Hitmen rested not rusted

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

After not playing for five days, the Calgary Hitmen were champing at the bit to get on the ice.

And for 58 minutes last night against the Saskatoon Blades, they played pretty much perfect hockey to skate away with a 3-2 win at the Saddledome.

Brodie (Moose) Dupont, Ryan White and rookie Brett Sonne, with the eventual game-winner, tallied for the Hitmen who improve to 21-8-0-0 on the season and did a masterful job, for the most part, in shutting down one of the WHL's high-powered offences.

Hitmen head coach/GM Kelly Kisio was impressed with his squad, despite a relatively slow start to the game as his club shook off some rust.

"They were champing but a lot of times you're slow coming out of the box when you haven't played for a while but both teams were in the same boat, so it was equal that way," said Kisio, whose club is now 14-3 at the 'Dome.

"Their two goals came off two mistakes and that's what happens against a team like that with Wacey Rabbit and Devin Setoguchi on it. They're quality players and you can't make mistakes against them and, up to those two shifts, we were pretty close to perfect."

Dupont opened the scoring midway through the first period when he redirected a nifty pass from Brett Carson with the Hitmen on the powerplay.

The resurgent Hitmen powerplay, which went 2-for-6, tallied again early in the second with White scoring after a Carson point shot bounced in off him.

Sonne padded the Hitmen lead with his sixth of the season last in the second, banging in a cross-crease pass from Steve Covington. That goal, for all intents and purposes, was a man-advantage marker as Saskatoon's Nicolaus Knudsen had just stepped back onto the ice after serving a slashing penalty.

The Blades (16-12-1-1) made it close on the scoreboard when Evan Haw, at 12:38 of the final frame, and Zdenek Bahensky, less than two minutes later, beat Justin Pogge after the Hitmen broke down in their own zone.

Sonne said it was a good game for the Hitmen but they could have done without the brain cramps on the two goals.

"We had some mental letdowns there at the end and you can't do that against that kind of team but, if we play a full 60 minutes, we're fine," said the 16-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C.

Dupont, who was the game's first star after his goal and several huge hits, said the Hitmen were quietly energetic before the contest.

"There wasn't a whole lot of talking in the room but you could tell everyone was ready to go and we had lots of fuel in the tank tonight," he said.


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