Five goals propelled the Calgary Hitmen (13-4-1-2) to a five-game winning streak on Friday night, maintaining their Eastern Conference leading record.
During their second meeting of the season against the Victoria Royals, Calgary took a stranglehold of the game in the third frame as they netted three goals en route to the 5-2 win.
“I was happy with the way our guys played tonight. We were on a four-game streak there and played quite well on the road but we weren’t really happy with the way we played the last game and the effort,” expressed head coach, Mike Williamson regarding the 2-1 shootout victory against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday night. “We eked out a win and relied on our goalie too much. Driedger played well again tonight but I thought the effort was there tonight.”
While the first period saw plenty of fast-paced action, the period concluded with the absence of scoring on both ends.
“We had a little bit of a slow start but we started getting pucks in deep, kind of playing like we were on the road and it all worked out,” added Ed Williams Player of the Month for October, Alex Roach. “We began working their defence, getting shots on net and that’s what we were talking about before the game.”
It did not take long for the deadlock to be snapped in the second. With just over one minute elapsed, Ukrainian import player, Pavlo Padakin was gifted a prime rebound opportunity off a Darian Henry shot from the point, putting it in on the backhand for his third of the season.
A short time later, defenceman,Tyler Stahl pulled the Royals to even on the power play as a shot from the point made its way through traffic into the back of the cage.
Calgary returned to the dressing room in the second intermission with the 2-1 lead. Alex Roach utilized his dominant 6’4 stature to power through the neutral zone and rip a shot wide of the net, bouncing onto the stick of Elliott Peterson. The rookie made no mistake and picked his spot on the low glove side to tally his first Western Hockey League goal.
With first-year players finding their name on tonight’s game sheet, Williamson noted their contributions. “Thought the young guys stepped up, filled some big roles and found a way to win a game.”
In his first game back from an upper body injury, Brady Brassart padded the lead to two less than three minutes into the final frame. Brendan Hurley threw a pass through a Victoria defender to Brassart who snapped it off the post and in.
Roach put two exclamation points on the victory as he factored in with the final pair of Hitmen markers on the power play.
“I had brand new skates I had to put on but I guess it was my good luck charm tonight,” remarked Roach. “I was pretty lucky to score those two goals and was pretty happy about them too.”
Chris Driedger made 27 saves in the Hitmen net to record his 10th win of the season and fourth in as many starts.Calgary next sees action on Monday, Nov. 12, when the Hitmen host the Kootenay Ice, with a 7 p.m. puck drop. Past and present members of the military as well as all police, fire and EMS service members will receive complimentary admission to Monday night’s game as Calgary honours Hometown Heroes. Present your identification card at the Scotiabank Saddledome box office to receive one free ticket.Tickets for upcoming Hitmen games are available at all Ticketmaster locations as well as the Scotiabank Saddledome box office. Order online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 1-855-985-5000. For more information on tickets, including the Sunday Ticket Pack and Name Your Game Flex Package, visit www.hitmenhockey.com or contact customer service at 403-777-4646.