Kings dethroned

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

The Hitmen are off to the Final Four.

Four different players lit the lamp as Calgary overcame an early 1-0 deficit to eliminate the Brandon Wheat Kings with a 4-1 victory last night at the Saddledome.

The Hitmen won four straight to take the Eastern Conference semifinal in six games. They'll face the Medicine Hat Tigers in the East final this weekend.

Brodie Dupont, Carson McMillan, Steve Covington and Derek LeBlanc scored for Calgary, which is off to the third round of the WHL playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Overagers Covington and LeBlanc put the finishing touches on great individual efforts with third-period goals to put the game away.

"It's our last year and that extra motivation helps," said Covington after extending his points streak to four games with a top-shelf beauty early in the final frame.

"Our line played pretty well this series. We're going to enjoy this and then get ready for Med Hat."

Jeff Topilko, who missed the last 11 games with a separated shoulder, potted Brandon's lone goal as Hitmen 'tender Dan Spence kicked out18 shots.

Defenceman Dan Mercer slid a perfect pass into the slot for Covington, who stickhandled once before roofing the insurance goal over Tyler Plante's glove.

If the Wheat Kings weren't dead at that point, they were five minutes later.

Winger Keegan Dansereau blocked a shot, got up and fed LeBlanc, who skated the length of the ice before fooling Plante with a backhander between the pillows.

"I thought I played better this series," said LeBlanc, the Game 5 OT hero who has a six-game points streak going.

"But we've had different guys stepping up every night. Covie played a great game tonight and scored a huge goal for us."

The Hitmen blew a pair of glorious opportunities to seize control of the game with a pair of 5-on-3 first-period powerplays.

The first two-man advantage, which was 43 seconds long, didn't generate much.

The second, for a full two minutes, produced more shots (the Hitmen took 13 of the first 15) but no goals.

Topilko chased down a loose puck in the Calgary zone and sent a bad-angle wrister under Spence's glove for a1-0 lead.

Dupont, who now has points in eight straight games, tied the game early in the middle frame.

Ryan White drove around Wheaties defenceman Chad Erb and fed a hard-charging Dupont, who chipped in his ninth of the post-season.

The Hitmen got the game winner on a strange one with 1:13 to play in the period.

McMillan, at the end of a long shift, bulldozed his way into the Brandon corner and centred the puck, which hit Plante's goalstick and bounced behind him into the net. Calgary enjoyed a 27-13 advantage on the shot clock after 40 minutes.


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