Slow start dooms Mintos in pre-season tilt

A slow start proved to be insurmountable for the Prince Albert Mintos, who fell 5-3 to the Saskatoon Blazers during pre-season action at the Art Hauser Centre Tuesday night.

Saskatoon struck early and often. After Owen Patterson was sent to the penalty box for a head contact minor penalty, the Blazer power play struck less than 20 seconds later as Lee Shurgot open the scoring with 16:04 remaining in the first.

Saskatoon would continue to score as Leo Seitz scored two goals within a minute of each other to put the Blazers up 3-0. Mintos head coach Tim Leonard says Prince Albert came out flat to start the first period.

“We didn’t start very good. We weren’t ready for the tempo. After we called a timeout we adjusted, after that it was an even game.”

After Leo Seitz scored his second goal of the period, the Mintos called a timeout trailing 3-0. Leonard says the message in the timeout was to pick up the team’s tempo.

“They just need to remember who we are and what we are. It’s a dressing room full of good kids. We can skate and shoot and pass just like they can.We just had to get out feet moving and catch up to the tempo and we were fine.”

Prince Albert would get on the board before the end of the first period as Owen Nelson fired a shot past Saskatoon goaltender Grayson Malinoski. Saskatoon outshot the Mintos 10-7 after 20 minutes of play.

Saskatoon would extend their lead with 6:11 remaining in the third period as Luke Dahlen snapped home an even strength goal to put the Blazers up 4-1. The Mintos would answer back to keep themselves within striking distance as Logan Pickford found the back of the net with 6:43 remaining in the second period to make the score 4-2. The Mintos outshot the Blazers 13-11 in the second period.

Saskatoon would restore their three goal lead a little under 12 minutes into the third period. Josh Knittig scored on the power play assisted by Lee Shurgot, the third point of the night for the Blazer forward.

Prince Albert wouldn’t go quietly as Logan Pickford would pick up his second goal of the contest with 6:43 remaining to pull the Mintos back within two at 5-3.

The Mintos were outshot 12-7 in the third period by the Blazers. The Mintos open their regular season on Sept. 24 against the Swift Current Legionnaires.

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