Third period surge lifts Mintos past Moose Jaw

Photo by Nathan Reiter. Prince Albert Mintos forward Logan Pickford attempts a shot on goal during SMAAAHL action at the Art Hauser Centre.

Through 40 minutes, the Prince Albert Mintos and Moose Jaw Winmar Warriors were locked in a defensive battle of attrition, but an offensive explosion in the third period led the Mintos to a 6-1 win in SMAAAHL play on Sunday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre.

Minto head coach Tim Leonard says that the Mintos were short handed but got some contributions from depth options in the victory.

“It was a character win today. We lost some guys with some injuries, our bench got a little short. The next man up added to and got it done. Some guys who normally don’t get big minutes, ate up some big minutes. It was awesome to see. That third period was about as good as you can play.”

Moose Jaw would open the scoring less than three minutes in as Connor Miller scored his 9th of the season on the power play. Assists on the goal were credited to Grady Hoffman and Dylan Duzan.

THe Mintos would answer just past the halfway mark of the opening period as Kelan Simmonds would snipe his 2nd of the season past Warrior netminder Ryan Hicks to even up the score at 1-1 with 9:46 remaining in the first period.

Neither team could crack the score column in the second period as both teams would lock down and play strong defensively in their own zone.

Shots in the second period favoured the Mintos 9-8.

Moose Jaw was not prepared for the offensive onslaught of the Mintos in the third period as Prince Albert would pot five unanswered goals.

Just over two minutes into the third period, Will Whitter would get an opportunity on the power play and he would make no mistake scoring his 4th goal of the season with 17:56 remaining in the third.  Van Taylor and Carson Olsen would pick up the assists.

Just over a minute later, Logan Pickford would pick up a puck from his goaltender Brady Holtvogt and would take it the rest of the distance down the left wing and past Hicks for his 10th goal of the season.

The Minto power play would contribute later in the frame as with 7:45 remaining, Van Taylor score an insurance goal for his fifth of the season.

The Mintos would add unassisted goals by Konnor Watson and Abinet Klassen to secure the 6-1 victory.

Leonard says the Mintos dug their heels down in the third period and showed their will to win.

“Pucks and bodies to the net, that’s what we talked about and that’s what we did. Moose Jaw is a good team, they are well coached. They don’t give up a lot. First two periods were really tight both ways. It was just a matter of the kids digging down. Usually these games are a matter of whoever wanted it most, and our kids wanted it most today.”

Leonard adds the third period outburst was important for a Mintos team that has failed to score at times this season.

“It’s a tough thing for the kids to swallow, I tell them the puck luck is going to start coming our way and the hockey gods are going to start waving their wands for us. We’ve gotten a little bit of [puck luck] the last few games. We fought through that today 1-1 going into the third, buried five all on work ethic.”

The Mintos return to action on Dec. 10 when they travel to Yorkton to take on the Secon Maulers for a pair of games.