Carson plays 'Canes killer

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

The new rules were supposed to open up the game.

But the only thing they've opened up is the Calgary Hitmen's lead atop the standings.

The Hitmen played their tight-checking game to a T last night in a 1-0 shootout win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Captain Brett Carson's shootout tally was the difference as Calgary extended its franchise-best five-game winning streak -- three of which have come via the shootout -- to start the season.

Carson, the sixth Hitmen shooter, deked to his forehand and hit the post but the puck banked off of Lethbridge starter Kevin Opsahl and into the net.

The overage blueliner said his heart sank when he originally heard his shot clank off the iron.

"I felt like I missed out on an opportunity to win the game," Carson said. "But then I looked back and saw the ref pointing and the red light was on. And then Ryan White charged me and attacked me on the ice. It was a good feeling."

The Hitmen, who host the Red Deer Rebels this afternoon at 5 p.m., are the only team in the league with a perfect record after Moose Jaw fell 4-1 to Medicine Hat last night.

Carson said they'd like to keep their record unblemished for as long as possible but insists his teammates aren't getting overconfident.

"We can't get too high about that. We're happy with the strong start but we have to keep rolling and put some teams behind us. We worked hard tonight but, at times, I don't think we worked smart. But we'll keep getting better as things go on."

Justin Pogge, who made 18 stops for the shutout, and Opsahl were sharp, although not severely tested as the teams went scoreless through regulation time. But both stood tall in the shootout.

Pogge blanked Kyle Pess to get it started before Riley Merkley gave Calgary the lead with a forehand deke to the five hole.

Airdrie's Zach Boychuk and Colton Yellow Horn put the visitors ahead when Freddie Pettersson came up empty but White knotted it at two with a move to his backhand.

Pogge then turned away Rob Klinkhammer, Michael Kaye and Curtis Billsten in succession. Keegan Dansereau fired a shot off the post and Brodie Dupont was denied prior to Carson's heroics.

Pogge said he's been getting a superb defensive effort in front of him.

"We're young but the guys are coming back hard," Pogge said. "And that solid defence corp is playing unbelievable. I can't ask for much more as a goaltender.

- - -

CALGARY HITMEN: 1

LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES: 0

SHOOTOUT


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