Hot start lifts Mintos to weekend sweep over Yorkton

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Mintos forward Kelan Simmonds leads the fly by after a Minto goal during SMAAAHL action at the Art Hauser Centre

The Prince Albert Mintos scored early and often on route to a 6-1 win and a weekend sweep over the Yorkton Maulers at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday afternoon

Four goals in the first period got the Mintos off to a hot start and they never looked back.

Minto assistant coach Bryan Swystun says that Prince Albert entered the weekend with a playoff mentality and it paid off for them. 

“I think we played the way we had to. They are right behind us in the standings. This was a playoff weekend for us and we approached it that way. They were physical the other night in the first period. The next five periods we responded really well.”

Logan Beebe opened the scoring for the Mintos just 1:14 into the contest. Abinet Klassen and Logan Pickford received assists.

Logan Pickford would pick up his 18th goal of the season two and a half minutes later to double the Minto lead. Carson Olsen and Owen Dyck assisted on the goal.

Kamloops Blazers prospect Ashton Tait would strike twice with 14:43 and 2:11 remaining in the first period to send the Mintos to the dressing room with a 4-0 lead after twenty minutes of play.

Swystun says the Mintos were able to get rewarded for their chances, which haven’t always gone their way this season.

“We’ve had tough luck scoring all year. It’s nice to see the guys rewarded. We’ve been preaching to stick with it. It’s been a long time. We’re lucky to see the guys get a chance to score and the puck is going in. It just makes things easier when that happens.”

Yorkton would respond just 1:52 into the second period as Kyle Weisgarber got the Maulers on the board with his 9th goal of the season. Shaden Duliak and Edward Knittig picked up the helpers on the play. 

Logan Beebe would restore the four goal Minto lead with his second goal of the contest with 8:19 to go in the second period. Kelan Simmonds and Konnor Watson received assists on the play.

Kelan Simmonds would strike for the 4th time this season with 1:23 to go in the second period

In the third period, neither team would find the back of the net. THe Mintos were able to limit Yorkton to just 1 goal on 22 shots in the contest.

Swystun says the coaching staff has emphasized defense all season long and it’s rewarding to see it pay off.

“We were good defensively. That’s been our memo all year. Especially when we are not scoring, we’ve stressed defense and it’s starting to pay off at the right time of year. I give Yorkton credit, they’re a hard working club. At the same time, we took care of our own end and it allowed us to get a few more offensive opportunities.”

Brady Holtvogt earned the win in net for Mintos stopping 21 of 22 Yorkton shots.

The Mintos return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to the Battlefords to take on the Stars at the Access Communication Centre. Puck drops at 7pm