Same ol' script keeps unfolding

Hitmen GM/co-coach Kelly Kisio knows his team has to play physical if they want to beat the smaller...

Hitmen GM/co-coach Kelly Kisio knows his team has to play physical if they want to beat the smaller Lethbridge Hurricanes in the first round of the WHL playoffs. (Calgary Sun/Darren Makowichuk)

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Nobody should be surprised by the first two playoff tilts between the Calgary Hitmen and Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Sure, the 'Canes earned eight more points in the standings during the regular season and boast more scoring depth up front but, when these two WHL clubs tangle, bet on a one-goal game.

They've played each other eight times this season with each and every game decided by a goal or less, including Lethbridge's 2-1 win Friday and Calgary's 3-2 triumph Saturday.

Hitmen GM/co-coach Kelly Kisio shakes his head when he ponders the likelihood of two teams being so closely matched.

"I'm a little surprised because they've got so much firepower over there, as well as skill and speed, that I don't know what it is," said Kisio.

The Hitmen, who scored 22 fewer goals in the regular season than Lethbridge, have outscored the 'Canes 18-17 in the eight games.

After the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series, it's 4-4.

"The 'Canes play against other teams and they blow teams out. We're able to play good solid hockey games against them and maybe wait for a break a little bit," said Kisio.

Those breaks and bounces have contributed in the series so far.

On Friday, Hurricanes centre Mark Olafson's game-tying goal in the third period went in off a skate and Lethbridge went on to a 2-1 win.

In Saturday's 3-2 loss, the Hurricanes got another break on their second goal, with 2:13 left on the clock.

'Canes defenceman Adam Chapman fired a shot that went off Calgary rearguard Jeff Schultz's stick. The puck went behind the net and right onto sniper Jonathan Filewich's waiting stick.

"We were up 3-1, everything's under control ... then Filewich stuffs it into the net. Bounces like that can change a game in a hell of a hurry," said Kisio.

When the series resumes tomorrow night (Saddledome, 7 p.m., The Fan 960), fans likely can expect another close game.

"I don't see why not. I think it's going to be a nail-biter all the way through," said Kisio.


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