© Dustin Saracini/Daily Herald Logan Barlage is mobbed as he enters the zone

Tisdale’s defence-first mentality breaks down Prince Albert in 2-1 loss

It wasn’t the way the Prince Albert Mintos wanted to start.

The Tisdale Trojans walked into the Art Hauser Centre for their second meeting of the season and scored just 66 seconds into the game, courtesy of Tyde Hutchinson. The Scout Lake product was able to jump on a rebound to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead after the first.

It was a far cry from their last matchup, where the Mintos walked into Tisdale territory and came out with a 5-2 win. Tonight, the green and yellow were unable to complete the comeback, losing a 2-1 bout.

“Slow start, we weren’t ready to play and compete,” head coach Ken Morrison said following the loss.

“We get behind the eight ball and they start trapping. It took us a little while to get adjusted … We took too many penalties, it doesn’t add up to success.”

The navy and red duplicated their output in the second, scoring within the first five minutes on the man advantage. A point shot through traffic from Daniel Wasylyshyn beat a blinded Cale Elder to double the lead for Tisdale.

They weren’t the only team to click on the power play. In true “2-0-is-the-worst-lead-in-hockey” fashion, the Mintos came right back with a goal of their own on the man advantage. Rookie Kyrell Sopotyk continued his impressive campaign, scoring his ninth on a picture-perfect deflection in the slot, tucking the puck on the short-side of netminder Ethan Anders. Kade McMillen and Cael Zimmerman provided the helpers.

“He’s doing a good job, he works hard,” Morrison said.

“Most of our guys worked hard for most of the game, I’m happy with that. We just didn’t get any bounces and we have to create our own luck. Give them credit, they worked hard and their goalie played good. We had trouble putting the puck in.”

As the period came to a close Elder proved to be the hero on the penalty kill, sprawling out in his crease to make a tremendous save on Taylor Schmidt, who made a bid for his fourth of the season. Cue “You’re Unbelievable” over the loudspeaker.

If Elder was the hero in the second period, certainly Anders was the villain throughout the game. The 16-year-old Regina product denied Logan Barlage on a breakaway attempt and was consistent in keeping the puck out of his cage despite numerous chances. Stalling the high-powered Mintos offence and keeping them off the scoreboard is a difficult thing to do, especially when they are in “kill or be killed” mode, but the young netminder was able to do just that. Anders was equal to the task in the third, stopping 11 shots while making 31 saves overall. The team in front of him certainly helped, slowing the game down, playing the trap and keeping the Mintos out of the scoring areas.

A man down with less than a minute remaining, a timeout was called, but Morrison and his team were unable to convert despite consistent pressure.

“It was kind of a unique situation,” Morrison said.

“We were just looking to win the draw, get possession of the puck, get the goalie out and put everything to the net.”

On deck is a game against the second place Regina Pats this Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre.

The puck drops at 7 p.m.