Weep what they sow

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

BRANDON -- The collapse is complete.

The Calgary Hitmen, who once held a 3-1 series stranglehold on the Wheat Kings, dropped their third straight game last night, falling 3-1 in Game 7 and were eliminated from the playoffs.

Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio was upset his club couldn't close the deal once again but insisted it wasn't a catastrophic New York Yankee-esque meltdown.

"These guys had Brandon on the ropes and they're a very good hockey team," Kisio said.

"Maybe losing two older defencemen (Brett Carson and Darryl Yacboski) hurt us. Some of the guys were wearing thin on energy.

"We played hard and a good hockey team beat us."

Tyrel Lucas gave Calgary a 1-0 lead early in the third but the high-powered Wheat Kings stormed back with goals from Tim Konsorada, Ryan Stone and Jakub Sindel to complete the improbable comeback.

Stone, a Calgary product who was vilified earlier in the series for knocking Carson out with a concussion, couldn't have picked a better time to score his second of the playoffs, and first of the seven-game set.

"It feels unbelievable right now," Stone said. "It was an emotional series.

"We were down 3-1 but everyone believed in the room. No one wanted to go home.

"Game 5 and 6, we got it back here and got the job done."

Lucas broke a scoreless draw 44 seconds into the final frame. Grabbing a rebound in front, the overage centre was stopped by Tyler Plante but Lucas stayed with it and buried his sixth of the post-season into an empty net.

But any momentum the Hitmen had was quickly snuffed out by Wheaties captain Konsorada, who banged in his first of the playoffs at the 5:28 mark.

The wheels fell off for the visitors with eight minutes to go when the Wheaties sent the boisterous, record Keystone Centre crowd of 5,957 into the rafters with two goals in 36 seconds.

Stone potted the game winner when he came out of the corner and, with Lance Monych running interference on Justin Pogge, slid a backhander into the vacated cage.

With the Hitmen bench erupting in protest, the Wheaties struck again.

Eric Fehr tipped a puck through Jeff Schultz at the Calgary line, Sindel picked it up and went top shelf to put Brandon into the Eastern Conference final against the Prince Albert Raiders.

Captain Ryan Getzlaf, who likely played his final game in Hitmen colours last night, said his club couldn't derail the Brandon train once it got rolling.

"We gave them a little bit of momentum and you see what they did with it," Getzlaf said.

"We could have put them away in Game 5 and things didn't go our way.

"After that, they got momentum and a good team will bury you."

Facing an empty net, Getzlaf rang a shot off the post just 15 seconds after the opening faceoff.

It would prove to be a costly miss.


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