Mintos win sixth straight

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Mintos defenceman Marek Schneider moves the puck away from Battlefords Stars forward Carson Dobson during a game at the North Battleford Civic Centre last season. The two sides will open up the 2019-20 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League campaign on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Art Hauser Centre.

It wasn’t quite a picture perfect performance, but the Prince Albert Mintos were able to assure themselves of a trip to the playoffs Tuesday night.

In what was a wild affair at the North Battleford Civic Centre, the Mintos scored four unanswered goals in the third period to pick a 5-3 victory over the Battlefords Stars.

That triumph was the sixth straight for the Mintos, who clinched a spot in the 2019 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League post-season in the process.

“Even though we were down 2-0 after the second period, we were still feeling confident in the dressing room and we came up with a plan that we hoped would get us back into the game,” Mintos forward Logan Cox said.

“We had some good scoring chances, especially in the first period, but we just weren’t able to bury them. We were able to learn from our mistakes and we capitalized on our chances in the third.”

The turning point in the game came with 12:40 left in the third period, when the Stars were awarded a penalty shot and had a chance to take a three-goal lead.

Captain Shayde Peterson came down the ice and tried to do a “Forsberg” to extend his team’s cushion, but Mintos goalie Spencer Welke knew what was coming and made a pad save.

With some extra momentum on their side, the Mintos turned up the wick as Cox, Alex Ozar and Ashton Ferster all scored in a four-and-a-half minute span to give their team the lead.

“The bounces weren’t going our way in the first two periods, but we knew that our luck was going to turn around,” Ferster said. “Once we got some momentum, we really started to control things and they weren’t able to stop us when we got the puck in their end.”

Ozar and Ferster led the way on offence with a goal and two assists, while Gabe Klassen scored his league-leading 29th goal of the campaign in the final frame and also dished out a helper.

Chase Bertholet rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal and Spencer Welke made 24 saves to earn the win.

Boston Maxwell had a pair of goals for the Stars, who have a 10-23-2-0 record and are in 10th place in the league standings.

Luke Fennig dished out a pair of helpers for the hosts, who also got a goal from Quinn Strang and received a 34-save showing from Joseph Young.

With the victory, the Mintos improved their record to 22-15-2-0 and are now in a three-way tie for fourth place in the league table with the Notre Dame Hounds and the Swift Current Legionnaires on 46 points.

Those two teams squared off Tuesday in Wilcox, where the Hounds came away with a 6-3 win.

The Mintos will continue a five-game road trip this weekend as they’ll visit the Hounds Saturday before a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Legionnaires.