After dropping three straight games in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, the Prince Albert Mintos returned to the win column Sunday.
With a 4-2 triumph over the host Moose Jaw Warriors at Mosaic Place, which came less than 24 hours after a 3-2 loss to the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, the Mintos improved their record 9-3 and were one point behind the Saskatoon Contacts for first place in the standings heading into Tuesday’s slate of games
“It was good to get the split on the road, especially as we were without a couple of guys due to injuries and the stomach flu, along with Tre (Fouquette) being with Saskatchewan at the WHL Cup in Calgary,” Mintos head coach Danton Danielson said.
“With those guys out, there’s been a few times where we haven’t had that full 60-minute effort during that little bit of a slump we had. There were would be times where we would be stuck in our end during a period and only had a couple of shots, but then we would come back out and 15 shots right away in the next period.”
Sunday’s game against the Warriors saw a big performance by Joel Favreau, as he made 37 saves to help keep the Mintos in the contest, especially in the early stages.
“It was an interesting first period as Moose Jaw had a big advantage in shots, but I didn’t think we were outplayed that badly,” Danielson said. “We had a couple of really good chances, but they ended up missing the net.
“I thought that our effort was better last week when lost to Moose Jaw at home, but sometimes things even out when you play a team the second time around. Joel had a great game for us and he was big whenever we needed him to be against the Warriors.”
Austin McLean had his best showing in a Mintos uniform on Sunday as he scored a pair of goals.
“He had a big game for us, especially with Gabe (Klassen) not being in the lineup as he’s got a chance here to have a stint with the Portland Winterhawks,” Danielson said.
“Sometimes those chances to be in a bigger role is what a guy needs to show what he can do, and Austin certainly took advantage of it.”
Dawson Springer and Turner McMillen both had two-point afternoons for the Mintos, while Chase Bertholet also found the back of the net.
Sam Boldt had a goal and an assist for the 7-4 Warriors, who also got a goal from Davis Fry and a 21-save showing by Chase Coward.
McMillen and Klassen dished out a pair of helpers on Saturday in Wilcox, as they helped to set up goals by Springer and Chase Pauls.
Trey Funk potted a pair of goals for the Hounds, who also got an offensive contribution from Kyle Bochek.
Marcus Bjorn made 24 saves for the hosts, while newly signed Regina Pats prospect Spencer Welke stopped 27 shots.
The Mintos will return to the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m. as they’ll go up against a 6-3 Hounds side that is currently tied for seventh in the standings with the Battlefords Stars.
“Notre Dame has fairly good size and good goaltending, in addition to being a solid skating team,” Danielson said. “I think it’s typical of what people have seen from the Hounds in recent years.
“We have a good string of practices coming up this week so the guys will hopefully be just as ready as Notre Dame is when they square off again.”