A 3-1 loss to the first-place Notre Dame Hounds last night capped off the home half of 2017-18 regular season schedule for the Home Hardware Midget AAA Legionnaires.
Mason Strutt was the lone goal-scorer for Swift, who trailed 1-0 in the first intermission, and 2-1 in the second on the Estevan product's goal.
The Legionnaires were unable to capitalize on several scoring chances in prime positions, which could have resulted in a different result. However, that wouldn't have necessarily changed the narrative or post-game message.
"It's about players coming in and giving everything they have, playing with fire, and doing everything you can to win a hockey game when it's your turn to go out there," said Legionnaires head coach Darren Evjen. "I didn't think we saw enough of that, personally. It's disappointing, this is a disappointing loss. We're usually not disappointed in our group, but today I think we could have been better."
In a battle with a short-handed roster, Evjen added that they still found themselves in a position to control the game in crucial moments, but couldn't seize the opportunity.
"I think we could have won that game tonight, I really do," he said. "Maybe you get a couple more chances and you get a couple bounces, but we get scored on the first one - a puck goes right through our guys - no one wants to eat a wrist shot, so that's the first goal. Things like that where you don't give enough to win... that's why you lose 3-1."
Cody Levesque stopped 28 of 31 shots in net for Swift Current.
The Legionnaires ended the game 0-for-5 on the power play, while Notre Dame went 1-for-4.
Shifting from a home game against the league's best team, to a pair of road games against teams in the bottom half of the standings, the tests don't get any easier for Swift Current.
With just a handful of regular season games remaining before the top eight teams make playoffs, the Legionnaires face the Beardys Blackhawks on Saturday and the Saskatoon Blazers on Sunday.
The Blackhawks have seven games remaining, and sit in 10th place - four points out of a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Blazers sit in the eighth and final playoff spot. With five games remaining, they sit three points up on the ninth-place Battlefords Stars.
"Right now it's hard hockey, and that's why I talk about character, fire, and how deep will you get," Evjen said. "Those teams are all fighting for playoffs that we're playing this weekend, and one of them isn't going to make it, so it's Game 7 for them coming down the stretch here. We've got to expect the best out of them, and we better get the best out of our team."
The fifth-place Legionnaires and Blackhawks face off at 6 p.m. on Saturday.