April 6, 2009
Becoming a 'Cault heroLate addition scores another big goal in Hitmen victory
By SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA
When Calgary Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio loaded up at the WHL trade deadline, he was counting on key playoff contributions.
He got it yesterday.
Although it wasn't hired gun Joel Broda doing the damage.
It was his other two less-heralded additions that were the difference, as the Hitmen beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 2-1 at the Saddledome.
Kris Foucault and Tomas Karpov provided the Hitmen with all the offence they would need to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Foucault, who has found another level in the post-season, was named the game's first star but was unwilling to take much of the credit.
"I've been a little lucky," said Foucault, after netting his fifth goal of the playoffs.
"And my linemates have been great. (Kyle) Bortis, Karpov and (injured centre Brett) Sonne have been giving me the puck, so I have to thank them."
Luca Sbisa scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes, who host Game 3 tomorrow night (7 p.m., fan960.com).
Karpov got the winner on a powerplay that looked disorganized most of the game.
And Broda wasn't completely silenced, either.
The 53-goal scorer made a terrific behind-the-back pass to Karpov, who found some room over Canes starter Juha Metsola's glove.
Hitmen 'tender Martin Jones made the lead stand up with a solid 23-save performance.
The Hitmen blew a great opportunity to jump out front early when they were handed a two-man advantage for 1:17, but the hosts were unable to generate any glorious chances.
But Foucault did cash in on the powerplay later in the period.
The Calgary product fought for a Kyle Bortis rebound and slid a backhander past Metsola for the only scoring of the opening frame.
The Hurricanes got on the board just 17 seconds into the second period. Four seconds after a Hitmen penalty expired, Sbisa's point-shot squeezed through Jones' pads and trickled across the line.
It was the first even-strength goal the Hitmen have surrendered in the post-season.
The Hitmen powerplay had another chance to seize control of the game but came up empty on two more two-man advantages.
But the powerplay did produce the winning goal with 4:51 to play in the middle frame. With Lethbridge d-man Mitch Versteeg in the sin bin for throwing a punch from the bench, Karpov scored his first of the playoffs.
The game wasn't without controversy.
Hurricanes head coach Michael Dyck took exception to the call made on Versteeg.
And he was rightfully incensed when Hitmen winger Ian Schultz later took a swipe at an airbourne puck and ended up high-sticking Versteeg in the face.
The officials ignored what appeared to be an obvious call.
"For them to make a call like that in a playoff game, it cost us the game," said Dyck of the Versteeg penalty. "Obviously, if you look at a replay, it was a phantom call.
"In the third period, they get their stick up on our defenceman and there is no call," Dyck continued.
"All we're looking for is a level playing field."
Hurricanes agitator Kyle Beach, who is getting to know league disciplinarian Richard Doerksen very well, jumped Schultz after the final buzzer.
He was handed cross-checking and roughing minors, as well as a 10-minute misconduct.