Hitmen lacking killer instinct

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

No one can accuse the Calgary Hitmen of running up the score.

Brodie Dupont scored two goals, while Ryan Getzlaf, Konstantin Pushkarev and Andrew Ladd chipped in singles as the Hitmen built up a 4-0 first-period lead and hung on for a 5-2 win against the overmatched Regina Pats.

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio wasn't pleased with his players through the final 40 minutes. The visitors scored twice but the Hitmen could only manage an empty-netter from Dupont.

"I think we got a little full of ourselves after the first period and Curtis (Hunt, Pats coach) did a good job of making sure those guys weren't going to embarrass themselves on the other side," Kisio said.

"For the most part, we got outworked in the last 40 minutes."

Calgary (22-15-6-2) picked up its fourth straight win and hung on to third place in the tight Central Division.

"The last two periods disturbed us but at the end of the day, two points is points," Kisio said. "We'll take them and run."

Dupont, who recorded his first career two-goal game in the WHL, said his squad made a mistake by letting the Pats, the league's second-worst team (11-29-2-4), back in the game.

"We definitely let off the gas," the rookie winger said. "We have to learn how to put the final nail in the coffin.

"When we're up 4-0, we have to get that killer instinct and just bury them. Come playoff time, letting up like that could come back to haunt us."

The Hitmen jumped all over Regina in the first period and appeared to be well on their way to a blowout win when they slipped into cruise control.

Getzlaf picked up right where he left off the previous night when he buried a Shaun Landolt pass 4:48 into the game.

Pushkarev increased Calgary's lead on the powerplay less than two minutes later when he picked up some garbage in front of the net and flicked it into the top corner.

Ladd picked up his first WHL goal since Dec. 10 -- also against Regina. Riley Merkley showed great patience before feeding the hard-charging Carolina Hurricanes prospect, who missed a month of the WHL schedule while playing with Team Canada's world junior squad, in the crease.

Regina's Kyle Ross scored the only goal of a lacklustre middle period.

Then, Pats leading scorer Brent Hill one-timed a slapper over Pogge's glove on a powerplay early in the third period to make a game of it.

Pogge, who improved to 3-0 with the Hitmen after last week's trade from Prince George, made 17 saves on the night.


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