Rookie ready to rock 'Canes

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

There will be butterflies, it's just human nature.

But give Brodie (Moose) Dupont a shift on the ice and he'll be all right.

For the Calgary Hitmen rookie from St. Lazare, Man., the WHL playoffs are unchartered territory. And Dupont acknowledged nerves will be a factor when his club takes on the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final starting Friday in Lethbridge.

"As of right now, I'm not feeling nervous at all," said the 18-year-old, who produced 14 goals and 11 assists this year.

"But probably before the game, during the warmup, I might feel a few nerves, but after that first shift I'm sure I'll be fine."

With the NHL on the shelf until next season at the earliest, the Calgary Hitmen and the other WHL playoff clubs will take centre stage, making this year's post-season far more hyped than previous years.

So for Dupont and the other Hitmen freshmen, the old adage of trying to treat it like any other game might be easier said than done.

But that's just what Dupont's going to try and do.

"You can't view it as anything but another regular-season game or else you'll screw your whole game up and you won't play to the top of your potential," said Dupont, who got his feet wet in junior last season with Swan Valley of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

After finding out yesterday his Hitmen would battle the 'Canes, Dupont, who was hanging around with Shaun Landolt, got some advice.

"It's what you look forward to all year but I don't know what to expect," he said. "Some of the older guys said we won't really know until we experience it, I guess. But I'm definitely looking forward to the playoffs. The vets told us the intensity picks up and I can't wait for it."

He'll have to be patient because the series doesn't start for four more days.


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