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Home Sports Swanson scores three in Mintos 9-2 beatdown of the Maulers

Swanson scores three in Mintos 9-2 beatdown of the Maulers

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Swanson scores three in Mintos 9-2 beatdown of the Maulers
The Prince Albert Mintos celebrate a 9-2 win over the Yorkton Maulers on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre. The Mintos head into the Christmas break winner of three straight games. –Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

Travis Swanson recorded his first U18 AAA hat trick, and Ashton Tait scored a pair as the Prince Albert Mintos picked up their biggest win of the season, 9-2 over the Yorkton Maulers. The Mintos, who scored 16 goals over the course of two games this weekend, fit right into the season of giving, as 14 players found the scoresheet over the weekend, with either a goal or an assist.

“I thought in the first period we came out and we were clicking offensively,” Mintos assistant coach Bryan Swystun said. “It was nice to see us attack with some speed and make some good plays.”

The Mintos struck early and often in the first period, scoring three times in the first four minutes of the game. 13 seconds into the first, Jacob Cossette came streaking down the right wing and fired a shot over John Macpherson’s shoulder. Cossette added to his league lead in points, as he finished with a goal and three assists. In 27 games this season, Cossette has 51 points, 11 more than the next leading scorer Ben Riche of the Pat Canadians.

Two minutes later, Karson Blanchette doubled Prince Albert’s lead, shooting home his ninth goal of the year. Ashton Tait scored his first of two goals of the afternoon shortly after, as the Mintos went up 3-0 in the early stages.

Swanson and Ryan Lepitzki rounded out the scoring in the first, as Prince Albert held a commanding 5-0 lead after the first.

“We said stick to the plan,” Swystun said about the message during the first intermission. “We need to work on things regardless of the score. Today was one of those games where we got to work on some defense and things like that. Our guys responded.”

The Mintos added two powerplay goals early in the second period. On a 5 on 3 man advantage, Minto captain Rhett Ravndahl sniped a shot through traffic for his fourth goal of the season. The defenceman also had a nice offensive performance, finishing with a goal and two assists.

Swanson picked up his second goal of the contest on the same powerplay, this time on a 5 on 4. He took a perfect pass in the slot from teammate Zach Bansley, and one timed a shot home, adding to the Mintos already sizeable lead, making it a 7-0 score.

Tait added his second of the night in a similar way. He took a pass from Karson Blanchette and one timed a rocket home, putting the home side up 8-0, still with 13:40 to go in the second.

Less than a minute after that, the Mintos still had possession of the puck in Maulers territory. Bansley took a shot on goal that was stopped by Frank Chaboyer, who was put into the net in relief of Macpherson. His shot was stopped, but Swanson found the rebound and pulled the puck out to his backhand, sliding a shot in for his third goal of the night, and first SMU18AAAHL hat trick.

“I felt like I was seeing the ice really good,” Swanson said. “I had a lot of energy and a lot of jump in my stride. I owe a lot of credit to my linemates Lepitzki and Bansley. They did all the work in the corners and the puck kind of just bounced to me, so all I had to do was tap it in.”

Cade Kennedy scored for the Maulers with two seconds left in the second period, and Roper Blanchard scored his first U18 AAA goal as well for Yorkton in the third period.

9-2 would end up being the final score, as the Mintos head into the Christmas break on a three game winning streak.

“We played a full 60 minutes and had everyone contributing,” Swanson said. “It wasn’t just a one line effort, it was all 12 forwards and all 6 defenceman. We’re feeling really good. We’re excited to go into the break and we’ll have a couple of days off before the Mac’s tournament. We’re looking forward to that.”

“It puts our kids in the right frame of mind,” Swystun added. “It’s always nice to win, guys are a little more free in the dressing room. We’re looking forward to going to Calgary, we have no pressure in the standings or anything like that. We know the other teams are going to be good, so we’ll see how we stack up.”

The Mac’s AAA Invitational tournament starts on Dec. 27th, and ends on Jan. 2nd. The Mintos return back to their schedule on Jan. 8th, when they head to Yorkton for a rematch with the Maulers.

@kyle_kosowan•sports@paherald.sk.ca