Pogge can't stop it

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

It's been a long time since the Calgary Hitmen have had a problem between the pipes.

It was Jan. 10, 2005, to be exact.

The day Justin Pogge arrived in town.

They've got one now. Pogge has not been himself in the post-season and played perhaps his weakest game in a Calgary uniform last night as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Hitmen 6-4.

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio said he considered giving Pogge the hook -- several times.

"Yeah, three or four times," Kisio said. "But Justin has got us this far. He's been a key guy for us all year and I thought he deserved to stay in and keep at 'em."

Pogge, after surrendering four consecutive second-period goals, left his new black equipment in the dressing room for the start of the third period.

He was not made available to the media following the game, citing "medical treatment," but it appears likely he will stick with the white pads and gloves he used during the regular season.

"It wasn't me," Kisio said when asked if he told Pogge to change his gear. "I don't talk to goalies that much."

Yashar Farmanara and Mitch Fadden scored a pair of goals each for Lethbridge, which took a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference quarter-final.

Game 4 goes tomorrow at the 'Dome (7 p.m., The Fan 960).

Calgary Flames prospect Kris Hogg scored for the second straight game for the 'Canes, who also received a goal from Roman Wick.

Derek LeBlanc, Riley Merkley and Freddie Pettersson scored first-period powerplay goals before the roof caved in.

Keegan Dansereau, Calgary's best player in the post-season, scored with the man advantage in the third period while d-man Craig Lineker assisted on all four Hitmen markers.

Calgary centre Riley Merkley said he expects to see his all-star 'tender regroup for tomorrow's tilt.

"It's not something you can blame on one guy," Merkley said of the world junior gold medallist. "We can't depend on him to hold us in games, although he's been doing it all year.

"He'll bounce back like he always does.

"With everything he's been through, he's been in a lot of games and big situations, he'll be fine. Next game, I'll expect a different Justin Pogge."

The visitors opened the scoring early when Farmanara circled the net, came out into the slot and wristed a shot into the top corner.

But the Hitmen powerplay went to work and dominated the rest of the first period, scoring three unanswered goals on rookie 'tender Justin Leclerc.

The Hitmen looked as though they were content to sit on their two-goal cushion and that strategy had dire consequences as Lethbridge erupted for four unanswered goals in the middle frame.

Wick started the party with a wrister from the right boards on the powerplay 56 seconds into the period.

Pogge misplayed an easy snapshot which resulted in the tying goal. The Calgary 'tender gloved the puck and then dropped it into his own net.

With the Hurricanes outshooting Calgary 9-1 in the frame, Hogg found the back of the net stick side behind Pogge.

The 'Canes capped their finest period of the series with 4:11 to play when Fadden won a faceoff to Farmanara, who teed it up and beat Pogge from the top of the circles.


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