Filling the net

Prince Albert Mintos rookie Kyrell Sopotyk scored a hat-trick and earned four assists in P.A.’s 11-2 win over the Saskatoon Contacts on Thursday. He leads the league with 35 goals. (File photo)

Mintos top Contacts 11-2; host Notre Dame Argos and Hounds this weekend

The Prince Albert Mintos will look to extend their six-game winning streak this weekend as they play a pair of games against a pair of Notre Dame teams.

The Mintos will face off against the Notre Dame Argos at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m. and follow that up with a home game against the Notre Dame Hounds at 1:30 p.m. P.A. heads into the weekend on the heels of a dominant win over the Saskatoon Contacts.

It was the Kyrell Sopotyk Show at Saskatoon’s Schroh Arena on Thursday night, with the 15-year-old Mintos rookie scoring three goals and added four helpers to lead P.A. to an 11-2 victory over the Contacts.

“We got off to a good start and we scored early and just kind of got the momentum,” Mintos coach Ken Morrison said.

“I thought we had a good effort for the whole 60 minutes of the game. The boys played hard and played well.”

The match was the Mintos’ sixth-consecutive win, with Sopotyk picking up 12 goals and 5 assists during that span. Sopotyk’s recent scoring splurge now puts him three goals ahead of teammate and fellow first-year player Logan Barlage for the SMAAAHL lead in goals scored with 35 and he is now ranked sixth in points league-wide, with 48 points in 38 games.

“He’s been playing really well, he’s been working hard both ends of the rink and he’s got a knack for scoring and a great shot,” Morrison said.

“I think his whole line has been working hard and playing well, so he’s getting some success from that but I think the other guys have a lot to do with it too.”

P.A. special teams were also a factor in the win, with the team going 4-for-10 on the power play and netting a pair of shorthanded goals. The Mintos also kept the Contacts to a lone goal on 12 power play attempts including an extended two-man advantage.

“We executed better, the guys were in better position and just played structurally better,” Morrison said of the special teams effort.

Logan Barlage kicked off scoring for the Mintos early in the opening period and Cael Zimmerman doubled the lead two minutes later. Sopotyk scored his first of the night with just over a minute to go in the period to give P.A. a 3-0 lead after one.

Mid-way through the second Quinton Ong put the Contacts on the board but the Mintos’ attack kept coming. Less than two minutes later the Mintos added two more tallies courtesy of Austin Lamotte and Kyle Gray to extend the lead to 5-1. In the final minutes of the period Wyatt Arndt, Zimmerman and Sopotyk racked up three more goals, including one with 17 seconds remaining in the period, to put the Mintos up 8-1 after 40 minutes.

The Mintos continued to find the back of the net in the final frame. P.A.’s Lamotte was called for slashing and on the ensuing penalty Kade McMillen scored shorthanded and Eric McNeilly added a power play marker for the Contacts. Sopotyk and Mitchell Girolami scored twice more for the Mintos to bring the final score to 11-2. Mintos goalie Cale Elder stopped 32 shots in the win.


Game Summary:

Prince Albert 11, Saskatoon 2

First Period

  1. Prince Albert, Barlage 32 (Mosimann, Leicht) 4:34 (pp)
  2. Prince Albert, Zimmerman 7 (Sopotyk, Matechuk) 6:33
  3. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 33 (McMillen) 18:44

Second Period

  1. Saskatoon, Ong 27 (Thackeray) 9:57
  2. Prince Albert, Lamotte 9 (Moar) 10:51
  3. Prince Albert, Gray 2 (Schneider) 11:13
  4. Prince Albert, Arndt 1 (Lamotte, Sopotyk) 17:13 (pp)
  5. Prince Albert, Zimmerman 8 (Sopotyk) 17:42
  6. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 34 (Lamotte, Moar) 19:43 (pp)

Third Period

  1. Prince Albert, McMillen 3 (Sopotyk) 7:08 (sh)
  2. Saskatoon, McNeilly 15 (Thackeray, Ong) 8:06 (pp)
  3. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 35 (Mosimann, Schneider) 10:47 (sh)
  4. Prince Albert, Girolami 5 (Pyne, Barlage) 15:37 (pp)

Goalies: Prince Albert —­ Cale Elder, 32 saves (W, 13-5-0); Saskatoon — Rayce Ramsay, 13 saves (L, 11-9-0).

Stars of the Game: Home Star — Jonah Bumphrey, Away Star — Kyrell Sopotyk.


Tale of the Tape:

On Feb. 11 and 12 the Prince Albert Mintos play a pair of home games against the Notre Dame Argos and Hounds respectively.

Record: Prince Albert — 24-15-0-1; Argos — 4-34-0-1; Hounds — 29-5-0-4

Last 10: Prince Albert — 9-1-0-0; Argos — 1-9-0-0; Hounds — 10-0-0-0

Top scorers: Prince Albert — Logan Barlage (66 points); Argos — Connor Mylymok (12 points); Hounds — Joel Neuenschwander (41 points)

Goals for/against: Prince Albert — 147/106; Argos — 52/192; Hounds — 162/79

Last meeting: The Mintos defeated the Argos 5-0 at the Duncan McNeill Arena on Nov. 27, 2016 and fell to the Hounds the previous night by a 4-1 score.