Mintos drop second straight

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Gage Helm of the Prince Albert Mintos and Max Wanner of the Moose Jaw Warriors battle for position at the Art Hauser Centre Saturday night.

The Prince Albert Mintos weren’t expecting to run the table in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League this season.

However, the club is facing its first bit of adversity after rattling off eight consecutive wins to start the 2019-20 campaign.

Following a 4-1 road loss to the Beardy’s Blackhawks Thursday, the Mintos suffered a second straight setback at the Art Hauser Centre Saturday as they dropped a 2-1 affair to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

“As we go throughout the year, we want to make sure that our process is the big thing that we are focused on,” Mintos head coach Danton Danielson said. “There were times during our eight-game run that we didn’t play well in certain parts of our game, but we got the win.

“I thought our effort tonight was as good as it has been all season, but we just didn’t have the luck going our way.”

Despite firing 39 shots at Warriors goaltender Dylan Ernst, the Mintos could only solve him once as Gabe Klassen lit the lamp in the second period.

Chase Bertholet had a chance to tie the game up in the final minute during a scramble in front of Ernst, but his shot would go just wide of the net.

“I thought we were deserving of a better outcome but sometimes the puck doesn’t go in for you,” Danielson said.

“I’m proud of our effort though and how we kept sticking to our plan, even though the puck luck wasn’t on our side.”

Spencer Welke made 24 saves for the hosts, who are now tied for first place in the standings with the 8-2 Saskatoon Contacts.

Evan Callaghan and Connor McGrath scored for the Warriors, who improved their record to 4-3.

“It was a really good road win for us,” Warriors head coach Trevor Weisberger said. “Prince Albert has a very strong team over there, but we were able to keep their shots to the outside and we did a great job of protecting our house and limiting their second chances.

“We have a pretty young team this year with only one player (Ben Wourms-Rowe) who was here last season. Everyone else is new to the league and I think the improvement in our team will show once we get a few more games under our belts.”

As the 8-2 Mintos gear up for a two-game road swing next weekend against the Notre Dame Hounds and the Warriors, they will do so without three of their players.

Rookie blueliner Tre Fouquette will be competing for Saskatchewan at the WHL Cup in Calgary, while forward Ashton Ferster is sidelined with a broken wrist that he suffered in Thursday’s loss to the Blackhawks.

Forward Dallyn Peekeekoot is close to returning from a collarbone injury, but he’s not expected to make his season debut until early November.