Mintos earn split with Notre Dame teams as work in progress continues
It is becoming quite clear that the Prince Albert Mintos this year are a work in progress.
With a dozen faces gone from last year’s provincial finalist squad and a steady stream of affiliate players filling in for players already injured this year, the Mintos have struggled to find the opposition’s net and worse yet they have been undisciplined at key times in games early in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League season.
“We realize we are going to have to be patient with the guys,” admitted Mintos’ head coach Ken Morrison after his club dropped a 3-2 decision to the Notre Dame Argos on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre. “We have got to find a way to get some offense.”
“You (either) learn by losing or learn by sitting on the bench,” added Morrison in reference to his club taking several penalties in the third period when trying to battle back from a two-goal deficit after 40 minutes of play. “We have to keep it simple. Keep plugging away and go to the net.”
The Mintos were only able to dress 19 players for Sunday’s game as just Keegan Tiringer was available as a replacement player for the injured Zach Paziuk and rookie Carson Cayer. On Saturday, when the Mintos recorded their first win of the young season with a 3-1 triumph over the Notre Dame Hounds, Austin Odnokon, Jack Green and Landon Leonard were called up as Rhys Kipling was also unavailable due to a family commitment.
“We need to get some guys back,” said Morrison.
Kody White opened the scoring for the Mintos on Sunday as his tally gave Prince Albert a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Argos countered with three goals in the second period with Gage Ramsay’s marker with under two seconds left on the clock being the eventual game winner.
Teal Sobkowicz got the Mintos to within one early in the third period, but Prince Albert could not get the equalizer and saw their record drop to 1-2-0-0 on the season.
Jordan Berger and Jack Flaman had the other Argo goals with Lane Michasiw stopping 35 shots in the Prince Albert goal and Matt Kustra being tested 25 times in the Notre Dame net.
On Saturday, third-year centre Ryan Duret got Prince Albert’s first goal of the season when he connected on a power-play just under six minutes into the first period. Sobkowicz got a second-period power-play marker and rookie Dalin Graham, with his first-ever goal at the Midget AAA level, increased the lead to 3-0 after two periods of play.
Rookie netminder Connor Ingram was working on a shutout in his first-ever start in Midget AAA until Rhett Kingston found the back of the net with 3:25 to play in the third period. Ingram stopped 19 of 20 shots while Aris Anagnostopoulos had 27 shots directed his way in the Hounds’ goal.
MINTO NOTES: Last year when the Mintos finished first in the regular season with a 34-7-3-0 record they never lost to a Notre Dame team winning all eight meetings with the Argos and Hounds…Two members of the Mintos have been named to Team Saskatchewan for the upcoming Western Canada Under-16 Challenge. Defenseman Matthew Parsons and forward Cole Young will be heading to Calgary at the end of the month for the second annual edition of the tournament. Prince Albert product Drew Warkentine, who is playing for the Tisdale Trojans, also made the team…Prince Albert makes its first extended road trip of the season next weekend when they will travel to Regina on Saturday and then play in Moose Jaw on Sunday. The next home game is Oct. 22 when they will entertain the Saskatoon Blazers.