A hot start proved to be instrumental for the Prince Albert Mintos on route to a 5-1 win over the Notre Dame Hounds at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Minto assistant Bryan Swystun says it was the defensive play that shined in the victory.
“I thought we played very well. We came out and battled hard. I thought we were very good in the defensive zone. We were especially good in the neutral zone. I thought our D gap was there in their face all night and forced them to dump the puck in.”
A pair of first period goals got the Mintos off to a hot start.
Nolan Patterson would open the scoring at thew 13:01 mark of the opening frame with his 8th goal of the season. Roper Blanchard would pick up the lone assist.
Ashton Tait would double the Minto lead with just 3:56 to go in the opening frame. His 13th goal of the season gave Prince Albert a 2-0 advantage after twenty minutes. Logan Pickford picked up the lone assist on the play.
“We needed a quick start.” Swystun said of the Mintos first period. “When we played them both games [in Wilcox], we outworked them and deserved to win. The hockey gods weren’t on our side. We wanted to make sure we came out tonight and played well defensively, scored when we had the opportunities. The key was the quick start and we just rolled from there.”
The second period proved to be more of the same for the Mintos as they continued the offensive barrage with a pair of goals in the middle frame.
Carter Cole would score his 4th goal of the season less than five minutes into the middle frame at the 16:18 mark. Konnor Watson would be credited with the only assist on the play.
Logan Pickford would strike for his team leading 23rd goal of the campaign with 5:08 to go in the second period to give the Mintos a commanding 4-0 lead after forty minutes of play. Ashton Tait would assist on the play.
It appeared that Notre Dame had picked up their first goal of the contest with just 41 seconds to go in the second period, but the goal was waved off due to a high stick keeping the shutout intact for the Mintos.
The Hounds were quick to strike at the start of the third period. Bryant Linklater would score just 10 seconds in with his 8th goal of the season to cut the Minto lead to 4-1. Kaden MacLean would assist on the play.
The Mintos would restore the four-goal lead courtesy of Konnor Watson. Watson’s 13th goal of the season came unassisted at with 4:09 to go in the third period.
The Mintos received goals from five different players in the win and Swystun says depth scoring will be important in the playoffs.
“Especially in the playoffs, we need everybody going and everyone contributing. Tonight was a good example. The scoring was spread around all our lines were clicking and had opportunities and as a team that’s what you want.”
Jayden Kraus would earn the win in net for Prince Albert making 23 saves.
Oliver Tuchenhagen would stop 14 Minto shots for Notre Dame.
The Mintos return to action on Monday night when they welcome the Saskatoon Contacts to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.