The Prince Albert Mintos held off a charge from the Regina Pat Canadians to win 6-5 in a high-scoring affair at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday night.
After taking a 3-0 lead into the second period the Mintos got into penalty trouble in the second period giving up two power play goals, inlcuding one at the end of a four-minute head contact penalty to Abinet Klassen.
Mintos’ coach Tim Leonard thought with a few bounces they could have led by a larger margin in the first period.
“They’re a good team but I thought we should have put them away in that first period. We probably should have been up five or six nothing and had the game but away. They are good and they hung around, in the second period I would say penalties cost us, we were short-handed for 10 and they got a couple lucky breaks, a couple bounces,” Leonard said.
In the third period Prince Albert turned around the penalty killing and were able to stop the momentum for Regina.
“We made some adjustments to it. I don’t know if there is anything wrong with the first couple but it was just bounces more than anything,”
A bad bounce off a stick in the first period caused Van Taylor not to score on a breakaway.
Ashton Tait scored a pair of goals in his return to the Mintos lineup, Abinet Klassen, Will Whitter; Logan Beebe and Logan Pickford added the other Mintos goals. Pickford scored the unassisted game winner on a breakaway midway through the third period.
“They are a good hockey team. The third period we were pretty good. They scored and we answered right back so it was good character on our behalf,” Leonard said.
Koen Senft and Casey Brown each had a pair of goals for the Pat Canadians while Jaxon Skiftun added the other Regina goal.
The Pat Canadians pulled goalie Taylor Tabashniuk with a minute remaining and Regina almost scored but the Mintos held off a late charge by Regina.
Jayden Kraus made 23 saves in his return for Prince Albert; John Macpherson made five saves in the first period before being relieved by Tabashniuk who made 10 saves.
The Pat Canadians were two for five on the man advantage while the Mintos were one for four.
“Everybody is good in this league and we have got to come play every night. I thought our first period was really good. It might have been our best start of this season. We are young and we are learning and they are going to make mistakes but as long as we only make it once and don’t repeat it that will be good,” Leonard said.
With the win the Mintos improved their record to 7-7-0-1 with 15 points on the season. They currently sit in sixth place in the SMAAAHL.
The two teams meet tomorrow afternoon again at the Art Hauser Centre; puck drop is 1:30 p.m.