Hitmen just can't pull one out of Hat

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

MEDICINE HAT -- Maybe a cat does have nine lives. If so, the Tigers used up a couple of them last night.

The Calgary Hitmen scored what they believed to be the go-ahead goal in the dying minutes only to have the marker waved off.

Medicine Hat took full advantage of their new lease on life as Daine Todd scored his second goal of the game with just 18.2 seconds remaining in regulation time to give the Gas City gang a 3-2 win.

Derek LeBlanc and Brodie Dupont scored for Calgary (38-13-1-0), which fell three points behind Central Division leaders Medicine Hat (37-10-0-6). Calgary holds a game in hand.

The Hitmen thought they had the game-winner with 5:04 left in regulation. Ryan White powered past David Schlemko at the Hat blueline and sent a pass in front to Dupont.

The New York Rangers draft pick beat Matt Keetley but referee Derek Zalaski waved off the goal, claiming Riley Merkley was in the crease.

Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio was still bristling after the game about the non-goal.

"If it's not a goal because it's interference, then it's a penalty," Kisio scowled. "You have to make up your mind what the call is. Just to call it back for no reason, it makes no sense to me."

Merkley said he had some help getting into the blue paint.

"I was just going to the net like any other time," Merkley said. "And I went in there with their d-man. So if I was in the crease, it was because their d-man took me in there.

"But he made the call and we have to battle through that. No excuses."

Todd sent the crowd of 4,006 into a frenzy when he crashed the net and converted a Derek Dorsett feed for the winner.

The Hitmen took the usually raucous Arena crowd out of the game early.

Brett Sonne jumped on a Tigers turnover in the corner and sent a pass out front to Leblanc. The former Brandon Wheat King's shot deflected off a defender and over Keetley's glove just 1:09 after the opening faceoff.

The Bengals drew even early in the middle stanza. Calgary lost puck possession behind its own net and Todd one-timed a pass through Justin Pogge's pads at the 1:45 mark.

The Hitmen got into penalty trouble less than two minutes later and Schlemko ripped a shot over Pogge's blocker on a 5-on-3. But, on the visitor's first shot of the period, Dupont deflected Alex Plante's blueline volley past a thoroughly screened Keetley to send the teams to the dressing room tied at two.


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