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Hitmen power their way past Pats

Jason Pirie/hitmenhockey.com

Photo: Candice Ward

A more familiar Calgary Hitmen side showed up to the rink this afternoon.

The one that can make their opponents pay dearly for being undisciplined.

The Hitmen scored five power play goals en route to a 5-1 win over the visiting Regina Pats – snapping a three-game winless streak in the process – in front of an announced crowd of 6,509 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Jake Bean scored twice and added an assist, Radel Fazleev had one goal and two helpers and Travis Sanheim pitched in with three assists.

Chase Lang and Jordy Stallard also lit the lamp, Pavel Karnaukhov had two assists and Ben Thomas and Taylor Sanheim each chipped in with one helper.

“(Our power play) has been an offensive catalyst for us this year, so it’s important that it got going again,” said Hitmen head coach Mark French, whose team improves to 6-3-0-1 on the season. “The whole unit played well tonight, but to get that first goal (from Jake Bean) certainly allowed us to play with more confidence.”

The victory came on the heels of a 6-0 shutout loss in Medicine Hat last night and a 10-2 setback to Moose Jaw on home ice Thursday.

“We were certainly humbled, but sometimes that can be a good thing,” French said. “Losing the way we did can sometimes bring you together as a team and make you play the way you need to to have success.”

Hitmen goaltender Lasse Petersen turned aside 19 of 20 shots for his third win of the season, while Regina’s Tyler Brown made 28 saves in a losing cause.

“It was a tough week, but I think tonight showed what this team is made of,” Petersen said. “It was a real positive how the team responded.”

With a mere five seconds remaining in the opening period, and with a stationed-in-front Taylor Sanheim providing a screen on Pats goaltender Brown, defenceman Bean put an end to nearly 100-minutes of goalless Hitmen hockey when he rifled a shot top shelf. Fazleev and Travis Sanheim chipped in with the assists.

Only 31 seconds into the second frame, however, Regina’s Adam Berg would knot the affair at 1-1 after his shot toward the Hitmen net fortuitously banked off Calgary defenceman Loch Morrison’s skate in front and found its way behind Petersen.

That would be all the offence Regina would muster on this afternoon.

Lang, from Karnaukhov and Travis Sanheim, provided the Hitmen with a 2-1 lead while on the power play when he banged home a rebound at 15:22 of the second period.

Bean, with just under five minutes expired in the third period, extended Calgary’s lead with his second goal of the game and team-leading seventh marker of the season with yet another blast to the top shelf.

“We have had a couple of tough games, but I thought we had good net presence tonight,” Bean said. “There were some open spots for me, and luckily I was able to get my shots through.”

Fazleev notched Calgary’s fourth power play marker of the contest at 15:31 with a laser from the point that skyrocketed high over the glove of Brown.

Jordy Stallard rounded out the game scoring when he accepted a cross-crease pass from defenceman Thomas and buried his second goal of the season to make it 5-1.

The Hitmen will hit the road for a four-game in five-day road trip that will take them to Prince George for two games (Tuesday and Wednesday), Kamloops on Friday, and finally, Kelowna on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to getting out on the road,” French said. “Hopefully we can take this win and build confidence from it. Prince George is always a tough building to play in, but it’s always nice early in the year to get away with the group.”

The next Hitmen home game at the Scotiabank Saddledome goes Thursday, Oct. 29 against the Spokane Chiefs. Game time is 7 p.m.

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