Chilli-whacked!

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Suffice it to say, Derek LeBlanc is reborn after breaking his wrist.

Since returning to the Calgary Hitmen lineup Jan. 13 after missing 20 games, LeBlanc has been lighting goal lamps, including two tallies last night at the Saddledome in Calgary's 7-1 thrashing of the Chilliwack Bruins.

LeBlanc, who left the game early with a tweaked groin, now has six markers in his last five games. Everything he touches is turning to goals.

"I've been getting a few bounces and my linemates (Steve Covington and Brett Sonne) have been playing well, so it's going good right now," said the 20-year-old product of Brandon, Man.

"(Assistant coach Dave Lowry) really helped me out a lot by really pressuring me to stay in shape and do everything I could to maintain the shape I was in, so I worked as hard as I could while I wasn't playing. It really helped me out."

LeBlanc looks like he's in the zone and showed it last night in the first period on an end-to-end rush. He blew past two Bruins along the way, skated into the offensive zone after going around a defenceman and calmly roofed a shot on the short side.

"He's starting to use his speed ...He's a very effective player if he can keep his mind in the right frame," said Hitmen assistant captain Brodie Dupont, who also potted a pair last night and has 30 on the season.

Dupont is also on fire with seven goals in his last seven contests.

It was a wild opening period with both clubs combining for six goals, including five for the Hitmen. Ken Petkau's powerplay tally was Chilliwack's lone goal on Dan Spence i the frame.

The five allowed by the Bruins tied a WHL record for most goals against in one frame.

Hitmen defenceman Karl Alzner had a three-point night, including a goal, and the Hitmen also got a pair of tallies from Ian Duval, including a shorthanded effort.

Calgary (29-20-3-4) ended a two-game losing streak, while the expansion Bruins fall to 15-36-3-2.

HIT PARADE:

Three stars were: 1. Derek LeBlanc (Hitmen), Brodie Dupont (Hitmen) and Karl Alzner (Hitmen) ... Not in the lineup for the Hitmen last night were: F Riley Merkley (concussion, indefinite), F Ryan Letts (knee, indefinite) and D Ryan Gillen (foot, day to day) ... The Hitmen now embark on a three-games-in-three-nights trip starting tomorrow in Regina, followed by contests in Brandon and Swift Current.


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