Blink and you may have missed half of the scoring in the Home Hardware Midget AAA Legionnaires game last night at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.
Hosting the Notre Dame Argos for a Friday night tilt, the Legionnaires won 7-1, thanks to a resounding six-goal first period.
The Legionnaires had margins of less than 20 seconds between goals twice in the opening frame.
Reed Jacobson opened scoring in the game two-and-half minutes in – a lead stretched to 2-0 just 16 seconds later courtesy of former Argos forward Blake Rasmuson.
“We just came out with a good breakout, and I came out with speed, came on a two-on-one, and just took advantage of it with a shot,” Rasmuson said post-game of a goal that later proved to be the game-winner.
Logan Linklater scored the third goal just over nine minutes into the game. After a line change, and just 12 seconds later, Chase Gallant ripped one home to make it 4-0 Legionnaires.
Mason Strutt and Maguire Scheidt both buried pucks in the later stages of the first period to provide Swift Current with what would become an unmatchable lead.
“The 6-0 came in the first, but sometimes it comes in the second or the third if you get those games,” said Legionnaires head coach Darren Evjen. “It doesn’t matter when, it’s how you kind of play off the puck the rest of the way, and if you stay to your game – I thought we did a good job of that today for those situations.”
Scoring in the game understandably tapered off over the final 40 minutes.
The lone second-period goal saw the Argos put one in the back of the net on the man-advantage.
Then, in the third, Boston Bird ripped one home on the powerplay for the game’s final goal, sealing a 7-1 win.
“The biggest thing for us was I thought we had the puck a lot in the first and third. The second, we kind of got away,” said Evjen. “That’s just natural – when you’re up 6-0, there’s nothing you can do about it at any level. I thought we got playing again and sharing the puck at the end of the second and the third.”
Amid the flurry of scoring chances in the first period, along with the remainder of the game, Evjen said he was impressed with his team’s effort in the defensive zone, as well as back-checking to break up odd-man rushes in transition.
“I thought we were good defensively through the whole thing, that’s why we gave up one goal. The biggest thing there is you’ve got a 6-0 lead – you don’t want to go in a defensive shell, but you just want to take care of the puck.”
A brief box-score recap saw Jacobson record a game-high three points, as he added a pair of assists.
Gallant, Scheidt, and Strutt added a solo helper for two-point games, while Riley Dekowny and Kaedan Watkins each assisted twice in the win.
Meanwhile back-stopping the Legionnaires in net was Ethan Hein, who made 25 saves for his second-straight win in two starts since returning from injury.
With seven different goal-scorers, and six players recording multi-point efforts, Friday’s contest was a strong start to a stretch of three games in three days.
“We’ve got a lot of good players on our team who can score, so it definitely helps in the long run,” said Rasmuson after the win. “Starting with this game, we got pucks on net, and just got some confidence with our scoring, so hopefully it carries over into our next two games this weekend.”
Those next two come in the form of a weekend in the Bridge City.
Swift Current (15-5-0-0) takes on the Saskatoon Contacts (11-8-0-0) Saturday at the beautiful new home of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies – Merlis Belsher Place.
They then are in action on Sunday against the league-leading Blazers, though Evjen notes all focus lies on the initial task at hand.
“It’s just day-to-day,” Evjen said after Friday’s game. “Tomorrow we’re going to worry about tomorrow, and Sunday is years away for us. We’ll just worry about tomorrow’s game and give ourselves the best chance to get two points in Saskatoon.”
Puck drop between the Legionnaires and Contacts is set for 2 p.m.