Mintos fall in opening game of Circle K Classic

Herald file photo. The Prince Albert Mintos celebrate a goal during a home game earlier this season.

Nathan Reiter, Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Mintos gave it their all but couldn’t start their Circle K Classic journey with a victory, falling 6-4 to the Calgary NW Flames on Wednesday.

Minto head coach Tim Leonard says he was proud of the way his team played, despite facing a multi goal deficit early in the game.

“We played a pretty good game. Their structure was pretty good. Our energy was good. We got down a little bit. Probably a couple Holty (Brady Holtvogt) wishes he could have had back. But that happens. We didn’t quit. We pushed it to the end and made it tight. Pulled the goalie and rung off the goal post and then they come down and scored an empty netter.”

Carson Cull would open the scoring for Calgary at the 7:30 mark of the first period with his first of the tournament. Caleb Therres and Tiernan Laverty provided helpers.

Kelowna Rocket prospect Owen Folstrom doubled the Calgary lead at the 11:37 mark with his first of the tournament. Chase Pilling and James Kilfoil assisted on the play.

After a double minor against Calgary’s Ryder Dembo at the end of the first period, the Minto power play would go to word at the start of the second period.

Kamloops Blazer prospect Teigan Semchyshen would rifle home his first of the tournament on the power play just 1:13 into the Middle frame to cut the Minto deficit to 2-1. Carter Bergen and Owen Nelson assisted on the play.

James Kilfoil would record his second point of the hockey game with a goal at the 16:41 mark to restore the two-goal advantage for Calgary. Jack McHarg and Clayton Nesbitt assisted on the play.

The Mintos and Flames would combine for six goals in the third period.

An unassisted goal from Ryder Dembo would give Calgary a three-goal lead at the 5:06 mark.

Owen Nelson would pull the Mintos back within two at the 7:52 mark. Simon Garchinski and Teigan Semchyshen assisted on the goal.

A power play goal from Luke Wong at the 13:49 mark would send the Calgary lead back to three. Matthew Balderston and Aleksander Debroja assisted.

The Mintos would then strike for a pair of power play goals within twenty seconds of each other to bring the deficit to only one.

Owen Dyck would strike at the 15:50 mark. Carter Cole and Abinet Klassen had the assists.

Taite Donkin would cut the deficit to just a single goal at the 16:10 mark with his first of the tournament. Kale Margolis and Owen Nelson assisted on the play.

“We just made good decisions.” Leonard said about the Minto power play. “We made really good decisions with pucks. We moved it quickly, found the open guy and we hit our spots. We had a good net front presence. And like I said, we zipped it around pretty good. It’s good to see. It faltered a bit back home for a bit, but it was pretty good.”

Calgary would seal the win with an empty net goal from Owen Folstrom at the 19:34 mark of the final frame.

Brady Holtvogt made 18 saves for Prince Albert. Brett O’Halloran made 28 stops for Calgary.

The Mintos were back in action at 6:15 p.m. Mountain Time Thursday against OHA Penticton. Results from the game were not available as of press time. The Mintos will finish out pool play on Friday afternoon when they take on Shattuck-St. Mary’s at 12:45 p.m. Mountain Time.