The Prince Albert Mintos are a rare case of a team that hopes to avoid replicating a previous winning formula.
The Mintos dominated the third period against the Tisdale Trojans on Thursday, outshooting the visitors 18-4 and scoring three unanswered goals on route to a 4-2 win. However, the first two periods left much to be desired.
Head coach Tim Leonard said they can’t have a repeat of Wednesday’s effort when they meet the Moose Jaw AAA Warriors on Saturday, even though it resulted in a win.
“I don’t think we just worry about them,” Leonard said when asked about the Warriors. “Worry about ourselves. If we skate and move pucks and make good decisions, I think we’ll be tough to beat. Our goaltending is good. Our D has been pretty steady. It’s just to put a full 60 minutes together and be hard to play against.”
Although successful on Wednesday, the Minto players themselves aren’t eager for a repeat performance either. Asthon Tait had a hat trick for the Mintos, giving him five goals in three games. However, the Kamloops Raiders draft pick said the team needs a stronger performance in the first two periods to be successful.
“I think we’ve got to come ready,” he said. “They (Moose Jaw) are right near us in the standings, so we’ve got to be prepared. It’s all about our start. I think if we start (well), that should be a great game and I think we can take it to them.”
Mintos co-captain Kaiden Dunn echoed those sentiments. Dunn said the Mintos came out too slow against Tisdale, but played to their full potential in the third. He’s confident they can chalk up two more wins if they play a full 60 minutes instead of 20.
“We really battled back in the third (against Tisdale),” he said. “I think we just need that mindset that we had in the third going into the whole game.”
The two teams clash twice this weekend at the Art Hauser Centre. Those two contests will go a long way to putting some distance between clubs in the top half of the standings and those at the bottom. The Mintos sit sixth in the league with 19 points in 18 games, while the Warriors sit seventh with 17 points in 18 games.
The two teams haven’t played since Prince Albert’s 3-2 win over the Warriors in Moose Jaw on Oct. 8. Leonard said Warriors were tough to play in their own building, and the Mintos need to return the favour.
“Teams coming in here (to the Art Hauser Centre), it shouldn’t be an easy place for them to play,” Leonard said. “We should make them want to get on that bus and go home.”
Saturday’s game against the Warriors marks the Mintos’ annual Food Bank Game. Parents and fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item that can be donated to the Prince Albert Food Bank.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.