Hitmen win the numbers game
By John Down, Calgary Herald
February 15, 2009
I t's Saturday night in Regina and there's little else to do but play the numbers game at the Brandt Centre.
In this case, the Calgary Hitmen and floundering Pats reel off the digits in a Western Hockey League game that ends in the No. 50, as in the Hitmen's 50th victory for just the third time in club history. For the record, the final score is 5-2.
That makes it six road wins in a row for the league-leaders and 104 points on the season as the Hitmen somehow muster enough giddy-up after being physically punished the previous night in a 4-2 win at Brandon.
But these Pats have been a surprisingly sorry bunch as they've slipped four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just four wins in their past 21 games. They give it a good effort but, for the third time in as many tests, they couldn't solve the Hitmen.
Which leaves more numbers to consider.
Brandon Kozun bangs in two goals and an assist to rush to the 92-point (36 goals) mark, runs his scoring streak to 11 games and allows goaltender Martin Jones to remain unbeaten in regulation time in his last 24 starts (22-0-2-0) with a 27-save performance.
The Los Angeles Kings property is particularly brilliant against a 15-shot attack in the first period.
Carson McMillan scores twice, once into an empty net, and Paul Postma rips in his 21st to add to his club record for goals by a defenceman.
Jordan Eberle, a top draft of the Edmonton Oilers, pots his 30th and 100th of his WHL career in a losing cause. Mitch Czibere also scores for the Pats, who allow 36 shots at Linden Rowat.
The first three goals are on power plays, which is nothing because the last time these two played, the Hitmen popped a club record six with the man advantage to offset three by the Pats in a 7-4 win at the Saddledome. While the Pats score 11 seconds into their first man advantage and the Hitmen run in two on their first three chances, the power switch is flipped off. The Hitmen wind up two-for-eight, the Pats one-for-eight.
THIS AND THAT: Sitting for the Hitmen were F Ian Schultz (shoulder),D Matt Mackenzie (jaw), FMacKenzie RoyerandFTylerFiddler( suspended) . . . Brett Sonne picked up an assist to push his points streak to 13 games . . . FKyleBortis became the 14th Hitman to celebrate a career season when he picked up his 73rd point during Friday's win.
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