Mintos shut down Maulers for 10th win of the season

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The Prince Albert Mintos celebrate a goal during a home gamer earlier this season

The Prince Albert Mintos dominated on the shot clock and on the scoreboard, defeating the Yorkton Maulers 4-0 at the Art Hauser on Friday.

The Mintos outshot Yorkton 19-7 in the first period, and 42-15 overall, on the way to their second straight victory.

“We came out strong,” Mintos assistant coach Dane Byers said. “I thought we had a lot of jump in our legs early. Unfortunately, we did take a penalty that put us back on our heels a little bit, but the boys battled back and the effort was there. Maybe not the crispest game, but we were able to capitalize on some chances.”

Owen Nelson led the way for Prince Albert with two goals and an assist, and Abinet Klassen’s first period goal stood up as the game winner. The victory was Prince Albert’s third over the Maulers this season.

Brady Holtvogt earned his second shut-out of the season for the Mintos, while Wyatt Bouvier made 38 stops in the Yorkton goal.

“We put pressure on them early on (and) we played really well in the D zone,” Holtvogt said. “(We) held them down to very few shots, played a hard game and came out with the win.”

The Mintos were forced to kill off a four-minute first period penalty when Lincoln Rogers was sent off for kneeing, but otherwise kept the Maulers bottled up in their own end for most of the game.

The Prince Albert forecheck meant Holtvogt and the Minto defence faced few scoring chances, but shut down the Yorkton attack when they had to.

“Holty’s been great all year,” Byers said. “Those are tough games when you’re not getting a lot of action and then you’ve got to stop a breakaway or an odd-man rush, so he was up to the challenge like he always is.”

Klassen opened the scoring with less than a minute left in the first period on one of hockey’s rarest plays: a short-handed penalty shot.

The Minto forward came in from the right-hand side, faked a shot, then fired the puck of a sprawling Bouvier to make it 1-0.

Prince Albert extended their lead halfway through the second when Taite Donkin tipped in an Owen Nelson shot from the sideboard. The Mintos made it 3-0 less than two minutes later when Nelson converted a cross-ice pass from captain Van Taylor.

Nelson added an insurance marker with 10 seconds left when his wrist shot beat a screened Bouvier to make it 4-0.

The win improves the Mintos record to 10-3-1 while the Maulers fall to 3-8-0.

Prince Albert is off until Sunday when they travel to Moose Jaw to take on the AAA Warriors at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drop is 1:30 p.m.