Great White hope

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

Maybe a couple of games in his hometown are just what Ryan White needs to break out.

The Calgary Hitmen rookie centre is mired in the midst of a long goal-scoring drought he hopes to shake off when the Hitmen visit Brandon tonight to open their best-of-seven WHL Eastern Conference semifinal.

White, who turned 17 last month, hasn't bulged the twine since Jan. 30 against the Wheaties.

Maybe he can turn his luck around in the city where he grew up.

"You never know. It's a familiar environment and I've played a few games in that barn," said White, referring to the Keystone Centre.

"My parents will be coming to the games, so that's going to be pretty good.

"It would be nice to score my first playoff goal down there. That would be exciting."

White ended his first WHL season with nine goals and 14 assists in 63 games but went stone cold through the final two months.

But the upbeat youngster knows what he's got to do to snap out of the funk.

"I've been in a little drought here for a while but you can't really think about it," said White, who helped the Brandon Wheat Kings midget club win a national championship last season.

"You've just got to keep working hard and doing the little things right, put your stick on the ice and hopefully something comes your way.

"You've also got to go to the dirty places to score goals and that's what I've been trying to do the last few games."

In the Hitmen's five-game series victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes, White, along with linemates Brodie (Moose) Dupont and Steve Covington, found themselves in a checking role.

They were given the task of shutting down Lethbridge's explosive line of Colton Yellow Horn, Kyle Pess and Jonathan Filewich.

White and his linemates got the job done, limiting the Hurricanes big guns to just three goals throughout the series.

"We were trying to shut down that line in Lethbridge," said White, who also picked up an assist in the series.

"They were matching them up against us so that was our role -- to make sure we shut down those three key players on their team.

"We were OK with that and I think we generated a lot of scoring chances, too, but we just couldn't put the puck in the net.

"I'm fine with playing a defensive role and I want to contribute as well.

"I've just got to keep doing the simple things and hopefully the puck will bounce for me."


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