It was mission accomplished.
The Hitmen wrapped the four-game home stand with a 4-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers Saturday afternoon to extend the win streak to four games.
More importantly, it was another key win against a division opponent.
“We got better as the game went on and managed it well,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “We got timely responses when we needed it and were able to keep them in check. They are a dangerous team but I thought we did a great job of sticking to our game.
“It was a pivotal time in the season with the four home games. We were poised to rebound after the first game from the break didn’t go our way. We’ve had energy through all four games and came away with big points.”
Jake Kryski, Bryce Bader, Luke Coleman and Carson Focht all scored while Egor Zamula chipped in with a pair of assists. Rookie goaltender Jack McNaughton continues to impress as he made 33 saves for his team-leading 13th win on the year.
Logan Christensen, Tyler Preziuso and Ryan Jevne scored for the visiting Tigers, who saw their winning streak come to an end. Jordan Hollett ended the tilt with 38 stops.
Just like Friday night against Red Deer, the second period proved to be the turning point.
Down 2-1, the Hitmen would score twice 11 seconds apart with Luke Coleman besting the 19 second goal he had a few games back.
“Our energy is always up after we score a goal and we know that’s a good time to really get at them,” Coleman said. “Once you put that pressure on sometimes you can catch them slip a little bit and I’ve been fortunate to come away with those goals.
“It’s huge to pick up four points against two divisional opponents and helps us make our way up in the standings.”
It was another full team effort for the Hitmen who have been rolling and now sit just five points out of third in the Central Division with two games in hand.
Four home games, and eight points. Nothing beats that.
“It was a blast and fun for me being in the net for these wins,” McNaughton said. “Starting 2019 off the way we have definitely sets the tone for the rest of the season and shows other teams that we are coming in to battle and not to give up points.”
“Knowing that we’ve beaten two good teams back-to-back is a huge confidence boost.”
With the home stand now over, the Hitmen will head off back on the road for a four-game swing which gets started Wednesday night in Moose Jaw.
The Hitmen have had success on the road this season and now with the success on home ice, they are becoming a team to be reckoned with no matter the venue.
“We’re a confident road team which is important,” Hamilton said. “We don’t fear of leaving the Saddledome and know our game isn’t going to change at all.
“The depth of our team is our strength. It’s a significant help when you don’t get last change but our guys are unfazed in whatever moments they are faced with.”