Swede shakes up top line

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

If yesterday's practice was any indication, things are about to change.

The Calgary Hitmen may have a different look when they take to the ice tonight for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal (7 p.m. at the 'Dome, The Fan 960).

In an attempt to jumpstart his club after back-to-back losses against the Brandon Wheat Kings, GM/head coach Kelly Kisio tinkered with his line combinations yesterday.

The biggest potential move would see Freddie Pettersson slide onto the top line alongside Ryan White and Brodie Dupont.

If, and it's a big if, yesterday's dress rehearsal wasn't just window dressing for the prying eyes of the Wheat Kings, who were moving into the 'Dome at the time of the skate.

"I don't know if we'll stay with those lines for the game," Kisio said. "But we did it for practice to see if we can generate some life.

"We'll see what happens tomorrow."

No offence to his usual linemates, Ian Duval and Robin Figren, but Pettersson certainly won't balk at the chance to play with the club's top two scorers.

"Playing with Whitey and Dups, it's a lot of fun," Pettersson said.

"They're really good hockey players.

"And we think the same way.

"They can put me in position to score goals and I can help them too.

"We've played together a few times this year and we've won those games."

Keegan Dansereau, who usually plays with White and Dupont, skated with Riley Merkley and Brendan Rowinski yesterday.

Carson McMillan moved up to take Pettersson's spot with Duval and Figren while the Brett Sonne-Derek LeBlanc-Steve Covington trio on the third forward unit remained intact.

White, who had one goal over the first two games of the series, said his line could use a kick in the pants.

"We haven't been producing much up front," White said.

"Give us a different look and we'll see what happens.

"Freddie's a sparkplug out there every night and he should bring some energy to our line and give us some extra jump.

"I thought Moose (Dupont) played well both games but I need to pick my game up a little bit here."

Pettersson played on the top line late in Calgary's Game 7 overtime victory over Kootenay.

He also moved up in the third period of Games 1 and 2 in Brandon. Dupont said he's developed chemistry with the flashy Swede.

"We've had success when he's on our line," Dupont said.

"Fred works hard and I enjoy playing with the kid.

"So hopefully we can go out there and produce some offence for our team."

Calgary also hosts Game 4 tomorrow night and Game 6, if necessary, will go at 5 p.m. Sunday.


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