The Prince Albert Mintos have been fine-tuning their game since the Labour Day long weekend, as they have been waiting to find out when they would start the 2020-21 Saskatchewan Male Under-18 AAA Hockey League campaign.
The work that the roster put in paid off in bunches on Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre as the Mintos cruised to a 9-2 pre-season triumph over the Tisdale Trojans in their first competitive contest since Feb. 29, when they lost the third game of a best-of-five quarter-final series with the Saskatoon Contacts.
“The guys have kept a real positive attitude through this whole process,” Mintos head coach Danton Danielson said. “They’ve been competing with each other and they haven’t been moping around at all.
“We were looking for a hundred per cent effort out of every kid, which we got, and everyone did their jobs with what they needed to do within our structure and with the roles they have.”
Returning forward and team captain Kody Willick led the way for the Mintos with two goals and three assists, while rookie forward and Regina Pats draft pick Tanner Howe had a goal and three helpers in the triumph.
“It’s been seven or eight months since that last time some of us have played, so it’s nice to be rewarded for our efforts like we were tonight,” Willick said.
“We’ve been working lots on battle drills and we’ve had some good intra-squad sessions over the last few weeks. Our lines are starting to find some good chemistry here and I think everything is working good so far.”
Tanner Willick and Curren Wintonyk-Pilot, who both suited up for the Battlefords Stars last season, each had a pair of goals in the triumph.
Prince Albert Raiders draft pick Dallyn Peekeekoot had two assists for the hosts, while Gage Helm and Seattle Thunderbirds draft pick Karson Blanchette also lit the lamp.
Former Beardy’s Blackhawks netminder Kris Johnson went the distance for the Mintos and made 20 saves.
Kayden Ostrom and Victoria Royals prospect Carter Briltz responded for the Trojans.
Hunter Lolacher got the start in goal for the visitors but was pulled after allowing six goals on 29 shots in almost 34 minutes of work.
Cody Wilson finished out the contest and stopped eight shots over the final 26 minutes.
Following a rematch with the Trojans in Tisdale on Sunday afternoon, the Mintos are scheduled to open up their regular season on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. against the Saskatoon Contacts at the SaskTel Centre.
“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge with just having two exhibition games, but that’s the same for everyone,” Danielson said. “The biggest thing right now in the pre-season is to test out some different things, like we did tonight.”
The Mintos home opener is slated for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 against the Trojans.
- Notre Dame 10 Estevan 2 (Jackson Lucia – One Goal and Three Assists)
- Moose Jaw 7 Swift Current 0 (Ethan Peters – Two Goals and One Assist – Kael DePape – 20-Save Shutout)
- Regina 10 Yorkton 2 (Kyren Gronick (Prince George Cougars Prospect) – Five Assists)
- Battlefords vs. Saskatoon Contacts (Cancelled)
- Warman vs. Saskatoon Blazers (Cancelled)
- Swift Current vs. Moose Jaw – 1:30 p.m.
- Prince Albert vs. Tisdale – 2 p.m.
- Notre Dame vs. Estevan – 2 p.m.
- Regina vs. Yorkton – 2 p.m.
- Saskatoon Contacts vs. Battlefords – Cancelled
- Saskatoon Blazers vs. Warman – Cancelled