Mintos lose in shootout in Leonard’s return from suspension

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Taite Donkin celebrated his goal for the Prince Albert Mintos in the first period of the Mintos’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Swift Current Legionnaires at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday night.

In head coach Tim Leonard’s return from a five-game suspension to open the season the Prince Albert Mintos lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Swift Current Legionnaires on Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Both Leonard and forward and Teigan Semchyshen have been suspended by the SMAAAHL for five games.

“It’s nice to be back, we have got a good group of kids in there and we are just getting to know each other a little bit,” Leonard said on his return behind the bench.

In the SMAAAHL, players can be granted a contested or uncontested release by a team. If a player with a contested release signs with another team, the head coach and player face a five-game suspension.

“I watched the games, it hurt not being there but we got Semmi here and we had to pay the price for that and that’s fine. We gave the kid a place to play and that’s what’s important,” he added.

Kade Stringer, Parker Rondeau and Jace Egland each scored for the Legionnaires in the three round shootout.

Taite Donkin and Owen Nelson scored for the Minto in the shootout.

Donkin scored the Mintos lone goal in regulation 14:50 into the first period.

Leonard attributed the loss to some bounces not going the Mintos’ way.

“The big thing is that we bring it every day. Tonight it just seemed that the bounces weren’t there,” “We fought the puck all night, our power play was good we moved it around pretty good. It seemed the last pass the puck would roll,” Leonard said.

After a scoreless second period Egland scored for Swift Current midway through the third period.

“They are a good hockey team, we outshot them, shots don’t mean everything. I thought we played pretty good, a little bit of a letdown on their tying goal, but give them some credit,” Leonard said.

Brady Holtvogt made 18 saves for the Mintos and Leonard was pleased with his game.

“It’s tough to lose like that, Holvie (Holtvogt) feels bad in there. He was outstanding tonight and I said ‘next time you get in one of those nobody will score on you’ so it’s hard on the goaltenders there is no doubt about it. But he’s a good goalie and he will bounce back,” Leonard said.

Berney Weston made 25 saves for the Legionnaires.

After the loss the Mintos have a record of 3-2-1 with seven points and sit in sixth place.

The two teams play again on Sunday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre, the puck drop has been changed to 12:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a quick turnaround,” Leonard said.