Boutin nets winner in triple overtime to lead Mintos to Telus Cup title

Dave
Dave Leaderhouse
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MOOSE JAW – Euphoria!

That is the only way to describe what the Prince Albert Mintos are feeling after capturing the 2014 Telus Cup championship with a thrilling 4-3 triple-overtime triumph over the Grenadiers de Chateauguay at Mosaic Place on Sunday.

The win, which capped a near perfect week where they went 5-0-2 and extended their unbeaten streak to 21 games at the national tournament, gives Prince Albert a third Telus Cup championship in nine seasons.

“There are no words to describe this feeling,” said an ecstatic Dakota Boutin moments after he finished off a beautiful passing play with linemate Lance Yaremchuk with 1:24 left to play in the third extra session.

“It’s a good feeling; I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to end,” lamented Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison. “Good for him (Boutin). Dakota is always late. He’s late for the bus, he’s late for meals and he had a chance to end it earlier. We’re going to have to bug him about that.”

The game goes down as the longest ever in Telus Cup history eclipsing the previous marathon that also included the Mintos when they won their first championship in three overtime periods in 2006. Coincidentally, the Mintos also needed two overtime sessions when they claimed their last title in 2007.

Sunday’s game didn’t start out the way Prince Albert had envisioned as the Grenadiers opened the scoring 4:23 into the first period after Tyler Hylland was sprung on a breakaway and he went in and beat Minto netminder Connor Ingram through the five-hole.

That deficit was the first time all week Prince Albert trailed in a game, but it wouldn’t be for long. Yaremchuk, with a bullet from inside the blueline that beat Chateauguay goaltender Etienne Montpetit over the shoulder, and Carson Cayer put Prince Albert in front before the first period was over.

Martin-Olivier Cardinal got Chateauguay back on even terms just over five minutes into the second period, but Cayer notched his second of the game with 1.9 seconds left on the clock to give Prince Albert the lead once again.

Boutin then had a chance to extend the lead late in the final frame, but the puck rolled off his stick before he could tuck it behind Montpetit leaving the door open for the Grenadiers, who got the equalizer from Cardinal with just over five minutes left in regulation time.

Then the fun really began!

Prince Albert, which had stretches during regulation time where they looked tired, dominated most of the overtime periods with Boutin, Yaremchuk, Cayer, captain Teal Sobkowicz and Loch Morrison all having glorious opportunities to finish it off.

“It’s crazy how we outplayed them in the overtime,” said Ingram, a co-winner of the tournament’s top goaltender award with teammate Lane Michasiw and Prince Albert’s player of the game on Sunday. “I was just waiting for it to end, but every time it came down to our end I got nervous. I can’t remember the last time I was that nervous.”

“I thought it was going to be a disgusting goal’ a Wyatt Grant goal,” laughed Ingram after he took a poke at his teammate for his tenacious play in front of opposing goaltenders.

The winning goal wasn’t disgusting at all. In fact, it is probably practised time and time again.

Prince Albert’s Jared Blaquiere blocked a Chateauguay shot at the Minto blueline and tapped the loose puck up to Yaremchuk, who then used his speed to go two-on-one with Boutin into the Grenadier zone. Using the Chateauguay defenceman as a screen, he fired a perfect pass over to Boutin who had a wide open net to deposit the championship-winning marker.

“Obviously we were getting tired, but our coaches bag-skated us lots after practise so I think we were a lot stronger at the end,” said Boutin.

For the Mintos the win capped a season that had plenty of twists to it.

Prince Albert opened the campaign 2-4-2 before finding their groove and finishing third in the regular season. The Mintos were then eliminated from the playoffs by the Battlefords in the semifinals, but have been almost unbeatable since returning from a 19-day break as they claimed the Western Regional berth with three wins in four games and then had the two ties to go with five wins this week at the Telus Cup.

“Bergie (assistant coach Brad Bergen) and I were joking that we would bet against us,” laughed Morrison when reflecting on the start of the season. “We turned it around though.”

Shortly after the playoffs began, team president Zenon Markowsky had a serious stroke and Morrison said that this victory was very special, especially since Markowsky made the trip to Moose Jaw and was on the ice in his wheelchair celebrating the victory.

“We were working for Zenon,” said Morrison. “He’s had a little bit of a setback, but we have a board that is top-notch and great fans.”

TELUS CUP NOTES: Montpetit was the player of the game for Chateauguay after he stopped 57 of 61 shots. Ingram finished with 60 saves…Morrison, who won a Memorial Cup championship while playing with the Prince Albert Raiders almost 30 years ago, said it was “very gratifying” to be able to share this national title with his son Loch, who was an anchor on the Minto blueline…For a number of Mintos it was their last game in midget hockey as Yaremchuk, Blaquiere, Sobkowicz, Grant, Cayer, Braden Lozinski, Rhys Kipling, Ryan Duret, Keegan Kjargaard, Braxx George and Lane Michasiw will all graduate. Michasiw not only leaves with a national championship, but he also has a most valuable player honour for the tournament in his back pocket…Prince Albert’s other gold-medal winning goal scorers were Ron Meyers in 2006 and Ryan Fox in 2007…Boutin, who began the eyar with the Moose Jaw Generals before leaving them to join Prince Albert, had the Mintos' very first goal and last goal of the Telus Cup this week as he opened the scoring against Toronto on Monday...The Prince Albert-Chateauguay game wasn’t the only overtime match on Sunday as the Okanagan Rockets overcame a two-goal third-period deficit to stun the Toronto Young Nationals 3-2 in a single overtime period to claim the bronze medal…The final word has to go to the more than 300 Prince Albert fans who were loud and proud at the game on Sunday. Their enthusiasm certainly made it home-ice advantage for the Mintos.

 

TELUS CUP BY THE NUMBERS 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Boutin, Telus Zenon Toronto Young Nationals 3

Geographic location: MOOSE JAW, Chateauguay, Toronto

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