Legionnaires hold off Mintos for 2-1 victory

Prince Albert Mintos goalie Spencer Welke smothers a loose puck during third period action at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Swift Current Legionnaires got all the offence they needed in the first period to defeat the Prince Albert Mintos.

Goals from Boston Bird and Jaxon Martens propelled the Legionnaires to a 2-1 win over the Mintos on Sunday, while goalie Jacob Herman made 24 saves to earn the victory. Ethan Ironside had the lone goal for the Mintos, while Spencer Welke stopped 25 shots in a losing cause.

Afterwards, Mintos head coach Ken Morrison said his team started too slow and struggled to make up that lost ground.

“It’s kind of a learning thing, as far as getting ready to play the game and be ready to go right from the beginning,” he said. “We came out with a tendency to wait and see what they were like…. Then it’s 2-0 before everybody got going. I thought in the second and third we were pretty good, working hard. I think we had some chances. We just couldn’t score.”

Bird opened the scoring for the visitors with six minutes left in the first period. The Legionnaire forward took a beautiful cross-ice feed from Reed Jacobson and fired it passed a sprawling Welke to make it 1-0.

Swift Current added to their lead two-and-a-half minutes later when Martens fired a low wrist shot that snuck into the Minto goal.

After a scoreless second period, Ironside brought the Mintos within one on a fantastic individual effort on the power play. Morrison and the coaching staff have been urging Ironside to get more aggressive in front of the net, so Saturday’s goal was a welcome sign.

“Before he would come down and try to beat a guy one-on-one, like stickhandle through his legs. He’s learning now,” Morrison explained. “I’m glad to see him score like that because we’ve been telling him to do that. He did it and it was a good goal.”

The third period turned into a special teams battle following a flurry of penalties, including a game misconduct to Ironside for checking from behind. However, Welke and Herman kept shooters from both clubs silent, allowing Swift Current to escape with the victory.

The Mintos are back in action on Friday for a rematch in Moose Jaw with the Generals, who they defeated 6-3 in their home opener. Prince Albert’s next home game comes on Wednesday Oct. 3 against the Saskatoon Blazers. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.