You can divide up the Prince Albert Mintos into three distinct groups at the moment.
Those who took to the ice Wednesday night for a pre-season game against the Tisdale Trojans, those who were dressed to the nines in the stands at the Art Hauser Centre and those who are currently fighting for spots on teams in the Western Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
“We just got Ethan Ironside back on Wednesday (from the Kamloops Blazers) and Marek Schneider returned from the (Saskatoon) Blades camp a few days ago,” Mintos head coach Ken Morrison said.
“Along with them, there’s still a few guys at camps so we’re just waiting to see what happens. We’re starting to get some more of the older guys into the lineup, especially as the bantam camps are starting up here in the next week and we want to make sure those players are back with their teams.”
The Mintos officially took to the ice for a competitive game Wednesday and turned in an impressive 7-2 win over the Tisdale Trojans as they scored five unanswered goals in the second half of the contest.
“The guys were a little jittery to start off the game but once they started to settle in a little bit, they turned in a complete team effort,” Morrison said.
“The defence started to move the puck quickly and our forecheck was really working well. We started to hem Tisdale in their own end a little bit and that made a big difference.”
Dawson Springer led the way for the Mintos with a pair of goals and an assist, while Caden Joanis found the back of the net twice.
“They were two of our older guys in the lineup so you’d hope to see them turn in strong showings, which they did,” Morrison said. “They did exactly what we needed them to do out there.”
Gage Helm, Matthew Henry and Parker Lalonde also scored for the hosts.
Parker Sturby started the game in goal for the Mintos and made 11 saves, while Joel Favreau stopped all 12 shots he faced.
Trenton Curtis scored one of the two goals for the Trojans and helped to set up Mario Fortier’s marker.
Noah Martens made 15 saves in the first half of the affair while Jace Farber stopped 16 shots in the final 30 minutes of play.
The Mintos will now gear up for a trip to Saskatoon to face the Contacts Sunday night before a Tuesday home matchup against the Beardy’s Blackhawks that will get underway at 7 p.m.
“We have three more games after that one before the regular season gets underway,” Morrison said. “We’re hoping to get everyone back before then so we can get some time together as a group.”
The Mintos will begin their Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League campaign against the Moose Jaw Generals on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Art Hauser Centre.