Mintos fall to top-ranked Blazers in overtime

Herald File Photo. Prince Albert Mintos goaltender Jayden Kraus gets into position

The Prince Albert Mintos couldn’t convert on the power play and it cost them in a 3-2 overtime loss to the top ranked Saskatoon Blazers in SMAAAHL action Wednesday at the Rod Hamm Memorial Arena in Saskatoon.

Minto head coach Tim Leonard says he was happy with the play of Prince Albert.

“We played pretty good. They’re in first place and play well in their home rink. So, it was a tough battle for us. But we worked hard. We did a lot of little things right. Probably deserved a better fate if our power play would have been clicking and we probably would have won the game.”

Prince Albert has plenty of opportunities on the man advantage throughout the game as the Mintos would have 9 chances, but could not find the back of the net.

Leonard says the Blazers applied a lot of pressure on the penalty kill, not providing a lot of room for the Mintos.

“It had been going pretty good and getting some really good looks, even though we weren’t scoring all the time. Saskatoon really pressured and we had a hard time handling that pressure when we did get some chances. You know, we did get some good looks, but it was just a few of them and we didn’t make it to the count when it should have. But, the effort was there. And I think if you can go in there and steal a point in their rink, you are doing something right. So, I was pretty proud of the kids last night.”

The Mintos would open the scoring with 10:26 remaining in the first period as Scott McLean would rip one past Grayson Malinoski. Roper Blanchard picked up the lone assists.

Saskatoon would tie the game with 4:51 remaining in the opening frame with Cole Reschny’s 20th goal of the season on the power play. Raiden Zacharias and Josh Knittig would receive assists on the goal.

Ashton Tait would give the Mintos the lead with 9:01 to go in the third period with his 9th of the season. Van Taylor would be credited with the lone assist.

The Blazers would tie the game with 4:28 to go with a short handed goal from Zacharias. Reschny would pick up the lone assist.

60 minutes couldn’t decide a winner between the Mintos and Blazers as overtime would be necessary. Reese Hamilton would be the hero for the Blazers with his 7th goal of the season just 0:22 into the extra frame. Zacharias and Reschny would be credited with assists.

Jayden Kraus took the loss in net for the Mintos making 31 saves. Grayson Malinoski stopped 34 Minto shots to earn the victory.

The Mintos return home for 9 of their last 11 games of the regular season.

Leonard says the Mintos took some positives away from the game in Saskatoon.

“It’s been a tough schedule, there’s no doubt about it. But, nobody feels sorry for you. You got to play through it. But I think after last night we left our heads held high and felt good about ourselves and excited to come home. We got the contacts here and then a doubleheader on the weekend against Yorkton after that. We’re excited about that opportunity.”

The Mintos return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1 when they take on the Saskatoon Contacts at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.