'We got ripped off!'

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

If there was a hockey god, the Calgary Hitmen would be preparing for the second round.

They did everything right in Monday's Game 6, a 4-3 win for the Kootenay Ice. If not for a bounce here, a goal post there, the Hitmen would be at home relaxing for a few days.

Instead, they'll face a one-game, winner-take-all showdown in Cranbrook tonight (7 p.m., Shaw TV, The Fan 960).

Centre Ryan White said despite blowing a 3-1 series lead, there's plenty of confidence in the Hitmen dressing room.

"I thought we outplayed them the whole game," the club's leading scorer said. "We got ripped off a little bit.

"If we play the same way again, they can't get too many bounces. The hockey gods can't give them that many.

"We have to work for our bounces and we're due for a couple."

And that might be the club's biggest advantage heading into tonight's Game 7: The law of averages.

If the Hitmen play as well as they did Monday night, which was their best effort of the post-season, can they be denied two games in a row?

"If we work hard like we did (Monday) and play that type of a flawless game, we should be fine," White said.

The law of averages would also suggest Brodie Dupont, who led the team with 37 goals during the regular season, is poised to make a major impact after being held without a tally the last three games.

"I thought I was one of the worst players on the ice," Dupont said, disgusted with his performance in Game 6, where he was minus-2.

"But when I'm out there producing, it seems that's the way the team goes too.

"So I'm going to step up my game, get the team going. I'll bring my A-game."

White expects nothing less from his linemate.

"He's a big-game player and he knows what he has to do," White said. "He's going to be hard to play against."

And the statistical probabilities don't end there.

The Hitmen have lost four straight Game 7s. That trend has to end sometime.

Kootenay goaltender Taylor Dakers, who has been huge the past five games, said he's well aware of Calgary's recent struggles in Game 7s.

"Yeah, coach clipped an article and put it up in our room," Dakers said. "It's nice to think about but we still have to go out and play our game."

Winners of two straight with home-ice advantage in the decisive game, Kootenay will be favoured tonight.

But Ice bench boss Cory Clouston wasn't about to say as much.

"I wouldn't say we're in the driver's seat," Clouston said.

"When you look at the players we have out right now, we know it's gonna be as tough or tougher than these last two games."

The Ice could be without Eastern Conference first team all-Star d-man Mike Busto (knee) and talented winger Curtis Billsten (groin).

Calgary, meanwhile, iced a fully healthy lineup Monday for the first time in months and it showed.

If they can muster a repeat performance tonight, they'll likely live to play again.

HIT PARADE

The Hitmen are 2-4 in franchise history in Game 7 ... Calgary has played with the lead for 48:21 through the first six games while Kootenay has led 139:51.


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