Momentum shifts

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Saturday's Game 5 loss might be the least of their worries.

There could be longer-lasting -- even fatal -- ramifications for the Calgary Hitmen.

The Hitmen, who were blanked 4-0 in Cranbrook Saturday night, still hold a 3-2 lead in the WHL's Eastern Conference quarter-final.

But the Kootenay Ice are brimming with confidence heading into Game 6 tonight at the 'Dome (7 p.m., Shaw TV, The Fan 960).

Kootenay's overager goaltender Taylor Dakers said his squad is starting to believe in itself again.

"We've been looking for it all series," Dakers said of Saturday's confidence boost.

"We can tell each other we're a good team but (Saturday) we took big steps in proving it to ourselves. Hopefully it pays dividends in Calgary."

Kootenay bench boss Cory Clouston wasn't about to let the party get out of hand, though.

"I think they're still in the driver's seat obviously," Clouston said.

"We're down 3-2. We're on life support now.

"But it's tough to win that fourth game.

"We've just got another life but we have to go in (to Calgary) with the same game plan and the same execution."

Giving a team as talented and heavily favoured as the Ice a reason to believe is dangerous.

Hitmen blueliner Karl Alzner acknowledged his team surrendered a big chunk of momentum but insisted there's no sense of panic inside the dressing room.

"We might have given them a little bit of confidence but they're coming to our building where we won both games, so hopefully that's not a good feeling for them," Alzner said.

"We played stupid. We put ourselves in a tougher position and we have to play another game. We didn't create opportunities for ourselves like we normally do.

"We have to refocus, throw this one out. We'll go back home, get some support for our fans and play with more energy."


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