Hitmen on short end of stick

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

Right now, Andy Rogers personifies the walking wounded for the Calgary Hitmen.

The big Calgarian blueliner has been out since mid-October with a high sprain in his left ankle and, since then, he's watched the injuries pile up as teammate after teammate has visited athletic trainer Mike Elchuk's office/infirmary.

And as the Hitmen (14-11-5-1) prepare for a two-game trip in Saskatchewan starting tonight in Regina (6 p.m., FAN960), they've gone 0-4-1 in their last five games. As the losses pile up, so too does the frustration for Rogers.

"When the guys are winning, you're really happy for the boys but you also want to be a part of that too," said Rogers, 18, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect.

"But losing is especially difficult. You just want to get out there and do whatever you can to help the team out."

Left winger Darryl Moscaluk badly sprained his left ankle in last weekend's game against Saskatoon and it looks like he'll be on the shelf for a while.

In addition, rookie forwards Keegan Dansereau (concussion) and Roman Tomanek (shoulder surgery) will also be watching from the press box this weekend. Brett O'Malley has a head/sternum injury but played sporadically against Saskatoon and has been practising. So has Konstantin Pushkarev (hip pointer), who didn't play against the Blades.

As for the 6-ft. 6-in., 215-lb. Rogers, he's back on skates but can only go in a straight line as the risk of re-injury is too great right now.

"There's no time-frame. It feels different every day where one day it'll be awesome and then it'll hurt the next day."

The ankle in question has bothered him off and on for the past two seasons and Rogers never really took the time to heal properly.

In addition to the injuries, the Hitmen won't have snipers Andrew Ladd and Ryan Getzlaf for Tuesday's home game against Kelowna as they'll be at Canada's junior team selection camp in Winnipeg.

If they make the cut, they'll be unavailable until the new year. To further add to the depleted list, backup goalie Daniel Spence, defenceman Karl Alzner (TeamPacific) and forwards Dansereau and Ryan White (Team Western) will suit up in the under-17 World Hocky Challenge in Lethbridge starting Dec. 26.

So cue Hitmen head coach-GM Kelly Kisio, who's never been shy when it comes to pulling the trigger on a deal.

"We're trying right now (to bring some guys in), affiliate players and/or other players. We're doing some stuff right now,"said Kisio.

The Hitmen play the Prince Albert Raiders tomorrow night.


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