Victor Rask and Spencer Humphries each posted a three-point night as the Calgary Hitmen defeated the Swift Current Broncos 5-4 Wednesday evening at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“He was having one of those games. Everything he was touching there it seemed that he was getting a good chance and good looks,” said assistant coach, Brent Kisio on Rask’s success.
The home team struck first as the team leader in power play goals tallied another three quarters into the opening frame. Victor Rask came streaming down the left wing on the rush, placing a wrist shot up high on the short side of Austin Smith.
Swift Current replied two minutes later as Christian Magnus took advantage of an defensive stick issue, intercepting the puck at the blue line rifling it over the glove of Chris Driedger.
The lead would be regained before the close of the first as Greg Chase got his stick on a Kenton Helgesen point shot, elevating the puck over Smith’s glove.
A Calgary turnover in the neutral zone just 30 seconds into the middle frame gave way for the continued tug of war as Bronco’s assistant captain Brad Hoban found the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Russian rookie Alex Gogolev fielded a bouncing pass from Brady Brassart who picked up the puck off the backboards resulting from a Rask point shot.
Rask tallied his third point on the night in the dying seconds of a powerplay as he danced around the defence and skated right in between the circles, sniping it through to the 4-2 lead.
“He kind of created something off of nothing and scored a powerplay goal for us. It was a big goal,” said Kisio.
What appeared to be a three-goal cushion scored early in the third by Spencer Humphries, morphed into the game winner as Swift Current managed a pair of late-game goals to push it down to the wire.
“We can’t take our foot off the pedal like that, especially this late in the year. I think we need to figure that out as a team,” stated Humphries.
Special teams played a large role in the victory, with Calgary going 4-for-6 on the power play while Swift Current capitalized on 1-of-4 chances.
“We’ve been trying some new things, our breakouts are different and in-zone we’ve been a little bit more creative,” said Humphries on their powerplay plan.
Kisio added, “It’s been up and down. It seems like we’ll either go 2-5 or 3-5 or 0-6. When we’re on we’re pretty good, you can usually tell early on.”
Calgary swept the season series against the Swift Current 4-0.
Chris Driedger made 18 saves for Calgary as the Hitmen outshot the Broncos 38-22.
Calgary, now 38-23-2-1, remains fourth in the Eastern Conference with 79 points.
The Hitmen wrap up a five-game home stand Friday, March 2 when they welcome the Saskatoon Blades. Game time is 7:00 p.m. The online broadcast begins at 7:00 p.m. on www.sportsnet960.ca. Follow the Husky Hitmen Hockey link.