LETHBRIDGE -- Without Justin Pogge, the Calgary Hitmen could be down 2-0 in their series against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Last night, the stalwart netminder from Kaleden, B.C., found himself facing a ton of rubber from the explosive 'Canes but kicked out 32 shots during Calgary's 3-2 win.
The 18-year-old said the pressure is something he's embracing.
"I like playing. When you're in the spotlight, you've got to enjoy it," said Pogge, who came to Calgary via a trade-deadline deal with the Prince George Cougars in January.
"I'm just trying to stop the puck."
In Game 1, he robbed John Lammers on a penalty shot with a right pad save.
Last night, he got a lightning-quick glove on an attempt by Kris Versteeg that had top shelf written all over it.
He also stoned Canadian junior world championship rearguard Brent Seabrook from the right circle with pad save.
Pogge, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, played through the taunts of Poh-Gee, Poh-Gee from the sellout crowd at the Enmax Centre.
Lethbridge did get a late goal from sniper Jonathan Filewich to make it 3-2 with 2:13 left in the contest. But Pogge is looking like he's about to become one of those goalies who helps his team take it to the next level.
"Look at Anaheim a couple of years ago with J-S Giguere. He just kept looking bigger and bigger, playing really well every night, so hopefully I can do that," said Pogge.
The Hitmen didn't send much at Hurricanes goalie Aaron Sorochan through the first two frame last night but got three goals on their first 12 shots.