Tangen lifts Legionnaires to OT victory
The Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires were winners of two of their past three games after a 3-2 overtime win over the visiting Notre Dame Hounds last Tuesday.
Dawson Tangen scored the game winner only 14 seconds into overtime when his point-blank slapshot trickled through Notre Dame’s Clarke Flegel on the only shot in the extra period.
The Legionnaires had trailed 1-0 after being outshot 22-6 in the first period and Egor Popov opened the scoring with a powerplay goal for the Hounds.
The Legionnaires were a different team in the second period as they fired 19 shots on goal and got goals from Carter Doerksen and Jarrett Gerlach 29 seconds apart for a 2-1 lead.
The Hounds tied the game 2-2 only 31 seconds into the third period off the stick of Angus Scott to send the game to overtime.
Kyle Zinger picked up the win with 44 saves on 46 shots. Flegel was tagged with the overtime loss with 30 saves.
The Legionnaires improved to 8-28-2-1 in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League after playing in their fifth consecutive one-goal game.
“I thought it was a character win,” said head coach Dale Vossen. “We were missing [Morgan] Greve who is a big part of our hockey team. [Connor] Odelein went down in the second period, he is definitely the heart of our hockey team. We were a little short-staffed, started two guys short. I thought young Tyde Hutchinson came in and played really well for a first-year guy.”
Vossen feels the Legionnaires have played some better hockey during this recent stretch of close games.
“The guys are starting to play, but we have got to grind. I would like to think we are starting to get a little maturity under our belts. Guys are starting to buy in and they are starting to re- alize that we can be successful if we stick to the game plan. I think what has happened in the past is everybody is going to save us and then nobody does. Here I think the guys have realized that if we continue doing what we do then hopefully we will get good results out of it.”
The Legionnaires, who were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs one week earlier, also visited the Regina Pat Canadians on Wednesday. Check swbooster.com for results.
The Legionnaires now appear to be a more relaxed team.
“Oh definitely, that’s for sure,” agreed Vossen. “We talk about that everyday. I say ‘we have nothing to lose now, let’s be spoilers, let’s keep Notre Dame from making the playoffs, let’s make the Contacts fight right until the bitter end to stay in the playoff race.’”
They still have something to play for with graduating players hoping to impress scouts and first and second-year players competing for a spot on next year’s team.
“It is a combination of both. I have told the guys that you know what, you don’t know who’s in the stands. If you guys want to play next year, guys are here looking to see who competes when there is nothing on the line. It is easy to sit back and not give it your best effort. But at the same time you might be hurting your chances next year. The young guys, I told them we are always making changes and there is nothing carved in stone here. So if you want to come back next year you have to continue to improve and fight for your spot,” said Vossen.
The Legionnaires will now play out the regular season with four straight home games. They can alter the playoff race this weekend with two games against the Saskatoon Blazers, beginning Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Credit Union iplex.
The Legionnaires will also host the Notre Dame Argos on Tuesday at 8 p.m.