Rough final frame proves costly for Mintos

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Moose Jaw Generals forward Owen Slugoski and his teammate Brady Grasdal speed away from Chase Bertholet of the Prince Albert Mintos at the Art Hauser Centre Saturday afternoon.

A close game at the Art Hauser Centre quickly turned lopsided Saturday afternoon.

The Moose Jaw Generals broke open the proceedings with three goals in an almost two-minute span in the early stages of the final frame as they came away with a 5-2 win over the Prince Albert Mintos.

“We got outworked for the majority of the game,” Mintos head coach Ken Morrison said. “We had a shorthanded breakaway early in the third period that we didn’t score on, and then we just seemed to sag after they went back the other way to take the lead and eventually pull away.

“We just didn’t work hard enough and didn’t create our own breaks. Moose Jaw played one of their best games of the year against us as they kept things simple and put a lot of pressure on our defence.”

While the 15-14-1-0 Mintos saw a three-game win streak come to an end Saturday, the 9-17-1-2 Generals picked up their second straight victory and are now seven points back of the Beardy’s Blackhawks and Saskatoon Contacts for the seventh playoff spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.

“We know that we are in tough to make it in the post-season after our first half and this was one of the teams that we needed to beat in order to move up in the standings,” Generals head coach Ray Wareham said.

“I thought this was arguably one of our best games of the year. We were able to take away their time and space today, which allowed us to get some chances on offence.”

Evan Sare had three assists to lead the Generals on offence, while Steven Kesslering scored a pair of goals.

Jeron Kletzel, Cody Davis and Ben Wourms-Rowe also scored for the visitors, who received a 19-save performance from Jaxson Taupert.

Andrew Schaab and Cohner Saleski, who was playing in his first game since Nov. 18 due to an ankle injury, both found the back of the net for the Mintos.

Carter Woodside was busy throughout the contest, as the Regina Pats prospect stopped 31 shots.

“I thought he made a number of good saves, but we weren’t there to help him out as they scored two or three goals on tap-ins after he made the first save,” Morrison said.

The Mintos will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 10 as they’ll host the Battlefords Stars at 7 p.m.

That will be their last home contest until Feb. 2, as they’ll go on a five-game road trip while the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championship takes place at the Art Hauser Centre.