The Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires found a way to win both games against the Yorkton Maulers in the Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA Hockey League over the weekend.
Saturday, the Legionnaires let a two-goal, third-period lead slip away before winning 3-2 in a shootout in Yorkton.
Cash Arntsen and Carter Wickenheiser had scored for a 2-0 lead. Carter Cormier assisted on both goals, while Brady Smith added a single assist.
Connor Hvidston scored to cut the lead in half and Evan Pinel scored with one second left on the clock to force overtime.
Both Jakin Lawrence and Wickenheiser scored in the shootout, while Zane Winter stopped two of three attempts to lift the Legionnaires to the extra point. Winter made 25 saves over 65 minutes of work preceding the shootout.
Dominic Orr took the loss with 17 saves.
Sunday, the Legionnaires came out flat and paid the price as they quickly fell behind 2-0. They rebounded to score five consecutive goals on their way to a 6-4 win on home ice.
Cormier broke out with a four-goal performance that helped the Legionnaires even their record.
“The first period wasn’t what we wanted. The second got a little bit better. Then we started playing as a team in the third period I thought,” said Cormier.
The Legionnaires trailed 2-0 after 11:07 of play before a crucial timeout helped them reset. “The message was that we need to wake up. Our team is way better than we were playing at the start and I think we needed that because it really did help us,” said Cormier. “I thought we came out more physical and we started trying to funnel more pucks to the net, overall it just started getting better and better as the game was going on.”
Brady Wilson and Dayne Feicht both scored their first SMAAAHL goals in the win as well. Cash Arntsen finished with three assists, while Wickenheiser added a pair of helpers. Matt Ripplinger, Smith, Tyler Council, Ty Sundholm, Ashton Fishley, Drayton Hvidston, and Rhett Dekowny all added single helpers. Noah Martens earned the win with 17 saves.
Everything seemed to be going in for Cormier during the win.
“I don’t know, it was just funnelling pucks to the net, got my feet moving, just trying to do all the little things,” he explained.
Swift Current Broncos prospect Connor Hvidston replied with a hat trick for the Maulers, while Cade Kennedy also scored. Orr took the loss with 18 saves on 23 shots.
Cormier hopes the team can build on the comeback victory.
“We need to play a 60-minute game, finish all our hits, and just try and funnel more pucks on goal,” said the Kindersley native.
The Legionnaires (3-3-0-0) will have one game this weekend when they visit the Notre Dame Hounds (4-1-0-1) on Friday evening.