Mintos dominate Battlefords in Hockey Day in Saskatchewan win

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The Prince Albert Mintos' Will Whitter goes in on the Battleford Stars' goalie during the Mintos 8-1 win over the Stars at the Kinistino Sports Complex on Saturday during Hockey Day in Saskatchewan.

The Prince Albert Mintos made a statement with an 8-1 win over the Battlefords Stars at the Kinistino Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon

Head coach Tim Leonard says he was pleased with the way his team played.

“I really liked our work ethic and our structure was really good and we wanted a good start and we got it,we banged in a couple there early to set the tone and I thought we carried it out for a full sixty minutes”

The crowd was just settling into their seats at the Kinistino Sports Complex when the Mintos would open the scoring.

Just forty-four seconds in, Will Whitter would find twine for the 15th time this season to give the Mintos an early 1-0 lead. Van Taylor and Konnor Watson provided the assists on the play.

Owen Dyck would double the Prince Albert lead with his second goal of the season at the 4:50 mark. Lincoln Rogers assisted on the play.

At the 10:29 mark, Kelan Simmonds would extend the Minto lead to three with his fifth goal of the campaign. Taylor picked up his second point with an assist on the play.

Devante Pratt would put home a loose puck at the 11:11 mark to cut the Minto lead to just two at 3-1 after twenty minutes. Hayden Meszaros and Lee Burden provided the helpers.

The Mintos led the shot total 15-5 after the first period.

It would take just twelve seconds for the Mintos to extend their lead in the second period as Carter Bergen would strike for his third of the season. Raydr Wallington and Abinet Klassen provided the helpers.

The Mintos would strike in quick succession to end the second period. With just 56 seconds left in the second period, Owen Dyck struck for his second goal of the contest. Will Whitter and Abinet Klassen assisted on the play.

Just twenty seconds later, Taite Donkin registered his 14th goal of the season. Kinistino product Kale Margolis and Lincoln Rogers assisted.

Abinet Klassen and Owen Nelson added tallies in the third period for Prince Albert.

Brady Holtvogt made 17 saves to earn the victory in net for Prince Albert. Brady Carr made 39 saves in relief of Nicholas Grunerud who was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots.

Subhead: Homecoming for Leonard, Margolis

The game had a special meaning for two members of the Mintos.

Head coach Tim Leonard and forward Kale Margolis both grew up in the town of just over 700 residents.

“I was born and raised here. It’s my hometown.” Leonard said. “We used to have an old wood rink where I first learned how to skate. We lost that. We didn’t have a rink for a few years, then this got built. I came back and played some hockey here and played some senior and started coaching back in, I think it was 2007-2008 Junior B Tigers back then. So I’m really aging myself here, but it is awesome to be here.”

Leonard, who is in his second tour of duty with the Mintos program, says he enjoyed getting the opportunity to coach in his hometown and see the entire community support the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan event.

“It’s a good feeling. I’ve come full circle, it’s where I started and maybe it’s where I should finish.” Leonard said with a laugh. “It’s good, lots of family here watching and that so it’s just a good day for the community. it’s small-town hockey. They love their hockey. The most common place where they get to visit and watch some hockey and get out of the house. So small-town hockey is awesome and like I said, never forget where you came from.”

Kinistino product Kale Margolis didn’t find the back of the net, but recorded one assist during the game on Saturday.

The 17-year-old forward said it was incredible to play in the same rink where he grew up learning the sport of hockey.

“Obviously it means a lot, a lot of family and friends here and coaches who’ve helped me along the way and also lots of my buddies came to show some support, so it’s pretty special.”

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