Daniel Spence didn't get a chance to enjoy a turkey dinner.
That's OK with him. He savoured his goose egg even more.
The Calgary Hitmen goaltender posted his second career shutout yesterday afternoon in a 2-0 win over their Central Division-rival Lethbridge Hurricanes.
"It was huge from a divisional standpoint," said Spence, who made 24 saves.
"It's a pretty close race with Lethbridge getting off to a good start."
Keegan Dansereau and Carson McMillan scored second period goals as Calgary improved to 4-3-0-0, two points behind Lethbridge (4-2-1-1) and Red Deer (4-2-1-1).
Spence made his best stop off former Hitmen import Lukas Vantuch with seven minutes left in the middle frame.
Dwight King sent a shot to the top corner that Spence got his shoulder on. The rebound landed on Vantuch's stick but the Hitmen 'tender shot out the right pad to take away a sure goal.
"That was nice to stop Luke there," Spence said. "We're pretty good buddies.
"I'll be giving him a hard time about that one."
The 18-year-old stopper needed every save as Lethbridge starter Justin Leclerc was just as sharp between the 'Canes pipes.
Only Dansereau, with a rocket off the inside of the post, and McMillan, who poked a loose puck over the line in a scramble, solved the young goaltender.
"Leclerc played really well over there," Spencer said. "You could see right from the beginning of the game, he wasn't going to give up much. So I knew I had to be on my game."
The Hitmen looked like a completely different team than the one that surrendered eight goals to Kootenay Friday night.
GM/head coach Kelly Kisio was in a much better mood yesterday.
"We'll take that, for sure," Kisio said.
"If the guys play like that every night, they'll have a chance.
"We did a lot of the little things and the concentration and desperation levels went way up."
The Hitmen solved their overage problem by dealing RW Matt Isbister to Moose Jaw for a 2008 third-round bantam draft pick.
The three stars were Calgary G Dan Spence, Lethbridge G Justin Leclerc and Calgary RW Keegan Dansereau ... Not dressed for the Hitmen were D Dylan Yeo (wrist, 2 weeks), LW Freddie Pettersson (knee, 3 weeks), LW Brendan Rowinski (shoulder, 6-8 weeks), D Brett Plouffe, RW Ryan Letts and C Mike Reich ... Calgary heads to Lethbridge to complete the home-and-home set Wednesday. The Hitmen host the Kamloops Blazers Friday (7 p.m. at the 'Dome).