Tough bounces sink Mintos in 3-1 loss

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The Prince Albert Mintos celebrate a goal during SMAAAHL action on Oct. 15 at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert Mintos generated plenty of chances on Wednesday, but struggled to turn those chances into goals in a 3-1 loss to the Tisdale Trojans at the Art Hauser Centre.

Will Whitter had the lone goal for Prince Albert, while Brady Holtvogt made 24 saves in a losing cause. The Mintos put plenty of pressure on the Trojans, especially in the second period where they outshot the visitors 13-6, but weren’t rewarded offensively for their efforts.

“Pucks just don’t seem to want to go in right now,” Mintos coach Tim Leonard said afterwards. “We deke a goalie and the puck lays on the goal line. We shoot, it hits his pad, it lays on the goal line. We hit the shaft of his stick three times.

“We stuck with it and that’s what’s important. Sometimes that’s what the hockey gods do, but I told them just stick with it and hopefully it’ll pay off later on.”

Ryder Mucha led the way for Tisdale with two goals, including an empty-netter with a minute left in the third. Dylan Twidale made 28 saves to earn the victory.

Despite the loss, Leonard his confident the goals will come if the Mintos keep playing hard.

“You don’t want to go down a rabbit hole and feel sorry for yourself,” he said. “You’ve got to go out and keep working and keep getting chances. I told the guys, ‘you get mad when you’re not getting any goals, but when you get chances, obviously you’re doing something right.’”

The two teams were scoreless until the 12:09 mark when the Trojans took advantage of a bad bounce to make it 1-0. Holtvogt skated behind the net to stop the puck following a Tisdale dump-in, but it hopped over his stick and right to Pryce Thiessen. Thiessen passed the puck out front to Mucha who fired it into an empty net for the opening goal.

The Trojans extended their lead at 4:47 when Dayton Reschny skated into the slot and fired a hard backhander off the crossbar and in to make it 2-0.

The Mintos got one back in the second period when Whitter corralled the puck in the slot and beat Twidale low glove side to make it 2-1, but that was as close as Prince Albert came.

The Mintos had a glorious opportunity to tie things up with 3:12 left in the third period when Carter Cole and Van Taylor broke in on a 2-on-1. Taylor deked around Twidale, but the Trojans goalie managed to get a leg on the shot, slowing it down just enough for teammate Carter Geysen to clear it off the goal line.

Mucha capped the night off with an empty netter late in the third to give Tisdale the 3-1 win.

The loss drops Prince Albert’s record to 10-5-1 on the season. The Mintos still sit in first place, one point ahead of the Moose Jaw AAA Warriors and Estevan Bears who are tied for second with 20.

The Mintos are off until the weekend when travel to Swift Current for a two-game series with the Legionnaires. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Their next home game is on Friday, Nov. 24 when they take on the Warriors at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.