Patterson hat trick leads Mintos to convincing win over Contacts

Herald File Photo. The Prince Albert Mintos celebrate a goal during a home game at the Art Hauser Centre .

At times this season, scoring has been hard to come by for the Prince Albert Mintos. It was quite the contrary on Monday night as the Mintos scored nine times in a convincing 9-3 win over the Saskatoon Contacts at the Art Hauser Centre.

Minto head coach Tim Leonard says he has been pleased with the team’s play the last two games.

“I thought we played really well. We matched last night’s game. We want to play a full 60 minutes, last night we did it and tonight was another repeat performance. We’re paying attention to detail, the guys are buying in and they are doing all the little things right. They’re fun to watch right now.”

The Mintos and Contacts would duke it out in an exciting, back and forth first period.

Kanye Huang would get the game’s opening goal with 17:03 remaining. His 3rd goal of the season was assisted by Mason Karakochuk.

The Mintos would respond at the 12:16 mark as Logan Pickford would knot up the score at 1-1 with his 24th goal of the season. Carson Olsen and Ashton Tait would assist on the play.

Luke Korte would restore the Contact lead temporarily at 2-1 with his 10th goal of the season with 11:31 remaining in the period. Spencer Chestolowski picked up the lone assist.

Prince Albert would respond with Carter Cole’s 5th of the season coming just 26 seconds later with 11:05 to go in the opening frame. Konnor Watson picked up the lone assist on the play.

The Minto power play would give Prince Albert the lead going into the dressing room after twenty minutes after Nolan Patterson would redirect a Logan Beebe point shot past Contact netminder Luke Hampton to make the score 3-2 in the favor of the homeside.

Leonard says the scoring drought the Mintos faced earlier in the season has gone away and that the team is showing promising signs heading into the playoffs.

“Heading into the playoffs, that’s huge. It’s been going on for a while where we’ve been scoring goals. Our power play is starting to click a little bit here. Special teams are so important in the playoffs. Just an all around good game, hard to believe 44 are gone but that’s a good way to finish.”

Shots favored the Mintos 13-6 after the opening frame.

THe Mintos would take control with a four goal outburst in the second.

Roper Blanchard would strike on the power play less than two minutes into the frame to double the Minto lead at 4-2.  Nolan Patterson and Caden Dunn assisted on the play.

Just over two minutes later, Will Whitter’s 5th goal of the season extended the Minto lead to 5-2. Owen Nelson had the lone assist on the play.

THe Prince Albert offense would continue to stay hot with a power play marker off the tape of Konnor Watson. Watson’s 14th goal of the season extended the Minto lead to four at 6-2. Ashton Tait and Abinet Klassen would assist on the play.

The Mintos were not done there as Nolan Patterson would record his second goal of the night on a breakaway with 37 seconds to go in the period. The goal would be unassisted to extend the lead to 7-2 in favour of Prince Albert.

After Mintos defenceman Scott MacLean would beat out an icing call, he would make a strong feed in front to Nolan Patterson

Patterson would continue to have the hot hand for Prince Albert as he would finish off the hat trick just 1:06 into the third period to make it 8-2 in favor of the Mintos.

Leonard says Patterson and the other three graduating Mintos provide a lot to the team.

“They’re awesome. They are our leaders and the guys that stir the drink. Beebe and Dunn are rock solid back there. Roper and Patterson are a huge part of our team up front. They have big bodies which keep other teams honest and they’re starting to put pucks in the net which is a bonus.”

Saskatoon would answer as Brodie Scopick would cut into the deficit with his 11th goal of the season coming with 16:16 remaining in the third period.

The Mintos would add one more goal off the tape of Simon Garchinski in the dying seconds.

Brady Holtvogt made 16 saves in net for the Mintos.

Leonard says his goaltender handled the crease well after a rough first period.

“One leaked by him, but he held his own. It’s a tough game to play when you are outshooting the other team like that and they aren’t giving up many chances. He stayed focused and made some good saves to keep them at bay. For a 15-year-old, he held his composure.”

The Mintos finished in 7th place in the SMAAAHL standings and will match up with Raider prospect Luke Moroz and the Regina Pat Canadians in the first round of the playoffs. Game dates have not been announced at the time of publishing.