Heartbreak at home

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

The killer instinct still isn't there.

For the second consecutive post-season, the Calgary Hitmen let a second-round series lead slip through their fingers in a Game 7 defeat.

And once again, it was the league's highest-scoring team that booted the Hitmen to the sidelines.

Kenndal McArdle, Steven Gillen and Troy Brouwer scored during the pivotal second period as the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors seized control en route to a 3-1 win at the 'Dome.

Hitmen power forward Brodie Dupont, who also suffered through last season's Game 7 loss in Brandon, couldn't hide the devastation he felt.

"It was the same score last year, too. It was a year ago tomorrow," Dupont said with a voice he tried to keep from breaking. "I don't know. We're missing that killer instinct.

"Now we're cleaning out our stalls and getting ready for another long summer."

Dupont, a New York Rangers draft pick, didn't have anything to be ashamed of as he sacrificed his body on nearly every shift last night.

But he didn't have any puck luck as the Warriors held the club's top scorer off the sheet for the fourth straight game.

Dupont has run into the same roadblock his entire junior career.

"I played Tier II one year and we went to Round 2, lost in Game 7," he said. "Came to Calgary last year, went to Round 2, lost in Game 7. This is the third year in a row. It's frustrating. We had the team to do it this year. Who's to say I'll ever get back to this point again?"

Brouwer, the Warriors captain and WHL scoring king, missed the previous five games with an injured knee but returned to lead Moose Jaw to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in its 22-year history.

Keegan Dansereau accounted for Calgary's offence.

Justin Pogge, likely making his final start in a Hitmen jersey, made 20 stops in the loss.

Down two goals in the third, the Hitmen threw everything they had at Moose Jaw starter Joey Perricone, outshooting the Warriors 14-4.

The Hitmen pulled Pogge with two minutes to go but despite some wild scrambles, they couldn't find the net as they bowed out in Game 7 for the third straight year.

The Hitmen were on their heels in the opening minutes until Kris Deines changed the tone in a hurry. Seeing his first post-season action after missing 13 games with a broken thumb, the club's enforcer flattened Warriors d-man Cole Simpson on his first shift.

Calgary hit the scoresheet a couple minutes later on the powerplay. Freddie Pettersson deked Perricone out of the net and threw the puck into the crease where Dansereau shovelled it in.

McArdle brought the visitors even 6:58 into the second period when he kept the puck on a 2-on-1 and ripped a wrister over Pogge's glove. Jones set up the shorthanded, go-ahead marker three minutes later. He slid a pass to Gillen, who one-timed it through Pogge.

Brouwer, left unchecked in the slot, gave Moose Jaw some breathing room when his wrister clanked off the post and in.


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