Shades of brilliance in win

Calgary Hitmen rookie goaltender Daniel Spence made several key stops on the Prince Albert Raiders...

Calgary Hitmen rookie goaltender Daniel Spence made several key stops on the Prince Albert Raiders lastnight at the Saddledome. Spence helped preserve a 2-1 win.

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Daniel Spence's future is so bright, he had to wear shades.

The rookie goaltender kicked out 17 saves, was named first star, registered his inaugural WHL victory and donned the team's 'MVP Sunglasses' as the Hitmen beat Prince Albert 2-1 yesterday at the 'Dome.

The loss extended the Raiders winless streak in Calgary to a whopping 28 games.

Shaun Landolt and Dustin Kohn provided the offence with second-period markers and Montreal Canadiens draft pick Kyle Chipchura was the only vistor to dent Spence's armour with a powerplay goal late in the third period.

"It's a good feeling," said the 16-year-old, who was wearing the highway patrol-style spectacles awarded by the players after each victory.

"It's been a long time coming, I haven't been in many games.

"It feels pretty good to get that first one out of the way."

Spence evened his own record to 1-1 while the Hitmen improved to 8-4-1-1 with their third straight win.

He made his best stop off New York Islanders prospect Jeremy Colliton in the second period, kicking out his right pad to stone the Blackie, Alta., product from point-blank range.

Hitmen head coach Kelly Kisio, who received a 48-save performance one night earlier from Scott Bowles, said Spence's outing should go a long way in boosting the freshman 'tender's confidence.

"They had some good chances but he made some huge saves for us," Kisio said. "I'm excited for him.

"This will make him feel pretty good about himself.

"He played real well."

The Hitmen appeared to be suffering from an emotional hangover in the opening period after Saturday night's overtime win in Red Deer.

But they cranked up the intensity in the middle frame, outshooting the visitors 17-4.

Landolt took a short pass from Brodie Dupont and unloaded the cannon from the hash marks, blowing the slapper over Rejean Beachemin's glove for a 1-0 lead at the 12:01 mark.

Ryan Getzlaf orchestrated the club's second goal three minutes later, muscling his way past d-man Jeff May at the Raiders blueline before feeding the puck into the slot where Kohn chipped it in.

For Landolt, it was his second goal in as many games and third against the Raiders in two matchups.

"Dupont pushed it out in the slot to me and I had all the time in the world so I thought I'd wind up," Landolt said.

Calgary moved to within a point of the second-place Rebels in the Central Division and the overage centre said the club could be poised to go on a lengthy run.

"We've had our ups and downs early in the season but I think we're getting it going now."

The Raiders haven't managed a win on Saddledome ice since Nov. 22, 1995, when current Calgary Roughnecks sniper Kaleb Toth led the charge with a pair of goals in a 6-3 victory.

The struggling Hitmen powerplay finished 0-for-6, while the Raiders, who dropped to 4-8-0-0, were 1-for-5 with the man-advantage.

The Hitmen face the WHL's top team, the Medicine Hat Tigers, in the Gas City Friday.


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