The Prince Albert Mintos (11-10-0-1) were as shorthanded as you could get during their 3-2 defeat to the Tisdale Trojans (18-3-2-1).
They had just 10 forwards, five defenceman due to both injuries and suspensions. Even head coach Ken Morrison wasn’t there, as he was serving his second of a three-game ban after receiving a game misconduct at the end of the 6-5 defeat to the Notre Dame Hounds on Nov. 24.
Assistant coach Bryan Swystun was also worried that the Mintos might not be mentally up for the game as they last played nine days ago, in a 10-3 loss to the Saskatoon Blazers.
But through Swystun’s eyes, that wasn’t the story Tuesday at the Art Hauser Centre.
“The fellas took care of that tonight. I think we played hard, our effort was there,” Swystun said. “We had scoring opportunities. I mean, we missed three breakaways and don’t even get a shot. That’s a tell-tale sign and that’s how the game goes sometimes. But for the most part, I’m pretty proud of our kids. They played hard against one of the best teams in the league.”
The Mintos opened up the scoring with Dawson Springer finding Andrew Schaab on the wing, who ripped one home on the short side.
The Trojans responded with a power play goal. Davis Chorney planted himself in front of the net, and smacked home a pass from Liam Rutten to tie the game.
Schaab once again found the back of the net, and again it was Springer with the primary assist.
Kalen Ukrainetz after a block, beat Mintos goaltender Carter Woodside with a nice backhand to equalize after two periods.
Trojans forward Skylar Olson then scored the eventual 3-2 game winner with a change-up midway through the third period. He shot the puck on a cross-crease one-timer, but the shot fluttered on goal, end-over-end, and it fooled Woodside.
In the last week, a pair of Prince Albert Mintos were subjects of Western Hockey League trades.
On Monday, the rights to Mintos’ sniper Dawson Springer (and a fourth round pick) were traded from the Everett Silvertips to the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for Max Patterson.
Springer is tied for the SMAAAHL lead with 18 goals in 22 games, alongside Beardy’s Blackhawks forward Holden Knights.
Swystun said Springer has always been able to score, but needed to improve his game away from the puck. Springer has done that since he reported to the Mintos in camp.
“He’s a real improved player. He’s still got a long ways to go to work on the complete game, but he’s making strides in the right direction,” Swystun said. “Let’s face it, he’s the leading goal scorer in the league, or was up until tonight. He probably has one of the best releases I’ve ever seen at this level.
And back on Friday, Mintos winger Chase Bertholet was a part of a massive trade between the Kootenay ICE and the Red Deer Rebels.
Bertholet, who was picked by the Rebels in this past WHL Bantam Draft in the fifth round, was sent over to the ICE along with River Fahey, Austin Schellenberg, Justin Svenson and five picks (first, third and sixth rounders in 2019, second round draft choice in 2020 and a conditional third round selection in 2022). The Rebels received Brett Davis and Cam Hausinger back in the trade.
These deals make it three current Mintos whose rights have been moved in WHL trades this year. Goaltender Carter Woodside was moved by the ICE to the Regina Pats for a conditional eighth round pick on Aug. 20. Woodside was originally drafted in the sixth round by the ICE in 2016.
And Alex Moar, who played with the Mintos from 2016-18, was also dealt this year. He went from the Silvertips to the Broncos on Halloween. Artyom Minulin and a 2021 eighth rounder went back to Everett.
The Mintos 11-10-1 have lost their last four games and six of their last seven contests. They’ll face the Saskatoon Blazers on Thursday at the Rod Hamm Arena in Saskatoon.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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