Bansley and Tait score twice, Mintos beat Blazers 6-1

Zach Bansley fights with Tyson Yaremko for a loose puck in the third period. He had two goals in the Mintos 6-1 win over the Saskatoon Blazers Wednesday night at the Art Hauser Centre. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

For the second straight game, the Prince Albert Mintos cruised to a 6-1 victory on home ice.

The Mintos took down the Saskatoon Blazers at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday night, using a four goal second period to pick up their third straight win.

“I thought we were pretty good tonight,” Mintos head coach Tim Leonard said. “The last time we played Saskatoon their powerplay was clicking pretty good for them. We made some changes that seemed to work, and we kept them at bay on their powerplays.”

Prince Albert got things going on a powerplay four minutes into the first period with Josh Zakreski in the box for the Blazers serving a tripping penalty. The Mintos set up chance after chance in the offensive zone. From the left circle, Jacob Cossette set up Nate Misskey at the point, and he fired a shot at the net that beat the traffic in front for his sixth goal of the year. The goal put Prince Albert up 1-0, and they held that lead into the second period.

Just 3:23 into the second, Carter Hanson picked up where the Mintos left off in the first. With continued pressure in the Blazers zone, Hanson found a loose puck and potted home his second goal of the year. Both of Hanson’s goals this season have come against the Blazers, as he scored his first in a 5-1 loss in Saskatoon in November.

Ashton Tait continued his hot streak in the second period, working left to right across the crease and he put a shot past Eric Kahl. The 15 year old rookie has a point or more in 12 out of his last 13 games, and his 13th goal of the year in the second put his team up 3-0 with 11:56 to go.

Another Minto who has been hot as of late is Zach Bansley, and he contributed in the second period with a pair of goals. Karson Blanchette sent a perfect breakaway pass to Bansley, and he buried his sixth goal of the year. Then, with 1:44 left in the middle frame, Blanchette and Bansley connected again, resulting in Bansley’s second goal of the evening, giving Prince Albert a 5-0 lead heading into the second intermission.

“We did all the good things right,” Bansley said. “I’m clicking with the guys on my line, and I got my legs back and we’re rolling now. We’re putting in hard work, everyone’s coming together, and we’re buying in to what the coaches are saying. Hard work can beat anyone, so we just have to keep rolling.”

The Blazers found their first goal of the contest at the 8:46 mark of the third period. Josh Knittig found a loose puck in the Mintos crease, and beat Jayden Kraus before he had a chance to find the puck, making it a 5-1 score.

The Mintos would shut Saskatoon down from there, and added another powerplay goal. Ashton Tait let go of a rocket from the right circle, going bar down past Kahl, restoring the five goal lead. The Mintos would win 6-1, picking up their third straight win, and moving into fifth place in the SMU18AAAHL standings with a 12-7-0-1 record.

“As a coach 6-1 wins are good,” Leonard laughed. “(The)2-1 or 3-2 scores are a little hard on the nerves, but we’ve always been getting lots of chances, and sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in. You can’t get mad when you’re getting chances. We created some odd man rushes tonight and found some open guys, and they buried pucks. It was good to see.”

The Mintos head back on the road this weekend for a game in Notre Dame on Saturday. They will then travel to Moose Jaw to take on the Warriors on Sunday. Their next home game is Dec. 8th, when they welcome the Battlefords Stars.