ANOTHER SHUTOUT FOR MICHASIW, MINTOS CLINCH FIRST PLACE
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Lane Michasiw made 17 saves for his second straight shutout, and the Prince Albert Mintos clinched first place in the preliminary round at the 2014 TELUS Cup with a 3-0 win over the Halifax McDonald’s on Friday afternoon.
The Mintos will play in Saturday’s early semifinal (2 p.m. MT); they won’t know who they play until after the Moose Jaw-Châteauguay preliminary round finale on Friday night.
Jared Blaquiere, Teal Sobkowicz and Kody White had the goals for Prince Albert (3-0-2), who set a pair of TELUS Cup records with the victory.
The Mintos allowed just three goals in five preliminary round games, one fewer than the previous record held by Red Deer in 2007, and they’re now unbeaten in 19 games at Canada’s National Midget Championship, eclipsing the 18-game run by Ste-Foy from 1978-80.
Michasiw was far less busy than his previous two starts, when he made 35 and 30 saves against Châteauguay and Moose Jaw, respectively.
The Prince Albert goaltender finished the preliminary round with sparkling numbers: a 2-0-1 record, 0.33 goals-against average and .988 save percentage.
White opened the scoring just past the 13-minute mark of the first period, pushing the puck through a Halifax forward before picking the corner over the glove of Macs goaltender Justin Ritcey.
After a scoreless second period, the Mintos struck quickly in the third; a shot from Ryan Duret rebounded to the side of the goal and onto the stick of Sobkowicz, and the Prince Albert captain buried the 2-0 goal into the empty net.
The extra insurance came four minutes after that; Dakota Boutin picked up a loose puck and found Blaquiere with a beautiful spinning pass, and Blaquiere beat Ritcey far to the blocker side.
Despite the loss, Ritcey finished his second consecutive TELUS Cup appearance with a strong performance, making 26 saves as Halifax (1-3-1) was outshot 29-17.
Neither team found success with the power play; Prince Albert was scoreless in two opportunities, while Halifax went without a goal on all three of its chances.