Morgan Greve scored the tying goal with 1:36 remaining and Luke Grassl made 36 stops in net as the Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires tied the high powered Saskatoon Contacts 3-3 at Schroh Arena in Saskatoon this afternoon.
Swift Current fell down 1-0 very early on as the league's leading scorer, Kolten Olynek, got on the board for the Contacts just 36 seconds into the game. Having bent and broken in the same situation versus the Saskatoon Blazers for a 6-2 loss yesterday and a 4-0 loss to Regina on Thursday, the Legionnaires found a way to stop the bleeding and got on their horses. Short three regulars and down to 14 skaters, the team upped its work ethic to another level and stuck with the Contacts. Graham Gove tipped a Reid Fritzke shot on the power play to tie the game 1-1 at the 13:27 mark. Saskatoon went up 2-1 late in the first and 3-1 early in the second, but Reid Fritzke blasted a power play shot past rookie goaltender Brock Hamm for his second point of the night to bring them back within one, and Morgan Greve brought the heroics late, again on the man advantage. With four seconds on the clock in overtime, Jordan Wittman was set up all alone in front but could not beat Hamm for the winner. The tie final brings the total number of tie games for the Legionnaires to six, by far the highest in the league.
"When you're down a few guys, it's gut-check time," said assistant coach Larry Empey after the game. "I really believe the guys proved we can play with any team, but they gotta believe within our dressing room that they can every night. You know last night (6-2 loss to Blazers) we took it for granted, but tonight everything was great from the opening faceoff. I hope this is what it's gonna take to realize that you can get rewarded at the end. Time and time again the boys have played hard and we've let go of a lead in the final moments, but I hope this helps them realize that hard work will get you some breaks."
Wyatt Shew and Cameron Hebig got the other goals for Saskatoon, which was also without one of its top guys as Rodney Southam (12G 19A 31P) served a one-game suspension. Brock Hamm made 30 saves in goal.
With the tie, the Legionnaires remain winless in 12 games but move to within four points of the Saskatoon Blazers for the final SMAAAHL playoff spot. They'll host the Tisdale Trojans for two games next weekend.
Click here for the game sheet.