Mintos win opener in weekend series with Estevan

Ryan Lepitzki scored twice as the Prince Albert Mintos picked up a 5-1 win over the Estevan Bears Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Mintos notched their third win of the season, as well as their first ever victory against the newly instated Bears team. 

“We had a good week of practice, really just got our systems down,” Lepitzki said after the game. “We had to make sure that we executed well, and we did tonight.”

The Mintos walked into the dressing room with a 3-0 lead after the first period thanks to goals from Lepitzki, Karson Blanchette, and Jacob Cossette. Lepitzki said that gave them a lot of energy heading into the second frame.

“It felt good, the boys were a little loose, and the energy was going all night,” he said.

Although the margin of victory was large, the Mintos ran into some penalty trouble, and were forced to kill off two five-on-three Estevan powerplays.

Jacob Cossette, who picked up his second of the night early in the third, said the bench came alive after killing both penalties off.

“It’s always a real boost, to kill a five-on-three without a goal scored on,” Cossette said. “We were just hyped up and we got it going on offence and I thought we handled it pretty good.”

Cossette also gave a large amount of credit to the play of goalie Ty Shumanski, who made 30 saves in the win.

“We can’t thank him enough. He played great and he’s a big body in there and we really appreciated him bailing us out.”

Tucker Buhay scored the lone goal for Estevan with just over 12 minutes to play in the third period. Kaden Perron made 35 saves for the Bears in a losing cause.

It will be a quick turnaround, with the two teams squaring off again on Sunday afternoon. Lepitzki knows his team will have to be ready to go.

“We’re going to have to come back prepared tomorrow,” he said. “It’ll be the second of four coming up so it’s going to be big.”

Puck drop on Sunday afternoon is at 1:30.