Double D finished the job this time. Kamloops goaltender Devan Dubnyk was yanked in his last appearance in his hometown, a 6-0 loss to the Hitmen Jan. 15.
Last night, he was beaten only once as he led the Blazers to a
2-1 win over Calgary at the 'Dome.
"I didn't put on the best show here last time," said Dubnyk, who made 18 saves as Kamloops beat Calgary for the first time in three attempts this season.
"It's never fun to come into your hometown and get blown out and pulled after the second period. But I didn't want to focus too much on that. I just wanted to make sure I was there for the guys.
"It's tough sometimes but, playing so many games this year, you learn how to focus on every game and block out what's going on around you."
With the two teams knotted at one late in the third, ex-Hitmen Paul Gentile fired a shot off Justin Pogge's mitt that bounced into the air before settling on the stick of Kris Hogg.
The Blazers winger batted the rebound under Pogge's pad for the game-winner with 4:15 to play.
Dubnyk, who made 47 saves in a loss in Red Deer the previous evening, wasn't subjected to a heavy workload on this night.
Playing without the services of forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Shaun Landolt along with d-man Brett Carson, the Hitmen managed to generate little in the way of offence.
Dubnyk said the Hitmen had a different look than the team that beat his Blazers twice in a week last month.
"Compared to the last few games they played against us, they're a different hockey team," Dubnyk said.
"Anytime you take players of that calibre out of the lineup, it hurts your team."
Winger Andrew Ladd, the best Hitmen on the night, wasn't about to use the short bench as an excuse.
"It's tough when you lose guys who are a big part of your team," Ladd said.
"Usually, we have guys step up but tonight nothing was going for us."
With the loss, Calgary (30-19-6-3) failed to move into a second-place tie with the Medicine Hat Tigers and remains four points back of Lethbridge in the Central Division.
The Hitmen stumbled out of the gates once again, managing just five shots in the opening period, largely due to the turnstile at the penalty box.
Calgary, which killed off four first-period infractions the previous night against Swift Current, found itself shorthanded five straight times last night.
"It's been frustrating," Ladd said. "That's something we focus on every game, getting off to a good start and it's just not happening. We have to figure something out and get that turned around."
For the second straight night, the home side was awarded a penalty shot. Leading scorer Konstantin Pushkarev was hauled down on a breakaway by Keaton Ellerby but missed the net entirely on his freebie.
The rookie import then skated the gauntlet of Blazers, each of whom gleefully congratulated his effort. Pushkarev, the overtime hero against the Broncos, finally had enough and saluted the Kamloops bench, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The visitors grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 12:16 mark of the middle stanza. D-man Roman Tesliuk's shot went wide but bounced off the end boards to Terrance Delaronde, who jammed it in on the short side.
A minute later, Brett O'Malley tied it up.
Late in the period, Blazer Ryan Bender caught Pushkarev with a big open-ice hit prompting a visit from Ladd. Bender landed a heavy blow to start the tilt but Ladd got the lawn mower started and left Bender bloodied on the ice. The Blazer needed assistance to get off the ice and didn't return.
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KAMLOOPS BLAZERS: 2
CALGARY HITMEN: 1