Former Minto Tokarski thurst into NHL playoff spotlight

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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In the 2006 Telus Cup final, Jamie Paulsen of the Calgary Buffaloes goes after the puck as Prince Albert Mintos goaltender Dustin Tokarski tries to make the save. The Mintos beat the Buffaloes 5-4 in triple overtime to take the major midget title. Photo by Brian McInnis - Charlottetown Guardian 

Members of the 2014 Telus Cup champion Prince Albert Mintos can look to backstop Dustin Tokarski to show them just how far their new title can take them. 

After winning the Telus Cup with the Mintos in 2006, Tokarski went on to win the Memorial Cup with the Spokane Chiefs in 2008 and the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in 2012.

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fifth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Tokarski played a total of 10 games in The Show until last Monday when he got the biggest call of his career.

After Montreal Canadiens all-star goaltender Carey Price went down with an injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 17 the Habs looked to their backups to battle the New York Rangers.

In Game 2 on May 19. at the Bell Centre, Tokarski got his first NHL playoff start and has been the Canadiens’ man in net ever since.

After turning away 27 of 30 shots in a losing Game 2 effort, the former Minto kept the Canadiens alive in the series, stopping 35 shots to secure a 3-2 win in Game 3 at Madison Square Gardens.

A product of Watson, a farming town about a two-hour drive from Saskatoon, Tokarski isn’t the first Telus Cup-winning Minto to find success at the professional level.

In April, The Herald told the story of goalie Carsen Chubak, who after winning the national Midget-AAA title with the Mintos in 2007, went on to break records in the American Hockey League with the Adirondack Phantoms this season.

En route to the Telus Cup title, Tokarski went a perfect 7-0 in the tournament hosted in Charlottetown, P.E.I. 

In the tournament final against the Calgary Buffaloes, Tokarski stopped 61 shots to lead the Mintos to 5-4 triple overtime victory, clinching the franchise’s first national championship.

 

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