They don’t ask how, just how many.
The Prince Albert Mintos latest victory, a gutsy overtime win over the Yorkton Maulers, won’t win any beauty pageants, but it did get the club back in the win column, and that’s all that matters.
“I don’t like to see it that way,” overtime hero Dawson Springer said afterwards with a chuckle. “But, we’ll take it.”
Springer’s goal roughly three minutes into overtime gave the Mintos a 3-2 win and their third victory in their last four games. Chase Pauls and Kody Willick also scored for Prince Albert, while Joel Favreau made 22 saves in a winning cause. Blake Duquette and Brady Grasdal tallied for the Maulers, while Ty Shumanski made 32 saves.
“It was a gritty effort, in the third especially,” Mintos coach Danton Danielson said. “I thought we pretty much carried that period. I thought there were things we did earlier in the game that weren’t our best, and maybe we left it until that point in the third when we had to actually start to go.”
Springer may have sealed the victory, by Favreau made it possible with a number of solid saves, including two big ones shortly before the Minto forward’s OT winner. Danielson said Favreau’s play has given the club confidence throughout the season, and Saturday was no different.
“We played an overtime game here a couple of weeks ago against the Blazers and he made a huge save right before we scored the wining goal in that one too,” Danielson said. “He’s sort of shown that he can do that, that he can make the saves at the key times like that, and you’ve got to have that from your goalie.”
Chase Pauls opened the scoring on Saturday, with a wrist shot from the point that beat a screened Shumanski at 8:14. The Maulers replied a little over four minutes later, when Blake Duquette sifted a backhand past Favreau’s blocker on a great individual effort.
The teams traded goals again early in the second. Grasdal scored on the power play just 1:23 into the period. However, Willick tied it up less than a minute later by tapping in a rebound after being left all alone at the side of the Mauler crease.
Goals were hard to come by afterwards, as the two teams traded hooks and slashes instead of scoring chances for the rest of regulation. The officiating crew was lenient for most of the night, whistling players for retaliatory penalties behind the play, but otherwise letting the two teams go at it.
That decision drew Danielson’s ire midway through the third period, when a Minto player was hooked trying to clear the zone while killing a penalty, which caused Danielson to plant one foot on the boards and bellow at the referees.
Afterwards, the Minto coach said he didn’t think the officiating crew was biased, but he did want to see them call a tighter game.
“(Ashton) Ferster had that partial breakaway there in the second period where he was hooked pretty obviously and it took away a scoring chance for us. Those are the ones that you like to see called,” Danielson said. “Everybody in hockey’s trying to do what they can to increase scoring and make sure that the offence and the skill can prevail. When you let the clutching and the grabbing and the hooking and holding kind of suck that out of the game, I think that’s a negative.”
The Mintos dominated the third, outshooting Yorkton 12-4, and forcing Shumanski to make a number of big saves. However, it was the Maulers who got the best chances early in overtime, leading to a flurry of stops from Favreau before Springer’s OT winner.
The Minto forward grabbed the puck after a failed Mauler scoring chance, then rushed up the ice with fellow forward Ashton Ferster on a 2-on-1.
“It was actually a winger playing defence and he just froze,” Springer said. “I saw the top glove side open. I just closed my eyes and shot and it went in.”
The win means the Mintos improve to 16-10-0-1 on the year, while the Maulers fall to 3-22-0-1.
The two teams are back on the ice for a rematch on Sunday. Game time is 1:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
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