Mr. Clutch

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:18 PM ET

Captain Crunch did it again.

Hitmen captain Brett Carson is quickly building a reputation as a clutch performer after he scored the shootout winner as Calgary edged the Medicine Hat Tigers 2-1 at the 'Dome.

Carson has scored two shootout winners in as many opportunities this season. He also sent the Lethbridge Hurricanes packing earlier this month.

The overage defenceman was Calgary's fourth shooter and ended it with a beautiful deke to the forehand.

"It was the same move (as last time)," said Carson, shortly after he was mobbed by his teammates at centre ice.

"I think when the goalie sees a defenceman going in, he's expecting a shot.

"So I faked, went around him and had a wide-open net."

The Hitmen (12-4-0-0) moved two points clear of the Gas City Gang (9-3-0-4) atop the Central Division standings and improved to 4-0 in shootouts this season. Two of those have come at the expense of the Tigers.

Carson said his team feels it has an advantage in the penalty-shot phase because of goaltender Justin Pogge, who made 27 saves and then stopped three of four shooters to pick up his 11th win of the season.

"We always have confidence in Pogge," Carson said. "They might score one in the shootout but that's it.

"So far, we've been pretty good in shootouts."

The teams were tied 1-1 through regulation and overtime with Dustin Kohn scoring his first of the campaign for Calgary and Darren Helm responding for the visitors.

Brodie Dupont, who fired a shot over the net on a shorthanded third-period breakaway, had a chance to win it with a dozen seconds left but ripped a snapshot off the crossbar.

Medicine Hat, which has lost four shootouts this season, forged ahead when David Schlemko converted on a nifty forehand-backhand, forehand deke.

Calgary's first two shooters, Riley Merkley and Freddie Pettersson, were denied by Calgary Flames prospect Matt Keetley. But Pogge, who stopped Cam Barker and former Hitmen Kyle Annesley, gave his squad one last stab at it.

Ryan White extended proceedings when he went five-hole for his second shootout goal of the campaign.

Pogge turned aside Derek Dorsett's offering to set up Carson's heroics.

White was the best skater on the ice during regulation time and was especially effective on the penalty kill as Calgary blanked the visitors on 10 opportunities.

"I've been playing fairly well lately but some nights, I haven't had a complete game, defensively and offensively" White said. "But tonight was one of those nights."

Kohn put the Hitmen up 1-0 early in the second period when his snapshot found its way through traffic.

Helm got the equalizer 4:55 into the third on a wild scramble when he banked a shot off Merkley into the net.

Medicine Hat outshot the Hitmen 28-25.

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HIT PARADE: The Sun's three stars were Hitmen G Justin Pogge, Hitmen RW Ryan White and Tiger G Matt Keetley ... Not dressed for Calgary were LW Issac Reid (groin, day to day), LW Cam Lilley (leg, day to day), LW Darryl Moscaluk (third of five-game suspension) and D Justin Falk ...The Hitmen hit the road this week for a four-game trip through B.C., beginning Wednesday in Kamloops (8 p.m., The Fan 960). The club's next home game is Fri., Nov. 11 against Everett.

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CALGARY HITMEN: 2

MEDICINE HAT TIGERS: 1

SHOOTOUT


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