On fire

Prince Albert Mintos forward Kyrell Sopotyk slides by the net as he scores his third goal of the night in P.A.’s 4-3 win over the Saskatoon Blazers on Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Mintos rookie Sopotyk has four-goal night in win over Blazers

Kyrell Sopotyk scored four goals to lead the Prince Albert Mintos to a 4-3 win over the Saksatoon Blazers on Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre. Sopotyk now ties teammate and fellow rookie Logan Barlage for the league lead in goals with 29.

“He played great,” Mintos coach Ken Morrison said of Sopotyk.

“I thought their whole line was good. He made some good plays at the net, he’s got a knack around the net (and) showed it tonight.”

The Blazers were quick to score in the first period, jumping to a 1-0 lead after less than two minutes of play thanks to forward Reagan Poncelet. Eventually the Mintos fought back, with Sopotyk jamming his first goal of the night past netminder Matthew Pesenti with six minutes to go in the frame. Despite leading in the shot count 12-5, the Mintos went into the second period deadlocked at ones.

After a scoreless middle frame the Blazers once again took the lead early in the third period, but Sopotyk promptly replied on behalf of the Mintos to tie the score 41 seconds later. Sopotyk gave P.A. their first lead of the match two-and-a-half minutes after that on the hat-trick goal, and followed that up with an insurance marker on the power play.

“We were down one and we wanted to get back in the game. Me and our line were going hard and bounces were going our way. It just went in the net for me,” Sopotyk said.

“It’s definitely very exciting to be tied for leading the league in goals but we can always do better and try to get more and try to get ahead for the better of our team.”

Blazers forward Shane Hounsell scored with three minutes left in the game to bring Saskatoon to within one, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Mintos came away with a 4-3 win.

“It wasn’t our best performance all around … we were getting pucks deep and kind of playing in their zone but we kind of overcomplicated the game at times and kind of got ourselves in some trouble,” Morrison said.

“They got the first goal and then we kind of woke up and got the second. Then they kind of lulled us back to sleep and then went ahead 2-1 and then we responded so I guess that’s a good sign.”

The Mintos’ next game is on Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Art Hauser Centre when they take on the Battlefords Stars. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

“We’ve just got to be better for 60 minutes in that next game,” Morrison said.

“That’ll be the goal for next game is just play the right way for the whole game.”


Game Summary:

Prince Albert 4, Saskatoon 3

First Period

  1. Saskatoon, Poncelet 5 (Allan) 1:57
  2. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 26 (Zimmerman, Lamotte) 14:08

Second Period

No scoring

Third Period

  1. Saskatoon, Dureau 18 (Smith, Hounsell) 2:32
  2. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 27 (Zimmerman, Matechuk) 3:13
  3. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 28 (B. Schneider, Zimmerman) 4:49
  4. Prince Albert, Sopotyk 29 (Lamotte, Zimmerman) 11:47 (pp)
  5. Saskatoon, Hounsell 12 (unassisted) 16:42

Goalies: Prince Albert –­ Cale Elder, 14 saves (W, 10-5-0); Saskatoon – Matthew Pesenti, 30 saves (L, 5-12-0).

Stars of the Game: Home Star – Kyrell Sopotyk, Away Star – Shane Hounsell.


Tale of the Tape:

On Feb. 2 the Prince Albert Mintos welcome the Battlefords Stars to the Art Hauser Centre. This is the last time the teams will face off in P.A. this season.

Record: Prince Albert — 21-15-0-1; Battlefords — 14-20-0-2

Last 10: Prince Albert — 7-3-0-0; Battlefords — 3-7-0-0

Top scorers: Prince Albert — Logan Barlage (59 points); Battlefords — Adam Beckman (34 points)

Goals for/against: Prince Albert — 126/103; Battlefords — 100/137

Last meeting: Austin Lamotte, Kade McMillen and Kyrell Sopotyk all had two-point nights as the Mintos defeated the Stars 5-2 at the North Battleford Civic Centre on Dec. 6, 2016.