Freddie foils Warriors in OT

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Calgary's overtime goal may have to go to video review.

But it'll be for bragging rights only.

Nobody in the Hitmen dressing room cares who gets credited with the team's biggest goal of the WHL playoffs.

Freddie Pettersson went down on the scoresheet as the sudden-death hero after his long-range slapper found the twine with 55.3 seconds left in the first overtime period.

But the puck appeared to glance off something in front before going in, giving Calgary a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

And that something might have been Derek LeBlanc's skate.

"D.L. said he tipped it," an excited Pettersson said. "I don't know, we'll see tomorrow.

"I just fired it at the net. I was kind of scared because I was in the middle and, if you lose the puck there, it's going to be a breakaway for them.

"So I just tried to get it to the net because we had a lot of guys crashing the net."

LeBlanc -- who, like Pettersson, scored in regulation time along with Mike Reich -- was just happy to escape with the win after Moose Jaw carried the play in the extra session.

"I thought I felt it go off my skate," LeBlanc said. "I was just trying to create some traffic in front of the net for Freddie because he has a great shot.

"I felt something go off my skate. I don't know if it was a puck or not."

Calgary can close out the series in Game 6 tomorrow at the Moose Jaw Civic Centre

(7 p.m., Shaw TV). Game 7, if necessary, would be held Wednesday at the 'Dome.

Justin Pogge made 38 saves for the win.

The Warriors forced overtime with 5:04 to play in regulation.

Blair Jones, the best player in the series who had hit the post just seconds earlier, snapped his club's 0-for-23 drought with the man advantage with a well-placed wrister.

Ian McKenzie and Steven Gillen also scored for Moose Jaw, which fought back from a 3-1 deficit.

The Hitmen looked to be in control when they potted three straight goals in the middle frame. LeBlanc and Pettersson, the latter coming on a 4-on-3 powerplay, beat Joey Perricone high on the glove side. Forty-five seconds after Pettersson put Calgary in front, Reich joined a wild scramble in front and popped a backhander into the top corner.

With his squad holding all the momentum, Hitmen rookie Ryan Letts took a bit of a gamble when he agreed to drop the mitts with Warriors blueliner Jesse Zetariuk.

But the youngster more than held his own in the spirited tilt, further energizing the crowd.

Zetariuk went to the dressing room and did not return.

Moose Jaw made it a one-goal contest heading into the third period when Kenndal McArdle found Gillen wide open in the slot with 3:43 to play in the second.

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HIT PARADE: Not dressed for Calgary were D Dylan Yeo (wrist), LW Kris Deines (thumb) and D Curtis Kelner ... Brad Moran and Matt Kinch, key players on the Hitmen's 1999 WHL championship team, were in attendance. Former Flame Theo Fleury, one of the original owners of the Hitmen, also took in the game.

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CALGARY HITMEN: 4

MOOSE JAW WARRIORS: 3

OVERTIME

HITMEN LEAD SERIES 3-2.

GAME 6 TOMORROW IN MOOSE JAW


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