Argos took control early and cruised to a 4-0 win over the Prince Albert Mintos on Saturday.
The host Mintos had already claimed a berth in Sunday’s championship final when they skated to a 3-2 triumph over the Winnipeg Wild on Friday while the Saskatchewan-champion Argos nailed down the other spot in the final game when Thunder Bay was bombed 9-1 by Winnipeg in the early game on Saturday.
That set up a final round-robin match with nothing but pride left on the line and the Argos certainly had more of that in improving their tournament record to 2-0-1.
“I don’t think we played that well at all,” said Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison, whose club finished 2-1-0. “It was a good measuring stick to see where we have to be tomorrow.”
Notre Dame got on the board just 11 seconds into the game when Chance Longjohn skated in unmolested and beat Prince Albert netminder Lane Michasiw with a simple backhand shot.
Jack Flaman and Jordan Berger tallied 2:39 apart in the second period to increase the advantage to 3-0 and Evan Werle completed the scoring in the final frame.
Dylan Ferguson stopped all 22 shots he faced in the Notre Dame goal while Michasiw, who was making his first appearance of the championship, was tested 24 times.
The Mintos thought they had scored a goal late in the opening period when Keegan Kjargaard battled for the disc in the Notre Dame crease, but the play was whistled down before it crossed the goal line.
Other than that, Prince Albert had very few good scoring chances despite having seven man-advantage situations. Notre Dame also had seven power-plays with Werle being the lone sniper with the extra man.
The all-Saskatchewan final will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday with the winner earning the Western Region berth in the Telus Cup national championship scheduled for Moose Jaw in two weeks.
“It’s one game and anything can happen,” says Morrison, who is now 1-4 against the Argos this year. “We have a good opportunity here, but we have to be mentally ready. We need to get the most out of everybody.”
“Our whole focus is on tomorrow (Sunday),” added Morrison. “We have to forget about today.”