Mintos draw Argos in first round of playoffs
Lance Yaremchuk (left) and Jason Duret led the Prince Albert Mintos AAA midget hockey team to a first place finish in the regular season. Yaremchuk led the team in goals while Duret led in points.
The real hockey begins now for the Prince Albert Mintos.
The Saskatchewan AAA midget regular season champs under first year head coach Ken Morrison finished the regular season on the weekend with a 6-1 win against the Tisdale Trojans on Saturday and a 2-2 tie with the Saskatoon Contacts.
They've earned a date with the eighth-seeded Notre Dame Argos, who snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the 44-game season with a 6-4 win over the Battlefords Stars that eliminated the Tisdale Trojans.
The Mintos and Argos played four times, with the Mintos sweeping the season series 10-3 on Oct. 14 and 5-2 on Feb. 10 at home and 3-1 on Nov. 10 and 3-2 on Jan. 26 on the road.
The Mintos finished the season with a record of 34-7-3, good for 71 points and a seven-point cushion over the second-place Contacts.
On Saturday at the Tisdale Recplex, the Mintos received two goals from Jason Duret and Keegan Kjargaard, with singles coming from Lance Yaremchuk and Teal Sobkowicz.
Kjargaard's first goal came with a second left in the second period.
The game took an important turn for the Mintos just after they gave up a goal to the Trojans to make it 2-1. In the next 91 seconds, the Mintos replied with a pair of goals just 37 seconds apart to go up 4-1.
The Mintos went two for 12 on the powerplay while the Mintos were scoreless on seven opportunities.
Shots were 24-19 for the Trojans.
On Sunday, the Mintos went to overtime against the Saskatoon Contacts.
After a scoreless first period in which both teams failed to connect on a pair of powerplays, the Contacts scored twice in the second. Kade Kehoe scored a powerplay goal at the 6:04 mark and Terrell Draude sniped with just 44 seconds left in the period.
The Mintos finally broke through 59 seconds into the third with a powerplay goal of their own by Joel Blaquiere that was assisted by Jason Duret and Bryton Sayers.
They evened it at 2-2 when Ryan Duret scored from Justin Boyer at 12:55 of the period.
The final shots were 33-28 in favour of the Mintos.
They went one for seven on the powerplay.
The Mintos' regular season leaders were:
• Goals -- Lance Yaremchuk -- 38.
• Assists -- Jason Duret -- 48.
• Points -- Jason Duret -- 67.
• Penalty minutes -- Lochlan Morrison -- 84.
• Powerplay goals-- Lance Yaremchuk -- 12.
• Short-handed goals -- Joel Blaquiere -- 3.
The Mintos' success came in part due to the play of its goaltending tandem of Lane Michasiw and Tanner Burgardt. Michasiw finished second overall in goals against at 1.70 -- trailing just Logan Flodell of the Regina Pat Canadians -- and Burgardt finished fourth at 2.03 They were both near the top of the league in save percentage, wins and shutouts as well.
League-wide, a pair of Contacts led the way in scoring. Vukie Mpofu and Kolton Olynek were one-two with 71 and 69 points.
- Top of the page