The Prince Albert Mintos took to the road on Wednesday to take on the Battlefords Stars, and came away with their second straight win.
The Mintos scored two in the first and four more in the second before the Stars even got on the board, and skated away with a 6-1 victory.
“It was a solid group effort,” head coach Tim Leonard said. “Shumanki was good in net with what he had to face. Our defence and forwards were really good too. This is the first night we’ve had everyone play, and the guys got rewarded for their work.”
Zach Bansley has missed 11 of the Mintos first 13 games this season after suffering an arm injury in the preseason. He played one game against Estevan in early October, before sitting out again because of his arm. On Wednesday, he returned to the lineup again, tallying two goals in the win.
“It’s been tough for him, “ Leonard said. “He’s battled through two bad injuries this year, but he responded well. He’s in good shape and we eased him back into playing last night. It didn’t take him long to get going, and it was nice to see him score some goals, because that’s been something we’ve been lacking lately.”
The Mintos went on the powerplay nine times last night, scoring on three of their man advantages. Leonard said it’s nice to see his team producing with their special teams.
“Our powerplay has been average at best so far, and in this league, it’s a key factor, being on the powerplay,” he explained. “We’ve been practicing, and now that we have everyone back, we can throw them in with a set group. Last night we did pretty good. We had some really good looks from both powerplay units.”
Van Taylor, Ryan Lepitzki, Ashton Tait and Jacob Cossette also scored for the Mintos, who improved to 8-4-0-1 on the year. Treycen Wuttunee had the loan goal for the Stars, who fell to 3-8-0-0.
When asked about how the Stars attacked his team, Leonard said his group didn’t give the Battlefords a chance to get into a rhythm.
“We were really quick last night. We played a really fast paced game, and for the most part, I think (Battlefords) was a step behind,” he said. “They do finish their checks, they do come hard, and they’ve got some big guys over there, but when you keep your feet moving, you don’t give them a chance to lay those licks on you. We did a good job of that last night.”
The Mintos will stay on the road, as they travel to Tisdale to take on the Trojans on Saturday. Tisdale sits last in the league with just one win so far, but Leonard knows his team can’t take that for granted.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this league,” he said. “I’ve seen it for years. If you don’t come prepared mentally, you can be in trouble. Tisdale isn’t an easy place to play. But we’ll have some good skates, and we’ll be ready on Saturday.”
Puck drop for the Mintos and Trojans in Tisdale on Saturday is at 7:30pm.
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