CALGARY, AB. – Alex Gogolev might not be able to speak English yet, but he let his play speak for itself on Sunday.
Gogolev notched two goals and an assist to lead the Calgary Hitmen (2-4-1) to a 5-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos (4-6-1) in front of 7,671 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.
“Me no English,” said Gogolev when he was summoned to meet with the media after his first-star performance.
Instead, Hitmen assistant captain Jimmy Bubnick, who had three assists in the contest, answered on his teammate’s behalf.
“He’s got a lot of skill, obviously to take the puck wide,” said Bubnick of his Russian teammate. “He showed that tonight. He adds a lot of depth to our team.”
Gogolev opened the scoring at 3:13 of the first period on the power play when he took a feed from Bubnick and roofed a shot past Swift Current goalie Jon Groenheyde.
A short time later during another Hitmen man advantage, Brady Brassart finished off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play with Bubnick and Gogolev.
“We came out very strong and I think we just kind of fed off that,” said Brassart, who sniped a pair of goals during the victory.
Brooks Macek then converted a feed from linemate Victor Rask to give Calgary a 3-0 lead before Ryon Moser replied for Swift Current to make the score 3-1 in favour of the Hitmen heading into the first intermission.
Bubnick drew his third assist of the game on Brassart’s second goal of the contest in the second period before Gogolev notched his second of the afternoon in the final frame to put the game away.
“Our guys were ready to go at the start of the game,” said Hitmen coach Mike Williamson, whose squad lost 5-0 in Medicine Hat on Saturday night despite outshooting the Tigers 36-29. “Unlike some other nights, we were rewarded on the scoreboard and that gave us some breathing room and made it a little easier.”
Calgary netminder Chris Driedger backstopped the Hitmen to the win by stopping 28 of 29 shots he faced.
“Driedger played outstanding in net,” Brassart said. “That was huge. We’ve been waiting for one of those games.”
Groenheyde made 22 saves in a losing cause.
Next up, the Hitmen hit the road for a rematch against the Broncos in Swift Current on Tuesday followed by a visit to Regina to play the Pats on Thursday.
“We can enjoy it for a bit here, but we need to focus on Tuesday’s game,” Brassart said. “We’ve got to send the message. We’re not going to give up next game. We’re going to keep pushing.”
1. Alex Gogolev, Hitmen
2. Brady Brassart, Hitmen
3. Jimmy Bubnick, Hitmen
1. Calgary, Gogolev 3 (Bubnick, Sylvester) 3:13 (pp)
2. Calgary, Brassart 2 (Gogolev, Bubnick) 7:28 (pp)
3. Calgary, Macek 3 (Rask) 13:51
4. Swift Current, Moser 4 (Hoban, Reum) 17:13
Penalties – Reum SC (interference) 1:49, Lowry SC (cross-checking) 6:39, Brassart Cal (slashing) 11:46, Cameron SC, Lubin Cal (fighting) 14:57, Dale SC, Trzonkowski Cal (fighting) 15:18, Brassart Cal (checking from behind) 17:31.
5. Calgary, Brassart 3 (Bubnick, Gayle) 15:56
Penalties – none.
6. Calgary, Gogolev 4 (Kosterman) 9:15
Penalties – Sutherland Cal (interference) 12:07, Blanke SC, Scarlett SC, Miller Cal, Sutherland Cal (roughing) 15:06, Roach Cal (roughing) 15:46, Lowry SC (roughing, fighting), Humphries Cal (fighting), Hoban SC, Sylvester Cal (misconduct) 16:41, Rissling Cal (holding) 17:07.
Shots on goal by:
Swift Current 5 14 10 – 29
Calgary 12 8 7 – 27
Goal – Swift Current: Groenheyde (L, 2-3-1); Calgary: Driedger (W, 1-0-1).
Power plays (goals-chances) – SC: 0-5; Cal: 2-2.
Referees – Reagan Vetter. Linesmen – Reid Anderson, Ian Shaver.