The Prince Albert Mintos couldn’t find their way into the win column falling 7-4 to the Regina Pat Canadians in their home opener on Saturday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre
Assistant coach Bryan Swystun says the Mintos didn’t perform on special teams in the loss.
“I thought we started off slow. I thought five-on-five, we played pretty good. Once we got the momentum from the early penalty kills we had to face. Our special teams have to be better, but that comes with practice. We battled back in the third and I thought we were rolling and we believed in ourselves, but special teams killed us.”
The scoring would start early as Raider prospect Jonah Sivertson would strike less than two minutes with his first of the season. Casey Brown and Dryden Deobald had assists on the play.
Cruz Klapak would double the Regina lead with his first of the season less then two minutes later. Logan Mehl had the lone assist.
The Mintos would get on the board courtesy of Owen Nelson’s unassisted marker at the at the 10:39 mark of the first period.
Shots favored the visiting Pat Canadians 15-2 after twenty minutes.
It would take less than a minute for the Pat Canadians to restore the two goal advantage as Raider prospect Dayce Derkatch would find himself on a partial breakaway short handed and would make no mistake for the unassisted, shorthanded tally to make the score 3-1.
Konnor Watson would cut the lead back to one at the 10:12 mark on the power play. Carter Cole and Owen Dyck provided helpers on the play.
It appeared that the game would be 3-2 Regina after forty minutes, but Casey Brown would strike on the power play with just 0.3 seconds to go in the frame to give the Pat C’s a 4-2 lead.
The Mintos would come out strong in the third period and would come back to even the game at 4-4.
Owen Nelson would strike just 0:37 into the period with his second of the night. THe lone assist came from Simon Garchinski.
Abinet Klassen would put in a rebound at the mouth of the crease just over five minutes later to draw the Mintos even.
But a pair of markers from Steven Saranka would put the game out of reach for the Mintos. The first would come at even strength just over thirty seconds after Klassen tied the game.Michael Donovan and Dryden Deobald had the assists.
Saranka’s second would come on the power play at the 18:19 mark. Isaac Poll and Ellis Mieyette drew assists on the play.
The Pat Canadians would ice it with an empty netter from Cash Lanigan.
Brady Holtvogt made 38 saves for the Mintos in the loss, while Taylor Tabashniuk stopped 17 pucks for Regina.
Heading into action Sunday, Swystun says he wants to see the Mintos play a more structured game.
“We got to get pucks deep, it’s an old cliche but that’s what they did to us. THey got a new coach and their style changed. They were a possession entry team and now they dump and chase with a strong forecheck. That’s how we want to play, I told my guys we turned the puck over way too much at the blueline trying to beat guys one-on-one. You can’t do that in this league and not pay for it.”
The Mintos will return to action on Sunday afternoon when they continue their series with the Pat Canadians. Puck drops at 1:30 p.m.