Lowly Rebels blank Hitmen

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

The drought at the 'Dome continues.

The well, which has been trickling most of the season, has completely dried up in the past week.

The Calgary Hitmen put up their second straight goose egg on home ice last night as the Red Deer Rebels scratched out a 1-0 victory.

Hitmen forward Brodie Dupont, one of a handful of Calgary players who showed any jump in the game, said he'll start by looking in the mirror when searching for answers.

"I have to start playing better," said Dupont, who had seven of his squad's 25 shots.

"I have to be accountable. I have to score goals for this team, that's my job. I have to hit and bring my game every night.

"As an older guy, I have to be consistent and I need to re-focus."

Red Deer, 44 points behind the Hitmen in the Central Division, improved to 2-5 against their southern rivals with three games remaining in the season series, including next Friday's tilt at the Centrium.

Calgary fell to 40-15-1-0 on the season and blew an opportunity to pull even with the Medicine Hat Tigers atop the WHL standings.

Both teams have 16 games remaining, including three head-to-head meetings.

Ted Vandermeer, who was easily the best player on the ice, scored the game's only goal but he could have easily potted a hat-trick.

He also deflected a puck past Justin Pogge seven minutes into the third but had the goal called back after the ref deemed it was a high stick.

Pogge robbed the Caroline, Alta., product with eight minutes remaining, stretching out to get his left pad on Vandermeer's one-timer.

Red Deer starter Josh Lepps kicked out 25 shots for the shutout.

Hitmen captain Brett Carson said the Hitmen have been guilty of taking their opponents lightly of late.

"Our preparation has been lacking," said Carson of his club's 121:35 scoring drought at the 'Dome.

"The last two have been the back end of home-and-homes against Kootenay and Red Deer.

"We go into their rink and win, then come back and think it's going to be a cakewalk. But teams always come in here and play us hard.

"We have to get back to outworking teams. That's how we succeed."

The visitors took the lead early in the second period on a Hitmen powerplay.

Calgary defenceman Jeff Schultz blew a tire at the Red Deer blueline allowing Vandermeer a clearcut breakaway. The Rebels captain made no mistake, depositing a backhander through Pogge's pads for the short-handed game-winner.

Lepps spawled to take a goal off the stick of Derek LeBlanc in the dying seconds of the period.

HIT PARADE: The three stars were Rebels RW Ted Vandermeer, Rebels G Josh Lepps and Hitmen LW Brodie Dupont ... Not dressed for the Hitmen were D Dylan Yeo (ankle, day-to-day), RW Keegan Dansereau (concussion, day-to-day), LW Kris Deines (knee, day-to-day), D Shaden Moore (ankle, week-to-week) and RW Freddie Pettersson (hip, day-to-day) ... Calgary hosts the Tri-City Americans tomorrow night (7 p.m., The Fan 960) at the 'Dome.


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