Slade stones flat Hitmen

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

Dustin Slade wishes he could play the Hitmen a little more often.

The Vancouver Giants puckstopper kicked out 14 shots last night to record his second shutout against Calgary in as many tries this season as the visitors claimed a 3-0 victory at the 'Dome.

"It's nice to get the shutout against these guys," Slade said. "They're the top team in the league.

"But I have to give credit to the guys. That defence-first mentality is something we're all working on.

"I pride myself on making the big save when I can but we only gave up 14 shots."

Slade, who could have read a book during the third period, was only seriously tested a few times.

He wasn't forced to make a save in the final frame until there was 2:20 left, which brought a sarcastic cheer from the Saddledome faithful.

Vancouver, which picked up their first win at the 'Dome in six attempts, scored a pair of powerplay markers and kept the shorthanded Hitmen at bay from start to finish.

Calgary, missing two players (Justin Pogge and Freddie Pettersson) due to the world juniors, two (Brett Sonne and Alex Plante) due to the World Under-17 Hockey Championships and two (Riley Merkley and Curtis Kelner) more because of injuries, were blanked for the second time in as many nights.

But head coach Kelly Kisio wasn't about to rip his shorthanded troops.

"There are certain things you can do," Kisio said of breaking the club's scoreless drought, which has reached 121:10.

"You have to throw pucks at the net, pay the price to get to the net and get to the rebounds. I don't think we did that tonight. They limited our chances and we didn't force our way to the net."

The Hitmen powerplay, which was 0-for-7 in Cranbrook Tuesday, came up empty on nine opportunities last night.

"That's why (the Giants) are the No. 1 penalty-killing team in the league," Kisio said.

"They're very good at it."

The Hitmen fell to 26-10-0-0 on the season.

The visitors' league-best powerplay connected for the lone goal of the opening frame. Kyle Lamb found Brendan Mikkelson wide open in the slot. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks prospect took the pass, cruised in, picked his spot and beat Spence to the blocker side.

The Hitmen had a few chances to even the score during a goal-less middle frame.

Keegan Dansereau made a smart pass to Brett Carson but Slade got his arm up to rob the Calgary captain.

Just past the midway point, Jeff Schultz stepped out of the penalty box and joined Brodie Dupont on a 2-on-1. Dupont delayed and then fed Schultz, who fired wide.

The home side managed just four shots in the period and trailed 19-12 after 40 minutes.

Playing 4-on-4, the G-Men took a 2-0 lead at the 9:04 mark of the third period when Jason Reese floated a shot from the point through traffic and past Hitmen starter Daniel Spence. Mario Bliznak also scored for Vancouver.


Videos

Photos