Mintos can’t outlast Regina, falling 3-1 to Pat Canadians

Minto goalie Ty Shumanski absorbs a shot in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Regina Pat Canadians. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Mintos put in their best effort of the season against the best team in the league, but it wasn’t quite enough, as the Regina Pat Canadians skated out of the Art Hauser Centre with a 3-1 win on Saturday.

“I thought we put in a solid effort,” head coach Tim Leonard said after the game. “We did a lot of good things out there tonight. (Regina) is a first place team, and we limited their opportunities. I think that might be the best game we’ve played all year, and we just didn’t come out on the right side on the scoreboard.”

The pace of play was fast all game, and with stoppages coming few and far between, it was a tough test for a Minto team that has looked like they’ve started to find their step.

“It stings a little,” Leonard added. “It’s still a loss, but we’ve got a quick turnaround tomorrow with a good team coming in. We’ll shake it off tonight, and start focusing for tomorrow.”

The first period looked like it would end with a scoreless tie, but with ten seconds left, Brayden Barnett found a seam, and beat Minto goalie Ty Shumanski to put Regina up 1-0 through one.

Barnett would strike again early in the second, scoring his second goal of the night on the powerplay, putting the Pat C’s up by two. The big forward picked up his second and third goals of the season, and it looked like Regina would start to take the game into their hands, as they controlled the puck in the Prince Albert end for the next eight minutes.

However, with 6:31 to go in the middle frame, it would be the Mintos responding with a powerplay goal of their own. Ashton Tait, newly returned to the lineup after his bronze medal stint at the WHL Cup, sniped a shot in the high slot, cutting the deficit to 2-1 heading into the second intermission.

In the third period, Regina got a bit of insurance, as Harper Lolacher, who’s had success against the Mintos this season, netted his third of the season, putting Regina on top by a pair with 8:25 to go in the game.

The Mintos would call timeout in the final two minutes of the game, and sent out an extra attacker in the last minute, but they failed to generate any goals, despite creating one chance to make it a one goal game.

The Pat Canadians took the game by a 3-1 score, although they were outshot 24-19 by Prince Albert.

“They’re a good team,” Leonard said. “As a measuring stick, if that’s the best (team) in the league, we’re getting close to that, and we’re excited.” The Mintos will have a short rest, as they’ll welcome the Notre Dame Hounds to the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday. Puck drops at 1:30.