Tough times for 'tender

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

After turning to Aaron Sorochan as the Hurricanes' backbone all year long, head coach Lindsay Hofford suddenly isn't so sure anymore.

On the heels of a 4-0 loss and perhaps Sorochan's worst outing all year long, a steamed Hofford wouldn't commit to putting the East Conference's top goalie nominee back in for Game 4 tonight.

"We'll see," said Hofford, while his team huddled up for a players-only meeting.

"You're not going to win too many games when you're out-shooting them 9-3 and losing 2-0. You've got to make the big saves in the big games and Justin Pogge right now is the guy."

Sorochan was yanked from the game four minutes into the second period right after Andrew Ladd made it 3-0 for the hosts. He had only made five stops on eight shots.

He was replaced by Scott Bolland, a Calgary native, who stopped 17 of 18 shots down the stretch, with the game out of hand.

Sorochan's effort in Game 2 was also suspect as the 20-year-old Edmonton native allowed three goals on Calgary's first 12 shots in a 3-2 loss.

Even in the first game, Sorochan had to overcome a gaffe of his own when an attempt to corral the puck behind the net ended up on Tyrel Lucas's stick and, seconds later, in the net.

Still, it's likely Hofford is leaning towards dancing with the one who brought his team to the big dance for the first time in three years.

"I think he's got it in him to bounce back," said Hofford, "but you've got to respond to the challenge."

Simply put, the all-important goaltending dual is being won easily by Pogge, which is largely why the Hitmen lead the series 2-1. Still, Pogge had sympathy for his fellow 'tender.

"You can't do anything about it -- the game is over," said Pogge when asked how he'd respond to such an outing.

"He'll come back tomorrow I'm pretty sure. He's a good goalie and we just have to play the same as we did tonight."

To his credit, the man who was one win short of the WHL lead this year with 35, left the ice calmly when replaced by Bolland. However, his mood was likely made worse when the Edmonton native was shown a warm Calgary welcome via a Jumbotron shot of him on the bench with the caption overhead, "I should have taken up softball."


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