The Prince Albert Mintos beat the Battleford Stars 7-3 in a battle of powerplays on Tuesday at the Art Hauser Centre in midget AAA hockey action.
The Mintos scored their first two goals and last three on the powerplay -- bookended around a pair of even-strength goals 26 seconds apart by Justin Boyer midway through the second -- to post the win.
Coach Ken Morrison wasn't thrilled with his team's performance but admitted that at the start of the season he would have taken the position the team now finds itself in.
"Being the first year for me, you couldn't really ask for anything better in terms of where we're at right now," he said. "But still, playoffs is a new thing and the goal is to go deep into the playoffs so we'll see how we make out."
With the win, the first-place Mintos clinched the most points and the most wins in the 12-team league.
It didn't start well for the Mintos, who gave up a powerplay goal to Robin Yew of the sixth place Stars just over five minutes into the first.
But once they got the equalizer, which came just over four minutes later on a powerplay goal from Jason Duret, things changed. Lance Yaremchuk scored with 5:47 left to take a 2-1 lead to the dressing rooms.
Boyer's two goals extended the lead to 4-1, although Battlefords forward Braden Lacoursiere scored a powerplay goal with four minutes left in the second.
Any momentum they might have gained was lost 21 seconds into the third when Lochlan Morrison scored a powerplay goal from the point on a wrist shot that found its way into a top corner past Stars goaltender Rylan Toth.
Yaremchuk benefited from a lovely pass from Ryan Duret for another powerplay goal four minutes later to lift the puck past a helpless Toth for his league-leading 37th of the season.
The parade of powerplay goals continued at 8:21 when Battlefords defenceman Ryan Frehlick cut the lead to 6-3.
The next powerplay goal, the fifth in a row, came off the stick of Kylar Hope when he ripped it on off the post and crossbar.
Boyer's assessment of his team's play was a little rosier than his coach's.
"We were skating and moving the puck around," he said. "There was not much for selfish plays. It's nice. We move the puck around and it opens it up lots."
Morrison says his team has to tighten things up to succeed in the playoffs.
"I'm a little concerned about how we're playing right now going into the playoffs," he said. "We have to pick it up here and do some things differently."
ICINGS: The Mintos next see action on Saturday against the eighth-place Tisdale Trojans and then close out the regular season on Sunday against the second-place Saskatoon Contacts ... The final shots on net were 42-29 in favour of the Mintos ... The Mintos went five for 11 on the powerplay while the Stars were three for eight ... Hope had a goal and three assists while Adam Osczevski and Bryton Sayers each had three assists. Joel Blaquiere and Justin Boyer each had a pair of assists ... Lane Michasiw got the start in net for the Mintos and made 26 saves in the win ...