Mintos complete comeback, down Notre Dame in overtime

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Scott Maclean of the Prince Albert Mintos attempts a shot on goal during Thursday's SMAAAHL action at the Art Hauser Centre

You never know what’s going to happen in sport, and the Prince Albert Mintos picked up a clutch goal just in the nick of time as they downed the Notre Dame Hounds 5-4 in overtime on Thursday night at the Art Hauser Centre

“(It’s) always good to beat the evil empire.” Minto assistant coach Bryan Swystun said in a post-game interview. “I give credit to our kids. We threw the kitchen sink at them tonight and had nothing to show for it. They get one chance, they score. It was deflating for our kids. Our kids could have folded it at any time. We kept positive on the bench. Things just kind of worked out for us. We need that because things haven’t been working out for us. It’s been a tough road.”

Carter Ellsworth would strike for the lone goal of the first period with 7:13 to go with his fourth goal of the season. Sutton Verot and Aleksandr Skuratov picked up the helpers.

Verot would double the Hound lead with his seventh goal of the season with 13:21 to go in the second period. Ellsworth and Austin Watts assisted on the play.

Abinet Klassen would get the Mintos on the board at the 12:49 mark as he would fine twine for the 11th time this season to bring Prince Albert within one. Kelan Simmonds and Carter Cole provided the helpers on the play.

Notre Dame would take a two goal lead into the second intermission as Koby Bossaer would strike for his fifth goal of the season unassisted with 1:15 remaining.

The Mintos would press to cut into the deficit to begin the third, but Sutton Verot would pick up his second goal of the contest at the 6:54 mark to extend the Hound lead to 4-1. Austin Watts and Henry Parisi would pick up the helpers on the play.

Down three goals with less than seven minutes to go, it seemed unlikely the Mintos would be able to forge a comeback, but that’s exactly what they would do.

Lincoln Rogers picked up his third goal of the season with 5:33 remaining to cut the deficit to just two. Carter Bergen and William Chabot were credited with the helpers.

Swystun says it was a good sign for the Mintos to get goals from up and down the lineup.

“We’re getting contributions from all our guys. Link (Lincoln Rogers) scores a goal, gets us going, gets us back within two, and we just kind of roll from there. We worked hard for them. Get pucks to the net and they got to start going in, and tonight they started to go in for us.”

Carter Cole would bring the Mintos within just one with 1:35 to go with his third goal of the season. Raydr Wallington and Kelan Simmonds picked up the assists.

With 0.3 seconds left in the game, Raydr Wallington knocked a rebound through the five hole of Hounds netminder Russell Newman to knot the score at 4-4. Kale Margolis and Abinet Klassen assisted on the play.

The goal was only Wallington’s third career SMAAAHL goal in 65 games as a Minto.

Swystun says he has been impressed by Wallington’s play all season long.

“He’s been playing well all year. He doesn’t get a lot of points, that’s not his game, but he’s a kid that in those situations, I need him on the ice. In the last minute, the last 30 seconds. Put it to the net, and that’s exactly what he did, and he got rewarded for it.”

It wouldn’t take long for the Minto momentum from regulation to carry into overtime. Abinet Klassen would pick up the overtime winner just 26 seconds in with his second goal of the hockey game. Teigan Semchyshen and Will Whitter assisted on the play.

Brady Holtvogt made 17 saves in net for the Mintos to earn the win. Russell Newman made 35 stops for the Hounds.

Results from Friday’s game between the Mintos and Yorkton Maulers were not available as of press time. The Mintos return to action on Thursday, Jan. 8 when they take on the Saskatoon Contacts at Merlis Belsher Place. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.