Le­gion­naires en­ter reg­u­lar sea­son on a high

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS -

The Swift Cur­rent Home Hard­ware Le­gion­naires will look to carry some mo­men­tum from an over­time win in their pre­sea­son fi­nale into the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League reg­u­lar sea­son this week.

The Le­gion­naires de­feated the vis­it­ing Saska­toon Con­tacts 3-2 when Ma­son Strutt scored mid­way through the three-on­three over­time pe­riod.

Lu­cas Ochitwa and Chris­tian Al­bert­son also scored, while Blake Ras­mu­son and Ri­ley Dekowney added as­sists.

Ja­cob Her­man picked up the win with 32 saves on 34 shots.

The Le­gion­naires fin­ished the pre­sea­son with two wins and three losses.

“The way we go at it here is it’s a process of putting our young guys in giv­ing some Ban­tams some ex­pe­ri­ence to what they’re go­ing to have to come into to make this hockey team,” ex­plained head coach Dar­ren Ev­jen. “We also have play­ers that are try­ing to make this team. As we go on you have to make steps in or­der to stay in the camp. We prob­a­bly got pretty close go­ing into our third game where we were go­ing to be at… We feel good where we’re at right now.”

The Le­gion­naires will open the reg­u­lar sea­son on the road this week­end. They visit the Beardy’s Black­hawks on Satur­day and the Prince Al­bert Min­tos on Sun­day.

“There’s a tonne of work ahead of us, just a tonne. But I think we’re start­ing at the ba­sics and we’re just go­ing to keep try­ing to get bet­ter ev­ery­day and that’s what we can do. There’s some things we re­ally need to work on. Our dis­ci­pline has been a real is­sue in the pre­sea­son, but yet our char­ac­ter has been a real is­sue for win­ning these games.”

Ev­jen said the team will lean on veter­ans early in the sea­son.

“Well they’re driv­ing the train. So when you’re a leader you’re rep­re­sent­ing the team in ev­ery way. How you play the game, how you go to school, how you han­dle sit­u­a­tions, that’s how our young guys are go­ing to re­act. So they’re a ma­jor im­pact on your team at ev­ery level.”

The Le­gion­naires trailed in the third pe­riod be­fore pulling out the win.

“I think what I’ve liked is the last two games is we’ve re­ally, for 60 min­utes, there’s been push. To­day, the sec­ond pe­riod we did dam­age to our­selves by tak­ing bad penal­ties. But we found a way to kill them off, the old bend but don’t break. We got down, but your go­ing to go through that in games. You gotta learn to push back, tie it up, and then win a game some­how and that’s what we found to­day,” said Ev­jen.

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