Spence a diamond as starter

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:07 PM ET

The Calgary Hitmen will be without starting goalie Justin Pogge until the new year but the wins keep coming.

The Hitmen beat the Raiders 3-2 last night in Prince Albert for their seventh straight win, improving to 25-8-0-0 overall.

It was also Calgary's second straight triumph since Pogge joined Canada's world junior team selection camp on Sunday and was announced as one of the 22 players who made the team yesterday. Hitmen backup Daniel Spence, 17, earned his second straight win, evening his record to 3-3.

Assistant coach Blaine Forsythe said Hitmen brass expected Pogge to make the Canadian squad and the Hitmen have been ready for it.

"We've prepared for the last month because we weren't really expecting him back," said Forsythe.

"We built it up in Daniel's mind that he was the guy, so it was great news and it's not something that's crept up on us. We knew it was going to happen all along, so the transition's been a little easier."

Pogge and slick forward Freddie Pettersson, who will suit up for Sweden's world junior team, could miss a total of seven Hitmen games if they return for the Jan. 4 game against Saskatoon.

Pettersson has 24 points (14g, 10a) in 31 games as a WHL Rookie. Pogge leads the WHL in goals-against average (1.53), save percentage (.928), shutouts (6) and wins (22).

Defenceman Jeff Schultz, who was cut from Team Canada, joined the team in Prince Albert but didn't play last night. He'll be in the lineup when Calgary plays in Saskatoon tonight.

Last night, the Hitmen struck first on Keegan Dansereau's goal at 8:32 of the first. Dansereau was back in action after missing a few weeks with a concussion.

Prince Albert tied it up 14:21 into the second when Brad Erickson notched a shorthanded marker. The Hitmen got goals 25 seconds apart from Dustin Kohn and Riley Merkley late in the middle frame for a 3-1 lead.

The Raiders' Jarrid Dowhay made it 3-2 early in the third. While Prince Albert, which was without Kyle Chipchura who made the junior team, put on some late pressure, the Raiders couldn't beat Spence.

Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio was not behind the bench last night. He is on a scouting mission, meaning a trade could be in the works.

- - -

CALGARY HITMEN: 3

PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS: 2


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