The Prince Albert Mintos had plenty to be thankful for over Thanksgiving weekend as they came away with four of a possible six points on a road trip to Moose Jaw and Estevan.
Minto assistant coach Bryan Swystun says the team could’ve easily won all three games, but he was impressed with how they handled the challenge of playing three games in a short period of time.
“I thought it was a success. We did a lot of good things. We actually probably should have came away from the weekend with three wins, but we ran into a hot goaltender in Estevan Saturday night. We were very happy with how the kids responded, especially playing three games in 36 hours like that. It’s tough.”
The Mintos began the weekend with a 3-2 victory over the Moose Jaw U18 AAA Warriors at the Moose Jaw Events Centre on Friday at 7 p.m..
Owen Nelson struck in the first period and Kale Margolis scored a pair in the second period in the victory.
Brady Holtvogt made 29 saves in the victory.
The Mintos then hopped on the bus and made the journey of 235 kilometres to Estevan and played against the Bears at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Mintos would fall 5-1 in the affair with Owen Nelson scoring the lone goal for Prince Albert. Josh Henry made 28 saves for the Mintos in net.
Swystun says the biggest challenge the Mintos faced during the weekend was getting enough rest, especially between the Friday night and Saturday afternoon contests.
“(You’re) on the bus for long periods of time and you have to stay focused and you play the games. You have got to make sure the kids get fed and that the nutrition is there, and the rest is there. It’s a lot of hockey in a short period of time. It’s not something we’ve done in the past, it’s just the way the schedule worked out this year.”
Prince Albert would finish the weekend strong with a 7-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Affinity Place. The Mintos had six different goal scorers in the victory. Owen Nelson was the only skater with multiple goals. Scott McLean, Kelson Simmonds, Kale Margolis, Will Whitter and Taite Donkin all scored for the Mintos.
Brady Holtvogt made 24 saves to earn a shutout in net. Swystun says he has seen vast improvement from Holtvogt since last season.
“He is such a great kid. He’s a 16-year-old kid that is a professional. That’s how he approaches his game. You can tell over last year that he is just more confident, doing little things right. He gives the guys in front of him a chance to win. The way he approaches the game, you’re going to get his best every night. That’s a credit to him.”
The Mintos return to action on Saturday Oct. 14 when they welcome the Swift Current Legionnaires to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.