Newest Hitmen nets winner

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Welcone to Calgary, kid.

Derek LeBlanc, acquired by the Hitmen at yesterday's WHL trade deadline, paid immediate dividends by scoring the game-winner as Calgary beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-2 at the 'Dome last night.

Freddie Pettersson, Keegan Dansereau and Brett Sonne also scored for the Hitmen who won their fifth straight to improve to 31-10-1-0 on the season.

Calgary trails Medicine Hat, ranked No. 1 in the nation, by just one point for top spot in the division and the WHL. The Hitmen have two games in hand.

With the division rivals locked in a 2-2 third-period draw, Pettersson was denied on back-to-back wraparound attempts but LeBlanc was there to clean up the garbage.

"That was perfect," LeBlanc said just hours after arriving in the Stampede City.

"I got a lucky bounce there and it was real nice to put it in."

Sonne iced the game with an empty-netter in the final seconds.

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio, who grabbed LeBlanc from Brandon Tuesday in exchange for Dustin Kohn, said it'll take his newest player a few days to learn the team's systems.

"He looked a little tired," Kisio said. "In the third period, he got his legs going.

"Before that, he was trying to think too much instead of just letting things happen."

LeBlanc played the left side with Pettersson and centre Mike Reich.

Justin Pogge, making his return from the national junior squad, kicked out 18 pucks to pick up his 23rd win of the campaign.

The visitors, who dropped their sixth-consecutive decision, jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 16:53 mark of the opening period. Jacob Deitrich's shot deflected to the side of the net where Airdrie 16-year-old Zach Boychuk was staring at an open cage for his 12th of the season.

The 'Canes got a break late in the period on the powerplay when import Roman Wick's shot from the right boards glanced off a skate and trickled between Pogge's pads with just 3.5 seconds remaining.

The Hitmen erased their 2-0 deficit in a 36-second span midway through the second period.

Dylan Yeo made a nice individual rush but was stopped by Lethbridge starter Gavin McHale. But Pettersson batted the rebound in.

Dansereau fired a shot off the side of the net but got the puck back seconds later, tying the game.

McHale kept it a 2-2 game late in the frame, going post-to-post to rob Ryan White on the doorstep.

HIT PARADE: The three stars were Calgary RW Freddie Pettersson, Calgary C Ryan White and Lethbridge LW Kris Hogg ... Not dressed for Calgary were D Alex Plante (hip, day-to-day), C Riley Merkley (knee, 7-10 days), D Shaden Moore (ankle, 2-3 weeks).


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