Mintos drop overtime affair to Stars

It was the same old situation for the Prince Albert Mintos on Tuesday night in North Battleford as they dropped a 3-2 affair in overtime to the Battlefords Stars.

“I thought we showed some positives but we also had a few negatives, which is something that we’ve been dealing with here during this last little stretch of games,” Mintos head coach Danton Danielson said.

“I thought we carried the play in the first and third periods, but we struggled once again in the second period. As a whole, I thought we had a little bit of the better play but a couple of gaffs cost us on their goals.”

Jake Southgate was the overtime hero for the hosts, who were led on offence by a two-assist showing from blueliner Liam McInnis.

Former Mintos defenceman Andrew Urbaniak and Payton Kostyshyn also scored for the 9-13-0-2 Stars.

Ethan Hein made 24 saves to help his team get within five points of the Swift Current Legionnaires and the Tisdale Trojans for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.

Gage Helm and Turner McMillen responded for the visitors, as McMillen’s sixth goal of the campaign snapped a two-month scoring drought for the Kelowna Rockets draft pick.

Regina Pats goaltending prospect Spencer Welke turned aside 28 shots for the 15-10-1-0 Mintos, who remain in fifth place in the league standings.

The Mintos will look to return to the win column at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday and Sunday, as they’ll host the 3-21-1-0 Yorkton Maulers at 1:30 p.m.

“Our overall consistency is the biggest thing that we’ll be working on,” Danielson said.

“We’ve gotten into a bit of a habit here lately where we come out strong in the first period but then we just do enough to get by in the second. That puts us behind the eight ball going into the third and we’ve been able to pick it up again at times, but it’s sometimes too little too late.”

The Mintos will be without forward Chase Bertholet and defenceman Chase Friedt-Mohr this weekend as they have been called up to the Western Hockey League by the Winnipeg Ice and the Spokane Chiefs respectively.

“It’s definitely a big opportunity for those guys,” Danielson said.

“It’s a reflection of the effort that the guys have put in with us and what the organization has done here over the last couple of years for those WHL clubs to call them up for significant stints.”

The Mintos also found out on Wednesday that they have been placed in Pool A at the Mac’s Midget Tournament, which gets underway on Boxing Day in Calgary.

Their opponents in round-robin play will be the Calgary Buffaloes, Lethbridge Midget Hurricanes, Sherwood Park Kings and the AK Bars Academy from Russia.

“It seems like it will be an interesting pool, especially with the Russian team there,” Danielson said. “We’re looking forward to the tournament and we’ll start to do our homework during the next couple of weeks.”