After beating the Maulers 5-2 and 3-2 in Yorkton over the weekend, the Prince Albert Mintos return home on Wednesday night for a meeting with the Battlefords Stars.
Secondary scoring was the theme in Yorkton, as Caden Dunn scored his first SMU18AAAHL goal, while Danton Cox, Ryan Lepitzki, and Matthew Cudmore were among the other goal scorers in the two game set. Head coach Tim Leonard says it’s always nice to see depth players step up and put points on the board.
“It’s always good. If you want to have any kind of success, you’re going to have to get some supplementary scoring,” Leonard said. “We know teams are going to be focusing on (Ashton) Tait and (Jacob) Cossette, so other guys are going to have to come through. It’s good to get some points out of those guys.
“It’s really good for (Dunn), because he played in Yorkton last wear You know he wanted to prove a little bit to them. It was nice for him to get that goal.”
Travis Swanson scored the game winning goal against the Maulers on Sunday with 10:31 left in the third period. Leonard said he’s liked what he’s seen from Swanson, who has registered a point in three straight games, and 11 points in his last eight games.
“It’s been a process for him this year,” he said. “He’s had to learn to play the full 200 font game, which he’s done well. He’s defending well, and now he’s getting the opportunities on the offensive side. He seems to be clicking with (Bansley), who’s a great playmaker, and he’s finding those open spots and burying some big goals for us.
“I was fortunate enough to coach him wen he was in bantam when he was just sort of breaking his teen there ” Leonard laughed. “I’ve seen him come through the programs and I know what he’s capable of doing.”
The Mintos welcome a Stars team that went 2-1-1-1 in the month of January, while playing every game on the road. The Battlefords started the month off with overtime and shootout losses to the Blazers in Saskatoon, with the latter being a 7-6 final. They then fell 5 4 to the Estevan Bears, before taking a 7-6 win the next day in Estevan. There most recent win was a big upset, taking down the Saskatoon Contacts 4-3 in overtime, handing Saskatoon their sixth overtime loss of the season, tying the Bears for the league high in overtime defeats.
While the Stars sit third last in the league with an 11-19-0-4 record, Leonard knows his team will still have to play hard against the road fatigued Battlefords club.
“I don’t think you can worry about any other team than ourself,” he said. “We want to worry about us, we want to bring our best game every night. We’re starting to do that more often, and our consistency is getting a lot better. We want to win every game, and when the season is done, we’ll see where we’re at.
“We’ve got our systems down pretty good now, everybody is buying in. I think consistency was our number one issue early this season, but since we came back from Christmas, it’s been pretty good. There’s a saying ‘be happy, not satisfied’, because there’s still some room for improvement, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
The Minos (21-12-1-0) can jump from seventh to fifth place in league standings with a win over the Stars on Wednesday night.
Puck drop from the Art Hauser Centre is at 7pm.