Powerplay shooting blanks

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

It's hard enough winning with three defencemen and your leading scorer out of the lineup but it's even tougher with a silent powerplay.

The Calgary Hitmen lost 2-1 last night to the Brandon Wheat Kings at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg and were missing blueliners Darryl Yacboski (shoulder), Tyler Harder (eye), Brett Carson (concussion) and top point-getter Ryan Getzlaf (concussion).

Seems Calgary was without a powerplay as well, going 0-for-6 last night after coming up empty on five chances during their 3-2 overtime loss to the Wheaties on Sunday in Calgary.

Hitmen co-coach Dean Evason said the team just needs to keep it simple.

"We have some people out of our lineup who would make the powerplay better but, when that happens, you have to simplify and get pucks at the net and score goals on rebounds," he said.

The loss puts the Hitmen at 26-18-6-3, third in the Central Division with 61 points after missing an opportunity to gain ground on the idle Medicine Hat Tigers (63 points).

The contest started well as Hitmen rookie Keegan Dansereau beat Mike Nichol on a low shot, glove side at 11:10 of the first.

The Wheaties got on the board on a second-period powerplay with Lance Monych's tally, which came after good puck movement by Eric Fehr, Tim Konsorada and the WHL's top-ranked powerplay unit.

Brandon's Ryan Stone, a Calgarian, was awarded a penalty shot but Hitmen goalie Justin Pogge stoned the sniper with a right pad save, one of 34 stops.

The Wheat Kings' hard work soon paid off as Jakub Sindel beat Pogge with a backhand back-breaker at 19:00, giving Brandon (26-18-5-1) a 2-1 lead.

Less than a minute into the third, Calgary had a great chance to knot the game but Andrew Ladd clanged a shot off the iron.

The Hitmen also got a powerplay opportunity with 2:57 remaining but, as has been the case lately, couldn't score.

The Hitmen play their third in a row against the Wheaties in Brandon tomorrow night (6:30 p.m., The Fan960).


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