The picture is coming more into focus for the Prince Albert Mintos.
More than a month after training camp was held, the Mintos have worked with their roster through seven exhibition games and now with just one pre-season tilt remaining, the team appears to be set.
“Today we got real close to what our team will be,” said rookie head coach Ken Morrison following Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Tisdale Trojans in Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League pre-season action at the Art Hauser Centre. “The first couple of games we were looking at the younger kids. I’m happy with the way the guys are playing, but I’ll be glad when the team is picked and we can move on with the team.”
Morrison said that one more defenseman and another forward were to be released and that those moves will likely happen before the final exhibition game on Tuesday in Beardy’s.
Kylar Hope appears to be poised to be one of the new faces on the team as his two goals and two assists paced the Mintos past Tisdale. Hope also had a two-goal performance against the Contacts in Saskatoon on Saturday as Prince Albert skated to a 7-2 victory.
“We can’t kid ourselves, the Contacts didn’t have close to their starting line-up against us and these guys (Tisdale) didn’t have six or seven of their starters dressed,” said Morrison. “It’s a little deceiving, but we had a really good effort and worked really hard.”
Ryan Duret and Adam Osczevski also had four-point games against Tisdale with Duret collecting a goal and three assists while Osczevski had four helpers. Maxim Powiada and Eric Young also scored for the Mintos, who outshot the Trojans 49-16.
Against Saskatoon, Duret, Osczevski, Young, Jordan Harris and Justin Boyer all had single markers to go with Hope’s two goals. Lane Michasiw faced just 13 shots in recording the win while his teammates blasted 52 shots at the Saskatoon goal, which was tended by Rylan Parenteau for the last half of the contest. Parenteau was one of the last cuts by the Prince Albert Raiders prior to the start of the current Western Hockey League season. Michasiw shared the netminding duties with Braedyn Lysak on Sunday.
After Tuesday’s game in Beardy’s, the Mintos will get ready for the start of the regular season and a run at a third straight appearance in the league championship series. Prince Albert, which won the title in 2011 but lost to the Contacts last spring, will host the Swift Current Legionnaires on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.