He 'Cane, he saw, he conquered

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Call it a stellar debut for Konstantin Pushkarev.

The Kazakhstan import got into a fight and scored the game-winning goal last night, helping the Calgary Hitmen grab their first win of the WHL season with a 4-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes before 6,431 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Pushkarev's tally came at 11:24 of the final frame, as Calgary twice rallied from a goal down in beating the winless (0-3) Hurricanes. He banged in a rebound from an Andrew Ladd shot, sending the 'Dome faithful into a frenzy.

"It was very good for me," said the 19-year-old L.A. Kings prospect in halting English.

"I'm a right winger ... and we've got many good forwards."

No doubt, as he ended up on a line with snipers Ryan Getzlaf and Andrew Ladd.

"We moved the puck pretty well and the big thing with him is he knows how to move the puck quickly and that works well for our line," said Ladd, who scored his second of the season.

The 6-ft. 1-in., 180-lb. Pushkarev capped his debut by scrapping with Kris Versteeg of the Hurricanes shortly after his goal.

The Hitmen improve to 1-0-1-1 as head coach-GM Kelly Kisio got his first win behind the bench.

After giving up leads in their first two games, Kisio was happy to see his club fight back twice from one-goal deficits.

"We played a pretty solid game. I thought we dominated down low quite a bit and outshot them (33-25) pretty bad," said Kisio.

"A couple bad breaks and we were behind but it was great to see us keep battling and come back."

Calgary tallied first as Lee Zalasky notched a shorthanded goal after banging in the rebound from a Shaun Landolt shot at 4:24 of the opening period.

Lethbridge tied it with 1:04 left in the frame on a Rob Klinkhammer goal he redirected with his skate. Kisio argued it was kicked in but referee Kyle Rehmen disagreed.

The Hurricanes grabbed a 2-1 lead 7:10 into the second as Versteeg scored his first of the year, completing a two-on-one with Kyle Pess.

Ladd replied for the Hitmen at 16:24 of the second, then Lethbridge went up 3-2 at 4:23 of the third as Pess scored the Hurricanes' first powerplay goal of the season.

Once again, the Hitmen rallied, getting a four-on-four marker from Steve Covington at 7:30 of the third.

HIT PARADE: Give the shades to Calgary G Scotty Bowles. Like the Calgary Flames' green hard hat, the Hitmen have an ugly gift for their player of the game -- a pair 1970s-style sunglasses. Bowles, who made 22 saves last night, was forced to wear them for post-game interviews.


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