Anxious to be coming 'Dome

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

The Saddledome might seem like just another foreign rink to the Hitmen tomorrow night.

It's been that long since they've played in front of the home crowd.

The 15-day span between home dates, thanks to the world figure skating championships, represents the longest road trip of the season for Calgary, excluding the 16-day hiatus over the Christmas break.

Hitmen captain Brett Carson, whose club returns home for three straight games (tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday afternoon) said he hopes the 'Dome can help the team get back on the winning track.

"I don't think we played good either game," Carson said of Friday's 3-2 victory and a 5-2 loss in Game 2.

"We knew they were going to come hard and they did that (Saturday) especially. They out-competed us.

"It's been a long time but it'll be nice to get home and get the fans behind us.

"It's always tough to start on the road. Teams are jacked up in their own barns. But now we have three games at home to take a lead in this series. We have to step up."

The Hitmen haven't hosted a game since beating Medicine Hat 3-2 March 12.

Nineteen-year-old centre Riley Merkley is anxious to get back home where his club enjoyed a 24-6-3-3.

The club's .750 home winning percentage is tied for fourth best in the league behind only Medicine Hat (.819), Moose Jaw (.792) and Kootenay (.778).

"We wanted two (wins in Lethbridge) and that was our focus," Merkley said. "That's a big-time disappointment but, at the same time, we're going back to Calgary and it's a place where we've had success this year.

"Hopefully, we can show that we can play there and other teams are going to find it hard to come in there in the playoffs."


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