Sault Ste. Marie North Stars 1 - Prince Albert Mintos 4
PERFECT AGAIN – MINTOS WRAP UP UNDEFEATED ROUND ROBIN
Five games, five wins – the Prince Albert Mintos are perfect once again in the round robin at the TELUS Cup after a 4-1 win over the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars on Friday afternoon at Red Deer Arena.
Travis Statchuk scored powerplay goals in each of the first two periods and Shay Neufeld and Ryan Fox added goals with the man advantage in the final 20 minutes as the Mintos used a lethal powerplay to stop to Central Region champions.
Statchuk got Prince Albert on the board early in the opening period, capitalizing after a scramble in front of North Stars goaltender Thomas Gravelines.
After Kevin Closs tied it for Sault Ste. Marie early in period two on another powerplay, Statchuk’s powerplay point shot eluded Gravelines, giving the Mintos the lead for good.
Neufeld and Fox rounded out the scoring in the third period, giving the West Region champions their 12th consecutive win at the National Midget Championship while sending the North Stars to their 15th straight loss, dating back to 1999.
Despite the loss, Sault Ste. Marie head coach Mike Hall was impressed with his team’s performance.
“We could not be prouder of the way our kids played today,” Hall said following the loss. “They had absolutely nothing to play for, we were already eliminated, and they came out and played as hard as they could.”
Jadon Potter picked up the Player of the Game award for the Mintos, while Jerry Petingalo took home the honour for the second straight game for the North Stars.
Prince Albert will now wait for the result of the two Friday night games before finding out who they will take on in Saturday’s semi-final.
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PREVIEW: MINTOS LOOK FOR PERFECT RECORD AGAINST NORTH STARS
The Prince Albert Mintos look for their second consecutive perfect round-robin at the TELUS Cup when they face the winless Sault Ste. Marie North Stars on Friday afternoon at Red Deer Arena, the final preliminary round game for both.
The Mintos picked up their 11th consecutive win at the National Midget Championship in undoubtedly the best game of the tournament thus far, knocking off the host Red Deer Optimist Rebels 2-0 in front of more than 1,900 fans on Thursday night. The win wrapped up top spot in the round-robin for the West Region champions.
Goaltender Carsen Chubak has been spectacular at the 2007 TELUS Cup, winning Player of the Game honours for Prince Albert in both of his starts, turning aside 59 of the 60 shots he has faced. Chubak’s .983 save percentage leads the way among all goaltenders in Red Deer.
The Sault Ste. Marie North Stars continue to struggle at the TELUS Cup, dropping their 14th straight National Midget Championship game, dating back to 1999, 4-1 to the St. John’s Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Jerry Petingalo was the lone bright spot for the North Stars in Thursday night’s loss, picking up the Player of the Game award after scoring his team’s only goal. Semi-final hopes have slipped away for the Central Region champions, but there is still pride to salvage, and a win over the unbeaten Mintos would be a huge moral boost for the trip back to Ontario.
The Mintos and the North Stars are at opposite ends of the TELUS Cup spectrum: the last unbeaten team against the last winless team. Despite the discrepancy in their records, Prince Albert and Sault Ste. Marie both have something to play for – the Mintos for position, and the North Stars for pride.