Mintos end regular season on 10-game winning streak
The Prince Albert Mintos wrapped up their season Saturday night with a tight 3-2 home win over the Yorkton RawTech Maulers. Kyrell Sopotyk and Austin Lamotte both had two-point nights and goaltender Cale Elder turned away 23 shots in the victory.
“It was a hard-fought game for sure. A pretty rough game, pretty physical,” Mintos coach Ken Morrison said.
“I thought our guys played well, we stuck with it, tried to stay disciplined. We took a couple bad penalties but we were able to kill them off I think for the most part. We’re happy with the effort.”
The Mintos ended the season on a tear, winning their last 10 matches.
“Guys are buying into what we’re trying to do and we’re having success. Hopefully we can carry that over,” Morrison said.
“Mind you, it doesn’t really mater once playoffs start but I like the fact that we’re playing well going in and we’ve got some confidence so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Cael Zimmerman opened scoring for the Mintos in the first period, but the lead would be a short-lived one as Maulers defenceman Kaleb Bulych tied the score only 50 seconds later. MacKenzie Walkington added another tally for the visitors with 51 seconds remaining in the frame to give Yorkton a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Mintos tied the score early in the middle frame, with defender Braden Schneider beating Yorkton goalie Jordan Schmuland at the 61-second mark. After 40 minutes of play both sides were deadlocked at 2-2.
SMAAAHL goal scoring leader Kyrell Sopotyk gave P.A. a 3-2 lead early in the third, finishing off a neat passing play alone in front of the Yorkton net. In the final 22 seconds of the game a scuffle broke out in the Mintos’ end resulting in misconduct calls for P.A.’s Lamotte and Layne Matechuck and Yorkton’s Aiden Bulych and Derrick Budz. A total of 46 penalty minutes were called on the play.
With the win the Mintos finish the year with a 28-15-0-1 record, an improvement over last year’s 23-19-0-2 campaign and the team’s highest wins total since their 2014 Telus Cup-winning season.
“I thought it was a good season. I really enjoyed it. I think all the kids really worked hard and they all have good attitudes, which is huge, and they’re listening to what we’re trying to get across to them,” Morrison said.
“I think early in the season you could tell we were young and inexperienced and then as the season went on we had some real good games at Christmastime at the Mac’s Tournament where we started playing well as a team and then kind of went in a lull and got away from that a little bit and then the last 10 we’ve been pretty consistent.”
Prince Albert 3, Yorkton 2
- Prince Albert, Zimmerman 11 (Sopotyk, Lamotte) 6:44
- Yorkton, Bulych 13 (Gervais) 7:34
- Yorkton, Walkington 7 (McIntyre, Pierson) 19:09 (pp)
- Prince Albert, Schneider 12 (Barlage, Laich) 1:01
- Prince Albert, Sopotyk 42 (Lamotte, Zimmerman) 3:28
Goalies: Prince Albert — Cale Elder, 23 saves (W, 17-5-0); Yorkton — Jordan Schmuland, 33 saves (L, 6-14-0).
Stars of the Game: Home Star — Austin Lamotte, Away Star — Jordan Schmuland.