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Hitmen Win Streak Reaches Five

Candice Ward/Photo

They’re on fire.

The Hitmen continued to roll as they picked up their fifth straight win Friday night after a 5-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.

It’s been quite an impressive run as of late.

“It’s been a steady climb and improvement to get to this point,” head coach Steve Hamilton. “We’ve found our groove back home and we’ve been the best version of ourselves that we wanted to be and like we knew we could be.

“The boys responded well again tonight and I’m proud to see them dialed in and playing our game.”

Egor Zamula extended his point streak to five games with a goal and two assists with Jake Kryski scoring a pair of goals to lead the offence. Riley Stotts and Ryder Korczak also chipped in with goals while Jack McNaughton was outstanding once again ending with 25 saves for the win.

For Kelowna, Kyle Crosbie scored the lone goal for the visitors and James Porter ended with 27 saves.

With a two-point night, Stotts extended his point streak to four games and James Malm also kept his intact with an assist to push his streak to five games. The duo combined for yet another highlight-reel play as their chemistry continues to grow stronger.

“To be honest I was about to put my hands up when he had the open net,” Stotts said. “All I had to do was direct the puck to the net because I had half the net to shoot at after he made that unbelievable pass over to me.

“He’s a great player and he makes everyone around him better. We just have fun out there and good things happen.”

Special teams also continued to be a driving force for the Hitmen as they went 2/5 on the powerplay while killing off all five penalties.

All in all, it was a complete game.

“The PK was amazing with everyone going out there sacrificing their bodies to block shots,” Kryski said. “We got a good boost from our powerplay also and we’ve been able to carry over our work from practice to the games.

“Everyone did their job tonight and it was a good team win.”

The Hitmen have turned the ship around drastically after struggling out of the gate to start but have caught fire over the past two months to get over the .500 mark.

With a 15-14-2-1 mark, the Hitmen now find themselves just one point out of a wildcard spot and five back for third in the Central Division with two games in hand.

“It’s huge getting over the .500 mark,” Stotts said. “We’ve been working hard to get to this point but we aren’t going to stop here. We are looking for points and want to keep rolling and keep up the level of play we’ve been playing at it.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

The three-in-three weekend rolls on as the Hitmen will now make a quick stop in Edmonton Saturday afternoon before returning home Sunday to take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes in two key divisional clashes.

“The guys have always responded well on short turnarounds and I expect tomorrow to be no different,” Hamilton said. “These are two important games no question and now it’s all about consistently showing up each night and rising up to the tasks at hand.”

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