Postman always rings twice

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

Calgary Hitmen head coach/GM Kelly Kisio should have known better than to make a friendly wager with Karl Alzner.

Especially when it comes to hitting iron.

But following practice yesterday, Kisio and Alzner lined up at the blueline, looking to ring one off the crossbar. This after Alzner hit two posts in Calgary's 3-2 shootout win over Kootenay Wednesday.

At 'stake' was Alzner's allowance versus one year of Kisio's salary and Alzner said it was money in the bank.

"The first shot I take, a wrist shot, I hit the crossbar. Then he goes and shoots and misses," said Alzner with a laugh.

"I'm sure he won't follow through (on the bet) but I'm getting used to hitting the iron now."

That's for sure as he seeks that elusive first WHL tally. And after hitting those two posts against Kootenay, fate determined Alzner must wait another day for his first goal, although the 17-year-old thought he had one.

"The first shot, I didn't think I was going to get off a good shot. It went off Ryan Russell's stick, then I saw it going for the open net and I thought 'Oh no, I'm not going to score, am I?" recalled Alzner, who hails from Burnaby, B.C. "Then, ding, it hits the post and I thought that was a chance and maybe I'll get another during the game."

Sure enough, in the final frame, opportunity knocked one more time.

"I just wired the shot as hard as I could and saw it going in again and thought 'Finally, I'm going to get one', then I hear it again.

"I just couldn't buy a goal, no matter what."

As a rookie last season, Alzner played in 66 games, registering 10 assists.

So far through three contests, he has three helpers. Being a stay-at-home defenceman, any time Alzner can bulge the twine, it's going to be gravy.

"I haven't really scored that many goals through my hockey career, so if it comes, it comes and if it doesn't, it doesn't," said the 6-ft. 2-in., 205-pounder, who scored a shootout game-winner against Red Deer in the pre-season. "Getting pucks on net is going to create opportunities for the guys to put in a rebound or something, so I'm just going to keep trying to get shots through."

Hey, eventually one of them's bound to go in and for now, Alzner's thrilled with the Hitmen's 3-0 start to the season.

"It's huge to come out of the gate flying. Last year we came out with a loss and a tie and that's not really how you want to start your season off," said Alzner. "We knew it would be great for our momentum and it's good for our confidence as well."

The Hitmen travel to the Gas City tomorrow to face the Medicine Hat Tigers.


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