‘Bump in the road’

Prince Albert Mintos forward Kyle Gray hops over Saskatoon Contacts defenceman Eastin Normand at the Art Hauser Centre in January. The Mintos lead the teams’ best-of-five playoff series 2-1. (File photo)

Mintos miss chance to sweep Contacts as series moves to P.A. for Game 4

The Saskatoon Contacts staved off elimination at the hands of the Prince Albert Mintos on Tuesday night.

“We just couldn’t manage to get anything going. We had some opportunities but things just didn’t go our way,” Mintos head coach Ken Morrison said.

“(The Contacts) played their best game for sure. Their game was up to another level than what it was before.”

The Mintos entered the match leading the best-of-five quarterfinal playoff series 2-0, aiming for a first-round sweep. However, the Contacts, with the home crowd behind them, fired 57 pucks at P.A. goalie Cale Elder en route to a 5-2 win.

“I think the guys were pretty disappointed but we have to remind them of the big picture, that it’s just one game and there’s always bumps in the road. We’ve won 12 of 13 in a row. Eventually you’re not going to be able to continue at that pace,” Morrison said.

“We kind of look at it as a bump in the road and not too disappointed with it and just forget about it and focus on the next game.”

The Mintos were first on the board, with Kade McMillen giving his team the 1-0 lead half-way through the opening frame. The goal seemed to prompt the Contacts to respond, as defenceman Tyson Janzen tied the score 24 seconds later. Near the end of the period Janzen was called for slashing, meaning Saskatoon would start the second period shorthanded.

P.A. was quick to restore the lead once play resumed, as Ty Mosimann netted his first postseason tally in the first minute of play. Saskatoon tied the score shortly afterwards with a power play goal of their own from Connor Zary. Later in the frame Contacts players Brody Vogel and Brodie Girod would find the twine to extend the Saskatoon lead to 4-2 after 40 minutes.

Early in the third period the Mintos appeared to score on the power play but the officials called it back, maintaining the two-goal discrepancy. Later Saskatoon’s Jonah Bumphrey capped off scoring with an unassisted tally to bring the final score to 5-2.

The Mintos have another chance to take the series on Thursday night on home ice. Game 4 against the Contacts is set to take place at the Art Hauser Centre at 7 p.m.

“The sooner we can end it the better. It’s one less game you have to play moving forward and maybe wrap up the series a little before some of the other ones so we get a little bit of a rest, which is important too. So hopefully we bring our ‘A’ game on Thursday,” Morrison said.

“At this time of the year (the players) know what they need to do and how they need to play and it’s just a matter of reminding them of a few little things and that’s about it. It comes down more to who wants to win and who gets the bounces.”


Game Summary

Saskatoon 5, Prince Albert 2

First Period

  1. Prince Albert, McMillen 1 (Pyne, Matechuk) 10:25
  2. Saskatoon, Janzen 1 (McNeilly, Girod) 10:49

Second Period

  1. Prince Albert, Mosimann 1 (Barlage, Zimmerman) 0:59 (pp)
  2. Saskatoon, Zary 1 (unassisted) 2:38 (pp)
  3. Saskatoon, Vogel 1 (Bumphrey, Beamin) 12:17
  4. Saskatoon, Girod 1(Lieffers) 17:58

Third Period

  1. Saskatoon, Bumphrey 1 (unassisted) 16:52

Goalies: Prince Albert —­ Cale Elder, 52 saves (L, 2-1-0); Saskatoon — Jordan Frey, 33 saves (W, 1-1-0).

Stars of the Game: Home Star — Cole Beamin, Away Star — Kade McMillen.