‘We had the heart’

The 2006-07 Prince Albert Mintos celebrate as they win their second-consecutive Telus Cup national men’s Midget title in Red Deer. (Hockey Canada Images)

Former Mintos manager Mike Mazurak reflects on Hall of Fame-bound champion teams

Mike Mazurak says the best way to win a hockey game is in the depths of overtime with a gold medal on the line.

It’s a feat he’s pulled off twice as manager of the Midget ‘AAA’ Prince Albert Mintos. In 2006 the Mintos won the national Telus Cup championship 5-4 in triple-overtime against the Calgary Buffalos in Charlottetown. The following year the team took the title with a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Red Deer Optimist Rebels in Red Deer.

“It’s very hard on the heart, that’s for sure, but it’s a great way to win. I’ve gone through three of them: two as a manger and one as a fan in ’14,” Mazurak said, recalling the Mintos’ 4-3 triple-overtime Telus Cup win over the Grenadiers de Châteauguay in Moose Jaw in 2014.

“It’s a great way to win. It’s instant gratification. I know in ’14 I told Donny Fauchoux, who was the manager, ‘You want to win in overtime,’ and he said, ‘No, I don’t. I want to win 5-1,’ and I said, ‘No, you want to win in overtime because that’s the way to win these things.”

One decade after winning back-to-back championships for the first time in the 29-year history of the Telus Cup, Mazurak’s 2005-06 and 2006-07 Mintos teams are being immortalized in the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame banquet takes place on April 29, 10 years to the day since the Mintos carried the Telus cup off the ice in Red Deer.

“I think that’s pretty ironic, first of all, and I just think it’s a great way to get together,” Mazurak said.

“We’ve always talked about having reunions with the teams and this is just one way to get together. And to have that on the 10th anniversary is just great.”

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