Mintos set two records and clinch first place

Matthew Gourlie
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The Prince Albert Mintos didn't have much to gain Friday, but they achieved a lot.

Shawn Hubley, right, from the Halifax McDonald's slashes Prince Albert Mintos forward Keegan Kjargaard during Telus Cup action Friday in Moose Jaw.

They had already booked their place in the semifinals at the Telus Cup. In their final round robin game they beat the Halifax McDonald's 3-0.

They also set a pair of new records and clinched first place. They will play in Saturday's 2 p.m. semifinal.

The loss eliminated Halifax (1-3-1) from contention in the semifinals.

It was the second straight shutout for goalie Lane Michasiw and the Mintos.

Michasiw extended his shutout streak to 140 minutes and 20 seconds dating back to their 1-1 tie with Châteauguay.

The Mintos set a record for the fewest goals against during the round robin after allowing three goals in five games in the preliminary round.

"I haven't seen a group of six defencemen like that this year," said Halifax head coach Tim Boyce of the Mintos defence. "They're all big, they're all mobile. You have to work top get to the front of the net and they make you pay a price. They're a deep hockey club and they're very well coached. Obviously today it was hard to get to those dirty areas to try to put a puck in the net."

The Mintos also set a Telus Cup record by extending their unbeaten streak at the tournament to 19 games.

After Kody White opened the scoring in the first period, the Mintos dropped into a 1-2-2 trap and the Macs had little success generating shots or chances.

Mintos captain Teal Sobkowicz gave a lot of credit to the team's two goalies, but said the whole team works towards playing solid defensive hockey.

"We're pretty good at playing man-on-man and blocking shots. Once we get a good bounce off the shin pads or something, we're going the other way. That leads to odd-man rushes and goals off the rush," said Sobkowicz. "We had our regular forecheck and then we switched to a 1-2-2 trap and that consisted of us standing in the neutral zone and they really didn't know what to do with that."

Sobkowicz doubled the Mintos lead 1:08 into the third period and Jared Blaquiere added more insurance less than four minutes left.

Justin Ritcey made 26 saves in goal for the Macs.

The Macs were without centre Luc Poirier due to illness. Poirier's 52 points led the Nova Scotia league's in scoring.

Organizations: Telus, Halifax

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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