Mintos defend home ice with 2-1 over Contacts

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Owen Nelson of the Prince Albert Mintos prepares to fire a shot on goal in the third period of Thursday night's game against the Saskatoon Contacts.

A pair of goals from the top line turned out to be all the Prince Albert Mintos would need as they skated to a 2-1 victory over the Saskatoon Contacts on Thursday night.

Minto assistant coach Dane Byers says the game was a complete effort from Prince Albert, who outshot Saskatoon 35-17 in the game.

“I thought we played a full 60 minutes. It felt like a playoff type game. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves at the end, but the guys stuck with it, and we were able to pull it out.”

The lone goal of the first period would go the way of the visitors as Ryan Hue would get the Contacts on the board with his 12th goal of the season just 4:57 into the first period. Samuel Wardell and Kanye Huang provided the assists on the play.

Shots would favor Prince Albert 13-6 after the first period.

Taite Donkin would get the Mintos on the board with 6:09 remaining in the second period with his 15th goal of the campaign. Jordon Abrametz had the lone assist on the goal.

Newly minted Lethbridge Hurricanes prospect Owen Nelson would find a loose rebound at the side of the net and give the Mintos their first lead of the hockey game with his team-leading 27th goal of the season. Donkin and Abrametz each picked up their second points of the contest with assists on the play.

The top three Minto scorers:  Donkin, Margolis and Nelson have skated all on the same line for the Mintos all season long.

Byers says the team will rely on the trio 

“I think they have some good chemistry. They’ve been huge for us all year. They read off each other really well. But they played the big minutes, so they got to produce, and they have. And we’re going to have to lean on them into the playoffs.”

Brady Holtvogt would shut the door the rest of the way making 16 total saves to earn the victory for Prince Albert. His counterpart Logan Edmonstone made 33 stops for the Contacts.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Mintos have mathematically clinched a playoff spot. Byers says the key for the team now is to play well and build momentum heading into the postseason.

“This is the fun time of year. A hard time of year to play, but it’s fun. We got to start making sure we got really good habits heading into playoffs, so we can hit the ground running.”

The Mintos return to action on Saturday night when they welcome the Warman Wildcats to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.