Red-hot Alzner melts the Ice

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

Apparently the Central Scouting Service hasn't been paying attention.

The CSS's preliminary rankings have Calgary Hitmen defenceman Karl Alzner ranked way down at No. 14 -- and that's just among WHLers.

Alzner, a good bet to play for Team Canada's world junior edition this Christmas, may have forced the CSS to do some shuffling last night.

He scored once, assisted on another, had a half-dozen shots on net in the first two periods and was a rock defensively last night at the 'Dome.

And when Alzner dominates, the Hitmen usually have success, as they did last night with a 4-3 win over the visiting Kootenay Ice.

Alzner wasn't using the ranking as motivation. He didn't even know about it.

"You'll have to help me out. I don't know what it is," he said when asked what he thought of the ranking.

"I guess they see something in other guys they don't see in me right now.

"But if they rank me at 14, that's OK with me. It just gives me the incentive to play better."

Ian Duval, Keegan Dansereau and Ryan White also scored for Calgary, which improved to 14-8-0-1 and moved to within a point of second-place Kootenay in the Central Division.

Curtis Billsten, Steve DaSilva and Mike Busto replied for the Ice (14-7-1-1).

Dan Spence, who turned away a trio of partial breakaways in the opening period, made 23 saves for his 13th victory.

Alzner has been getting plenty of love from another ranking service, the International Scouting Service, which has the Burnaby, B.C., product pegged at No. 4 among all draft-eligible players on the planet.

"That's good to hear," Alzner said.

"But I'm trying not to look at those things. I'm going to consider myself to be an underdog."

Kootenay was on the board before half the crowd was seated as Billsten chipped a rebound over Spence 13 seconds in.

But the Calgary powerplay went to work, connecting for a pair of goals before the period was out.

Alzner converted a gorgeous cross-crease pass from Ryan White on a 2-on-1 and Duval banked a centring feed off Ice starter Taylor Dakers' pad and into the net. Dakers (6-1-1) suffered his first regulation-time loss of the season.

DaSilva scored on a 5-on-3 before Busto roofed a shorthanded wrister over Spence's glove to stake the visitors to a 3-2 lead.

Hitmen captain Dylan Yeo pinballed a shot off Dansereau and into the net to tie it and White converted a rebound for the eventual game winner.


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