MICHASIW BLANKS GENERALS, MINTOS CLINCH SEMIFINAL SPOT
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Lane Michasiw stopped all 30 shots he faced, helping the Prince Albert Mintos to Saskatchewan bragging rights at the 2014 TELUS Cup with a 2-0 win over the Moose Jaw Generals on Thursday night.
The victory means Prince Albert (2-0-2) is guaranteed a spot in Saturday’s semifinals, while Moose Jaw (0-2-2) needs a win in its preliminary round finale Friday afternoon (4:30 p.m. MT) against the Grenadiers de Châteauguay – along with help in the day’s other two games – to play on the weekend.
Loch Morrison and Lance Yaremchuk had the goals for the Mintos, who tied the longest unbeaten streak in tournament history with the win.
Prince Albert has not lost in 18 consecutive games (17-0-1) dating back to 2006. It now shares the mark with Ste-Foy, which won 18 straight from 1978-80.
The Mintos took the body early, setting the tone with a number of big hits, but neither team could make a dent on the scoreboard; the game went to the first intermission scoreless, with Prince Albert’s Carson Cayer getting the best chance, hitting the post on a breakaway opportunity.
The defensive struggle continued in the second, but this time it was the Generals who set the pace, forcing the Mintos into three penalties and holding a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal in the middle frame.
But it would be Prince Albert who would end the period with a lead, thanks to a late goal.
With the seconds ticking away, Wyatt Grant fired a no-look pass from the corner that took a funny bounce off Moose Jaw goaltender Grant Naherniak and ended up on the stick of Morrison, who wired a shot over the glove of the screened Generals goaltender with just 12 seconds left in the frame.
Moose Jaw had three more power plays in the third period but couldn���t solve Michasiw, and a goalpost in the last minute produced a red light and a mild celebration, but not a goal.
The Mintos clinched the win with 49 seconds left; a forecheck by Kody White caused a turnover deep in the Moose Jaw zone, and a loose puck popped out to Yaremchuk, who deposited the insurance goal into the empty net.
Prince Albert closes out its preliminary round schedule Friday afternoon (1 p.m. MT) against the Halifax McDonald’s, with the Generals hoping their provincial rivals can finish with a win and help their semifinal cause.