Legionnaires miss chances for first wins
The Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires remain winless in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League after four games. The Legionnaires had a good opportunity to pick up their first win over the weekend when the Beardy’s Blackhawks paid a visit to the Credit Union iplex.
Saturday, the Legionnaires squandered a four-goal lead in a 7-7 draw. They led 5-2 after the first period and stretched it to 6-2 in the second period before allowing five goals over the final 24:23 of regulation.
“I don’t know if it is a matter of what went wrong,” said head coach Dale Vossen. “I think it is a matter of being a mature hockey team. Right now we are fragile and we are young. I am not mak- ing excuses. You can’t give away a 5-2 lead, it is unacceptable. 6-2 even at one point.”
Kyle Zinger made the start and allowed six goals on 28 shots over 46:12. Shane Blomquist was credited with the tie after stopping nine of 10 shots over the final 18:48.
Chaseton Sare and Dawson Tangen each had a goal and an assist, while Bryce Hall added four assists. Reid Fritzke, Kolby John- son, Tanner Brewster, and Colton Adam also scored for Swift Current. Evan Armstrong, Gage Misskey, and Connor Odelein added assists.
“I think the guys thought ‘whoa we are going to score a tonne of goals here.’ The guys got away from playing the system and they quit working,” lamented Vossen.
The Legionnaires lookedv to have the game in hand after a strong first period.
“The first period, I thought we were physical and we finished checks. After that guys just decided they were going to play their own little game,” Vossen added.
The Legionnaires didn’t respond well to the adversity the following day as they fell behind 3-0 on second-period goals 5:28 apart. Odelein responded with two powerplay goals but the Legionnaires were unable to draw even as they dropped to 0-4.
Johnson and Fritzke picked up assists and Blomquist suffered the loss with 21 saves on 24 shots.
“I thought the first period we weren’t very good at all. We had shots on net, which we have to get shots on net, that’s what we have been working on in practice is getting shots, getting rebounds, and getting guys going to the net,” said Vossen.
“I thought about the eightminute mark of the second period was when we started taking it to them again.
“It was a combination of them taking some penalties and us starting to be a little more physical and starting to use our speed.”
He hopes the team can learn a lesson from its weekend missteps.
“We can’t turn it on and turn it off. They are young and they are going to learn. We have a bunch of young guys and it is a matter of time and I hope it happens sooner rather than later.”
The Legionnaires dropped to 0-3-1-0 and have plenty of work to do if they hope to find the win column said Vossen.
“It has to be puck movement. We have to move the puck better. Our goaltending has been, in my mind, average at best some nights.
“Guys have to come here prepared and focused on the task at hand. We can’t be coming here with our heads somewhere else and thinking that it is just going to happen because we are not that good a hockey team right now. Until we start proving to people that we are a better hockey team then we are not going to be a better hockey team.”
The Legionnaires are on the road tonight to visit the Moose Jaw Generals (3-0-0-0).
They will be on the road to visit the Saskatoon Blazers (0-3-1-0) on Saturday and the Saskatoon Contacts (1-1-0-0) on Sunday.