Mintos prepare for weekend set with Regina Pat Canadians

Herald File Photo. Prince Albert Mintos goaltender Jayden Kraus gets into position during SMAAAHL action

The Prince Albert Mintos will look to start a winning streak this weekend when they host the Regina Pat Canadians for a pair of games at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Pat Canadians currently sit in second place in the SMAAAHL with a 14-3-0-1 record and 29 points while the Mintos are in seventh place and sport a record of 7-7-0-1 with 15 points.

Mintos head coach Tim Leonard says the Mintos are prepared for a tough test against Regina.

“We’ve been practicing all week playing a really fast paced style of play and I think that’s going to be key. Also, special teams, your power play and penalty kill have to be good. They’re one of the best teams in the league, (and a) big centre with a good program. It’s going to be a good test and I look forward to it.

The Mintos and Pat Canadians have squared off only once to far this season back on Oct. 9 in Regina, a 6-1 decision in favour of the Pat Canadians. The game was the second half of a back-to-back for the Mintos after winning the previous night in Moose Jaw.

Leonard says he thought the Mintos played better than the scoreboard showed that night.

“We played ok. We had a really tough game in Moose Jaw where we played our hearts out and pulled that win out. I’d say for the first 40 minutes we were right there with them. A couple breakdowns and they got a couple goals, and that was probably the difference of the game. It’s not like we were outplayed or outshot bad.”

The Mintos will look to defend home ice where they defeated the Tisdale Trojans in their last game back on Nov. 18.

Leonard says playing on the road is a tough environment in the SMAAAHL and that the Mintos need to make the Art Hauser a difficult place to play this weekend.

“It’s tough on the road, especially those doubleheaders. We got to pay that back when they come to us. We got to work hard and finish our checks. Our work ethic must be fantastic and stay out of the penalty box. We’ve got to make it tough for them to play here.”

The Mintos will welcome two key pieces back into the fold this weekend as goaltender Jayden Kraus was reassigned by the Victoria Royals (WHL) and Ashton Tait will make his season debut after being reassigned by the Kamloops Blazers (WHL).

Leonard says adding Tait will provide some additional scoring the Mintos have lacked.

“I think it’s going to add some scoring depth that we’ve been missing. He’s going to have to come back here and work hard here too. It’s a good league. There’s lot of kids his caliber in our league. I know he will come back with the right work ethic and work hard here too.”

Puck drops at the Art Hauser Centre at 7pm on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday afternoon.