Mintos blank Trojans; ready for Contacts in playoffs

Prince Albert Mintos forward Josh Pillar (10) watches as his teammates cycle the puck in the Tisdale Trojans' zone in SMAAAHL action on Oct. 24, 2017 from the Art Hauser Centre. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

Playing their last game of the regular season on Saturday, the Prince Alert Mintos got a measure of revenge in Tisdale during provincial Midget AAA hockey league action.

The P.A. squad blanked the Trojans 4-0, avenging a 3-1 loss to Tisdale three weeks earlier on Jan. 25 at the Art Hauser Centre. In that game, P.A. could only crack Trojans goalie Tanner Martin once on 25 total shots.

Not so Saturday on the road.

The P.A. club had scoring from four different players to beat netminder Roddy Ross on 33 of 36 shots. (The Mintos’ fourth goal was an empty-netter, courtesy of Kishaun Gervais.)

By stopping all 21 shots he faced, Mintos goalie Cale Elder earned his second shutout of the season. The first was on Jan. 18 against the Notre Dame Argos.

The win on Saturday gives the Mintos 32 victories on the year, which lands them in third place to round out their regular season. The team lost nine games in regulation time, two games in shootouts and one game in overtime.

The club gained 67 total points on the year.

Along with Gervais, P.A. had goals from Luke Nkwama, Austin Lamotte (both even strength in the first period) and Turner Rea (in the second period, also even strength).

The Mintos now enter the postseason set to play the Saskatoon Contacts in the first round for the best-of-five games series. (A full schedule of the Mintos’ first-round playoff games is lower down in this article).

Of the league’s 12 teams, the top eight make the playoffs. The highest-seeded teams will play the lowest-seeded teams in the first round of play. Every series from round 1 to the league finals is a best-of-five series.

The following list shows the first round of games in this year’s SMAAAHL playoffs. The Regina Pat Canadians and the Yorkton Maulers will play out the season’s final game of the year on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in Regina. A win or a loss for either team will not affect its position in the standings.

Round 1:

  • (1) Notre Dame Hounds vs. (8) Saskatoon Blazers
  • (2) Regina Pat Canadians vs. (7) Yorkton Rawtec Maulers
  • (3) Prince Albert Mintos vs. (6) Saskatoon Contacts
  • (4) Tisdale Trojans vs. (5) Swift Current Legionnaires

Mintos’ round 1 playoff schedule:

  • Game 1 – Feb. 23, 7 p.m. at P.A.’s Art Hauser Centre.
  • Game 2 – Feb. 25, 2:45 p.m. at Saskatoon’s Schroh Arena (south of the city’s golf and country club)
  • Game 3 – Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at P.A.’s Art Hauser Centre.
  • Game 4 (if necessary) – March 2, 8 p.m. at Saskatoon’s Schroh Arena (south of the city’s golf and country club)
  • Game 5 (if necessary) – March 4, 7 p.m. at P.A.’s Art Hauser Centre

Mintos by the numbers in 2017-18:

  • Points leader – Josh Pillar (50); finished 12th overall in the league
  • Goals leader – Josh Pillar (21); tied for 8th overall in the leauge with Notre Dame’s Brad Morrissey
  • Assists leader – Austin Lamotte (30); tied for 12th overall in the league with Swift Current’s Ty Muench
  • Points per game leader – Kishaun Gervais (1.16); finished 12th overall in the league
  • By committee – 14 Mintos skaters earned 10 or more points this year, half of who are rookies; every regular Mintos player except for goalie Cale Elder earned at least three points this year (that includes goalie Carter Woodside who had three assists); every Minto except for Elder and Woodside had at least five points on the year
  • Wins – Elder had 16 wins on 24 starts, compared to Woodside’s 14 wins on 21 starts; Elder tied for third overall with Regina’s Nathan Moore in wins
  • Save percentage – Elder had 0.93, while Woodside had 0.90; Elder tied for second overall in the league with Notre Dame Hound Riley Kohonick; Trojans rookie goalie Roddy Ross was first with a 0.94 save percentage (595 saves on 636 shots faced)
  • Goals against average – Elder had the edge over Woodside just by a bit (2.03 to 2.53); Elder finished sixth overall in the league, while Woodside finished ninth overall
  • Contacts goalie Rayce Ramsay faced the most shots this year out of all goalies, 985 through 31 starts; he had a 0.91 save percentage and a 2.83 GAA