After losing 6-1 and 6-0 at the hands of Prince Albert in two previous meetings this season, the Battlefords Stars rebounded in a big way, shutting out the Mintos 5-0 on Wednesday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
After playing entertaining games in the month of January, the Battlefords started February off with their biggest margin of victory of the year.
The Stars got a fortuitous bounce on their first goal of the game. A dump in careened off the glass behind the Minto goal, and as Jayden Kraus moved behind to play the puck, it bounced right in front for Rylan Williams, who had an easy tap in. The misfortune in the Prince Albert end gave the Battlefords a 1-0 lead 4:02 into the game.
Jakin Lawrence added to the lead on a powerplay in the first. After Karson Blanchette went off for head contact after delivering a massive hit at centre ice, it took the Stars just 19 seconds to score on the man advantage. Lawrence sniped a shot past Kraus’s glove and in, and all of a sudden the Stars jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead.
Another weird play in front of Kraus led to the Battlefords’ third goal of the first period. The Prince Albert starter went to cover the loose puck, but completely whiffed with the glove, and the puck came right out to the slot. Dawson Gerwing was the beneficiary of the misplay, slapping home his 11th goal of the season. The Battlefords went into the first intermission with a surprising 3-0 lead, also controlling the shots department by an 11-4 edge.
The Stars were quickly able to go 2/2 on the man advantage, scoring another goal in the second period. Kobie Anderson sent a pass to Nate Monchuk, who sniped a shot that picked the top corner. With 9:32 left in the second, it became a 4-0 lead for the visiting team.
Things started to get heated late in the second period. After Ashton Tait took a late hit from behind that wasn’t called, the Minto bench started to go crazy looking for a call. Moments later, Minto defenceman Caden Dunn got into an altercation with Matthew Dament, as the two were having a wrestling match on the ice. Both received two minute penalties, but the Prince Albert bench was still complaining about the hit on Tait, didn’t come back for the third period.
Ayden Belanger made it a five spot in the third period. A nice pass from behind the net from Easton Adrian came right out front to Belanger, who beat Kraus to make it a 5-0 game.
Rhett Harkot stood tall between the pipes all game for the Battlefords, making 29 saves for his first shutout in the SMU18AAAHL. The Stars improved to 11-19-0-4 with the win, while the Mintos fell to 21-12-0-1.
Prince Albert heads to Warman for their next game on Friday night against the Wildcats. They return home on Wednesday, Feb. 9th to take on the Saskatoon Contacts.