Minto season comes to close with game five loss to Swift Current

Brady Holtvogt made 34 saves for the Prince Albert Mintos in Sunday's loss. Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald.

It wasn’t the ending to the season that the Prince Albert Mintos envisioned as they lost 2-1 to the Swift Current Legionnaires in game five of their first round playoff series on Sunday afternoon.

Minto head coach Tim Leonard says he was proud of the way his team played throughout the series.

“It’s just a fantastic group of kids to work with. It was enjoyable going to the rink with them every day. They wanted to get better, and they did, and it came down to two pretty even teams in this first round. Four of the five games were decided by one goal, so it was kind of whoever got a bounce, and we didn’t seem to get one, but in saying that, the kids played hard. They gave it all they had, and just came up short.”

After neither team would score in the first period, the Legionnaires would break the seal early in the second.

Jackson Fox picked up his second goal of the series with 17:17 to go in the middle frame. Parker Rondeau and Kade Stringer assisted on the play.

Kayd Ruedig would double the Swift Current lead at the 9:37 mark with his second of the series. Connor Rieger picked up the lone helper.

The Mintos would finally break through at the 8:14 mark of the third period as Will Whitter would strike on a penalty shot to bring Prince Albert within one.

That would be as close as the Mintos would get, however, as Swift Current Broncos prospect Berney Weston shut the door the rest of the way for the Legionnaires making 33 stops to earn the victory.

On the other side, Prince George Cougars prospect Brady Holtvogt made 34 saves for the Mintos.

Leonard says Holtvogt played well throughout the series and he will have the opportunity to be an impact goaltender at the next level.

“During the season, he kind of juggled back and forth, but he was the guy, he was the vet, and when we got in the playoffs, that’s who we went with, and he answered the bell. He gives us a chance every night to win, and he’s a very determined young man. He works hard at his skill set and I think he’s going to be a good one.”

The Mintos did hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series at one point before the Legionnaires surged back to win the next three games.

“It’s a hard pill to stomach.” Leonard says. “You are up 2-0, and you hope to close it out, but in hockey and best of fives those third games are the hardest ones to win. We’re pretty even. It just comes down to a bounce here or a bounce there, and they got them. And like I said, hats off to them. They’re a good team, good program, well coached, and I respect them.”

The Legionnaires advance to take on the Regina Pat Canadians in the second round.