After a tough 4-1 loss to the Saskatoon Contacts in Shellbrook on Saturday afternoon, the Prince Albert Mintos got back on track Sunday as they edged the host Battlefords Stars in a 2-1 contest at the North Battleford Civic Centre.
Chase Bertholet and Kody Willick provided the offence for the Mintos, who received a 38-save showing from Joel Favreau.
Favreau, who has taken over the reigns in goal for the last month as Spencer Welke continues to recover from an injury, was busy in the first period as he turned aside 19 shots.
Jake Southgate lit the lamp and Jackson Fellner made 26 saves for the 11-20-1-2 Stars, who are nine points back of the Swift Current Legionnaires for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.
Saturday’s contest, which was held in conjunction with the annual Hockey Day in Shellbrook festivities, was much closer than the 4-1 score and the 40-18 shot advantage for the Contacts would indicate.
“They (the Contacts) played a really strong game today and they did a really good job of controlling the play,” Mintos head coach Danton Danielson said.
“We had some opportunities to answer and Joel kept us in it with some big saves. We did get the one power play goal in the second but we probably should have made better use of our chances when we had them.”
Brayden Yager, who is expected to be one of the first players selected in the 2020 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, led the way for the Contacts as he recorded his first career hat trick in Midget AAA.
“I’m lucky enough to play with two really good linemates in (Riley) Heidt and (Jacob) Visentini, who are both really smart players,” Yager said. “They are really good in helping to create opportunities and they seem to know where I’m going to be before I even get there.
“It was great for us (the Contacts) to be part of this game here with the Mintos. I have a few family members here in Shellbrook that I get to see every summer, so for us to come here and play in front of them was really cool.”
Brayden’s older brother Connor had the other goal for the 24-12-1-0 Contacts, who are tied with the Regina Pat Canadians for second place in the standings.
“We’re getting there,” Contacts head coach Marc Chartier said. “There are still some things that we need to work but we’re getting to where we have to be here in these last few games before the playoffs as we’re looking to get everyone on the same page.”
Chase Hamm turned aside 17 shots for the Contacts, with his lone blemish coming on a second period power play goal from Ty Bahm.
The 21-13-1-0 Mintos, who are one point behind the Notre Dame Hounds for fifth place in the standings, will wrap up a seven-game road trip on Wednesday as they will pay a visit to the 19-14-1-0 Tisdale Trojans.
They will return to the Art Hauser Centre this weekend to play the 15-13-3-1 Legionnaires on Saturday and the 22-9-0-0 Hounds on Sunday.
Both games will get underway at 1:30 p.m.