Tigers next up on underdog Calgary's radar

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Look out, Tigers.

The underdog Calgary Hitmen are coming your way.

The Hitmen have scrapped and clawed their way through two tough series, eliminating a pair of heavily-favoured teams in Kootenay and Brandon.

Now, they'll face the biggest, baddest dog on the block: The Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Bengals were the team to beat the entire season, piling up an Eastern Conference-best 107 points.

Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio knows his club has yet another daunting task ahead, likely beginning Friday in the Gas City.

"We had some very good games and I think we match up against them fairly well," Kisio said. "They're a very quick hockey team, real solid throughout so it's going to be a tough road."

The Hitmen had a 3-4-0-1 record against the Tigers during the regular season when Medicine Hat outscored Calgary 24-22.

The Tigers survived a seven-game scare from Red Deer in the opening round before sweeping Regina in the second round.

Calgary winger Brodie Dupont said, based on recent results, regular-season numbers don't mean a whole lot.

"Against Kootenay and Brandon, we didn't have a very good record so we don't know what to think," said Dupont, who leads the WHL playoffs in scoring with15 points.

"They're a quick team and they obviously put the puck in the net. So we're going to get the Xs and Os on Monday and Tuesday.

"We have to go to Medicine Hat with the mentality of putting everything on the ice."

The Tigers' balanced scoring attack features a half-dozen players who have reached double digits in points, the most among the remaining teams.

World junior standouts Kris Russell and Darren Helm will draw the most attention from Calgary forecheckers.

"We have to wear theirD down," Dupont said. "Russell will be a key guy. Helm, (Derek) Dorsett, we have to make sure we're hard on all their top players."

HIT PARADE

The Tigers were 29-5-2-0 (.833) on home ice this season. Only Everett was better ... Calgary has one win in its last four in Medicine Hat.


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