The Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League semifinal series against the Regina Pat Canadians did not start at all well for the Prince Albert Mintos. They were down 3-0 at one point in the second period of Game 1 on Wednesday in Regina.
But since then, it’s been all Mintos. They’ve scored eight unanswered goals to comeback and dramatically win Game 1 4-3, and then followed it up with a 4-0 trouncing on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre. They are now just one win away from the SMAAAHL championship series, and could sweep the Pat Canadians with a win this Wednesday in Regina.
Kyrell Sopotyk paced the Mintos with a hat trick, scoring the first two goals of the game in his typical tight, stickhandling fashion. He also added the empty net goal.
Sopotyk now has eight goals in five postseason games to lead the SMAAAHL in that category, and his 10 points is just one behind Notre Dame Hounds’ Luke Mylymok who has 11.
“It’s awesome, it gives me a lot of confidence personally and it gives a lot of confidence to the team,” Sopotyk said. “It feels really good to get that.”
With the Mintos up 2-0, Sopotyk tried a fancy between-his-legs shot while right in front of the Pat Canadians goal, but it was stopped by Pat Canadians goalie Jared Thompson.
Kishaun Gervais, who had the Game 1 winner with just over two minutes to go, successfully completed that move on a breakaway to extend the lead to 3-0.
“He told me he saw me try to do it, so he had to go and it himself,” Sopotyk said. “It’s crazy. Good for him.”
Mintos goaltender Cale Elder stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout. Elder had three shutouts in the regular season, but Sunday’s was his first of the postseason.
“It was awesome to get that out of the way, especially against a team like that. It’s good,” Elder said. “We just followed the game plan, we got pucks in deep and went hard to them. We played a good defensive game, our breakouts have been good and our offence has been great.”
The Mintos will have a chance to sweep the Pat Canadians on Wednesday in the Queen City.
“We have to stick to what we’ve been doing, we can’t get away from our game plan,” Elder said. “We can’t think of it as the last game, we have to think of it as just another game.”
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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