Falling stars

Minto rookie Kyrell Sopotyk scored two goals in Prince Albert’s 9-1 win over the Battlefords Stars on Thursday night at the Art Hauser Centre. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Mintos chase two Stars goalies from the net in 9-1 win over Battlefords

Logan Barlage and Ty Mosimann each had five-point nights as the Prince Albert Mintos defeated the Battlefords Stars 9-1 at the Art Hauser Centre on Thursday night.

Barlage was first on the board for the Mintos, putting the home side up 1-0 with his 30th goal of the year. Just over a minute later Mosimann added to that score with a marker of his own. Kyrell Sopotyk would put P.A. ahead by three with 63 seconds remaining in the frame on his 30th goal as well. Despite the three-goal deficit the Stars led the game in shots after one 12-9.

“The first period, even though we had a three-goal lead, I thought we weren’t good at all and they all knew and for whatever reason it was just ugly, they outshot us, we just weren’t ready to play,” Mintos coach Ken Morrison said.

“But then, (in) the second and third, then we got back to playing how we should be playing.”

The Mintos didn’t let up in the second, as Connor Pyne and Braden Schneider scored in quick succession to give P.A. a 5-0 lead. As a result Battlefords starting goalie Lance Alm would be pulled in favour of backup netminder Joseph Young.

P.A.’s Austin Lamotte welcomed Young to the game by putting the puck past him on one of his first shots against. In the last two minutes of the frame Barlage added his second goal of the night on the power play to give the home team a 7-0 lead going into the third period.

Sopotyk notched his second marker of the night at the 3:14 mark of the final period, and Mosimann did the same seven seconds later. That prompted the Battlefords coaching staff to make the unusual move of pulling Young and putting Alm back in net. Morrison also took the opportunity, when leading 9-0, to pull Mintos goalie Cale Elder and give associated player Steven Soyko a chance to play in net.

“It was nice to get Soyko in in the third, give him a shot at playing. He’s been backing up for us here with the injury (to goalie Tye Morin) so it kind of worked out good that we could get him in the game,” Morrison said.

“We got him coming out and practising with us and putting in the time and sitting on the bench most of the time, so we kind of want to get him in and you don’t want elder getting injured in a game like this so it worked out good.”

Less than a minute after the goalie switch Battlefords finally got on the board, as forward Jordan Mish beat Soyko to make it a 9-1 game.

With the season starting to wind down Morrison said the Mintos are going to have to play they way they did in the latter half of the game if they want to have success in the postseason.

“If we play like we did in the first (period) it’ll be a short playoffs,” he said.

“We’re going to have to play our best to be even in the fight, so we’ve just got to work hard and get ready for playoff hockey in these last seven games.”

The Mintos’ next game is on Feb. 7 when they travel to North Battleford to take on the Stars on their home turf. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Game Summary

Prince Albert 9, Battlefords 1

First Period

  1. Prince Albert, Barlage 30 (Mosimann, Leicht) 13:13
  2. Prince Albert, Mosimann 11 (Barlage, Arndt) 14:47
  3. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 30 (Barlage, Mosimann) 18:57

Second Period

  1. Prince Albert, Pyne 8 (Leicht, McMillen) 7:37
  2. Prince Albert, Schneider 6 (Zimmerman) 9:06
  3. Prince Albert, Lamotte 8 (Arndt, Zimmerman) 12:47
  4. Prince Albert, Barlage 31 (Leicht, Mosimann) 18:04 (pp)

Third Period

  1. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 31 (Matechuk) 3:14
  2. Prince Albert, Mosimann 12 (Matechuk, Barlage) 3:21
  3. Battlefords, Mish 10 (Flodell, Meyers) 3:54

Goalies: Prince Albert –­ Cale Elder, 18 saves (w, 11-5-0); Battlefords – Lance Alm, 16 saves (L, 10-16-0).

Stars of the Game: Home Star – Ty Mosimann, Away Star – Tyson Meyers.