The Prince Albert Mintos took both games of a back to back weekend set with the Estevan Bears, picking up a 5-3 win on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre.
Both teams made their presence felt in the second of four straight meetings, with a fast and physical tone being set all game.
Danton Cox opened the scoring for the Mintos, shorthanded on a jam play in front of the net, and also picked up an assist in the win. He totalled four points over the weekend, after also picking up two assists in Saturday’s win.
“The boys played hard and pushed through a lot of adversity, and we came out with the win”, Cox said after the game.
Marshall Light tied the game for the Bears with 2:10 to go in the opening frame on a shot that beat Minto goalie Jayden Kraus high on the blocker side. The Bears would take a temporary lead in the second period on a Tucker Buhay goal five minutes in, before Rhett Ravndahl ripped a point shot through traffic on the powerplay to tie the game at two.
Just four minutes later, Chase Hansen walked in and let go of a shot that beat Estevan keeper Jackson Miller to put the Mintos on top by one.
It was also a game full of penalties, misconducts, and straight up nastiness, and it was at its worst in the second period, where a line brawl saw three misconducts and three roughing penalties handed out to each team with 1:18 left to play in the middle frame. The altercation started after a hit from behind penalty and game misconduct was assessed to Estevan’s Kole Keen.
Cox said the message in the second intermission after the rough end to the period was to keep grinding away.
“We just had to come back and play hard after that, and we didn’t give up,” he said.
Ashton Tait had no problem receiving the message, as he scored 31 seconds into the third period to put the Mintos on top by two. However, with 15:05 to go, Cade Cole made it close again, scoring for the Bears to make it a one goal Minto lead. It would only remain that way for about forty seconds however, as Jacob Cossette scored his fifth goal of the year to put PA back up by two.
Jayden Kraus shut the door the rest of the way, turning away a barrage of chances from Estevan, as he stopped 19 of 22 shots in the win. Miller turned aside 31 of 35 Minto shots in a losing effort for Estevan.
PA will head into Estevan next weekend for another back to back set against the Bears, and Cox thinks his team will be ready to go once the puck drops.
“We know what’s about to happen with their systems, and we just have to work hard this week,” he said. “We’re looking forward to next weekend. We’re going to dial in our systems and we’ll be ready to go.”
Puck drop for next Saturday’s game in Estevan is 4:00 pm.
PA: Danton Cox, SHG: 10:17
EST: Marshall Light (Cole): 17:50
EST: Tucker Buhay: 4:46
PA: Rhett Ravndahl, PP (Cossette, Cox): 6:43
PA: Chase Hansen (Ravndahl): 10:53
PA: Ashton Tait (Cossette): 0:31
EST: Cade Cole (Gutzke): 14:55
PA: Cossette, PP (Blanchette): 15:39
SOG: 36-22 PA