Thursday, 20 May 2010

Hitmen Beat Brandon for Fifth Straight Time

The Calgary Hitmen scored five times in the first period and went on to a 5-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday night.

It was the round-robin finale for both teams but changed little moving forward, as the two teams will meet again in Friday's semifinal.

"I think it meant a lot," says fourth-year forward Jay Fehr, "We had a slow start but we had a lot of chances. I thought (Calgary goaltender) Martin Jones played real well tonight and we just have to bear down."

The line of Kris Foucault, Jimmy Bubnick and Tyler Shattock combined for 10 points for the Hitmen with Foucault having two goals and two assists, Bubnick a goal and three helpers and Shattock a goal and an assist.

Foucault has been a Wheat Kings' killer in the past and the trend continued, as he has three two-goal games against the Wheat Kings in five matchups in Brandon this season.

"I seem to get some lucky bounces in here," says Foucault, "It's been on and off all season but it gets me confidence when I come in here. My linemates played great and I got some lucky bounces."

Four of Calgary's five goals came off goal-mouth scrambles and while Brandon goaltender Jacob De Serres seemed to fight the puck in the first period, he didn't get the kind of support he needed from his teammates.

"That's no responsibility on our goaltender, it's the five guys playing in front of him," says Brandon defenceman Travis Hamonic, "Jake made the first save tonight and its up to us as a defence core and as forwards to come back and support in front of the net, clear the crease and give Jake some room to see the puck and that just wasn't there tonight."

One could argue the same at the other end, where the Wheat Kings would go to the front of the net but it was often after the puck had already been delivered on goaltender Martin Jones.

Jones finished with 39 saves and seemed to recapture the form that made him WHL Goaltender of the Year after a couple of average outings in Calgary's opening two round-robin games.

The game had a little more intensity than most expected, including a pair of fights.

It also saw the first suspendable incident of the Memorial Cup, as Calgary forward Rigby Burgart was handed a five-minute major for cross-checking in the third period.

Chaff...Brandon F Scott Glennie left the game in the first period with a 'lower-body' injury and did not return...Calgary F Kris Foucault (left leg) and F Ian Schultz (right arm) both left late in the third period...the Hitmen were without F Brandon Kozun (ankle) for the second straight game while F Cody Sylvester (illness) and D Jayden Rissling (upper body injury) are also ailing.

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