For the Prince Albert Mintos, a 24-hour break made all the difference.
After a gritty overtime win on Saturday the Mintos dominated from start to finish on Sunday, outshooting the Yorkton Maulers 41-18 and skating away with a 5-1 victory at the Art Hauser Centre.
Coach Danton Danielson said it wasn’t hard to get his team excited to play the second half of the weekend doubleheader. The club left the rink Saturday believing they could play much better on Sunday, and they wasted little time getting on the scoreboard.
“We thought we should have done a little bit of a better job and put that one away a little earlier than we did (on Saturday),” Danielson said after Sunday’s win. “I think it was a good motivator, to show that today we want to do a little bit better and make it a little bit more decisive.”
Ty Bahm lead the Mintos with two goals, while made goaltender Joel Favreau made 17 saves to earn back-to-back wins. Kody Willick, Dallyn Peekeekoot and Turner McMillen also scored for Prince Albert, who now sit four points behind a logjam of teams tied for second place in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey standings.
Connor Hvidston scored the lone goal for the Maulers, while Kael DePape made 36 saves.
“We had some injuries,” Bahm said afterwards. “It was tough. We’re battling through that. Guys stepped up and we just worked hard.
“I thought we forechecked hard. We were winning the puck battles. We were just hitting hard and getting the pucks out of our zone.”
“The start was a lot better today,” Danielson said. “I think that was where we struggled yesterday. It took us a long time to get going. We didn’t really start to play our game until the second period, and so we wasted that first period opportunity to get out in front. Tonight was a gritty effort. All across the board, guys were competing.”
The Mintos came flying out of the game, outshooting the Maulers 17-8 in the first period, and 17-2 in the second. Kody Willick got them on the board roughly five minutes into the game, when slapped home a loose puck laying in the crease after bouncing off DePape’s blocker and over the Yorkton goalie’s head.
The Maulers tied it up eight minutes later on the power play, when Hvidston fired a wrist shot high glove side on Favreau to make it 1-1.
The Mintos took the lead for good with 3:28 to play, when Bahm scored his first of the night with assists to Chase Pauls and Travis Swanson, who was one of three affiliated players dressed to fill holes in a depleted roster.
“We had some new bodies in the lineup, and those guys sometimes bring that energy too and that fresh perspective on things,” Danielson said. “I don’t think it was too hard of a job to motivate these guys today. They did a good job.”
Peekeekoot made it 3-1 roughly halfway through the second with a low shot that beat DePape glove side. McMillen made it 4-1 after stripping a Mauler defenceman of the puck for a shorthanded goal just one minute later.
The Maulers rallied in the third, outshooting Prince Albert 8-7, but Bahm erased all hopes of a comeback when he beat Depape low glove side on a 2-on-1.
Those two goals doubled Bahm’s total for the season, and Danielson it was a fair reward for the hard work and effort the Minto forward showed throughout the game.
“When he goes to the puck and he’s willing to take things to the net, I think he can create a lot and do a lot of damage,” Danielson said. “Today I think he showed that finesse and those quick hands that he has and that ability to finish when he gets in tight. Good job for him to find the score sheet, but ultimately it’s based on the process that he put forward and the work effort that he put in.”
The Mintos are off until Thursday when they play their final home game of 2019 against the Battlefords Stars. Puck drop is 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
The club then travels to Tisdale for a meeting with the Trojans on Friday before heading to Calgary for the Mac’s Midget AAA Hockey Tournament, which starts on Dec. 23. Prince Albert’s first game is on Dec. 27 against the Sherwood Park Kings.