MEDICINE HAT -- If Matt Keetley isn't careful, he's going to wear out his welcome before he even gets to Calgary.
The Medicine Hat all-star goaltender, a fifth-round pick of the Flames in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, hopes to play in the Stampede City at some point.
Now, though, he's doing his best to knock the Calgary Hitmen out of the playoffs.
Keetley made 24 stops last night to record his fourth goose egg of the post-season, backstopping the Tigers to a 2-0 win over the Calgary Hitmen in Medicine Hat.
The victory gives the Hat a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final. Game 2 goes tonight in the Gas City (7:30 p.m., Shaw TV, The Fan 960).
Darren Helm and Brennan Bosch scored second-period goals and Keetley, who also blanked the Hitmen the last time the two clubs met Feb. 25 at the 'Dome, made them stand up.
He has a shutout streak of 173:24 against Calgary, dating back to Jan. 9 but credited his 'mates for last night's doghnut.
"I didn't know that, to tell you the truth," Keetley said. "I had 24 shots but (d-man) Trevor Glass, I think he blocked about 100 shots.
"There's guys selling out. Derek Dorsett took that one off the shins and our guys were just blocking machines tonight."
He made his best stop midway through the third period, slamming the door on Robin Figren, who tried to convert Ian Duval's 2-on-1 pass at the top of the crease.
Keetley said he doesn't think he's starting to play on the minds of the Hitmen's flustered forwards.
"They're a good hockey club and you saw what they did with Brandon when they were down two games to nothing and came back," the 20-year-old said. "I don't think they'll crack real easy."
Dan Spence was also strong in the Hitmen net, kicking out 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
Brodie Dupont had his eight-game point streak snapped while teammate Derek LeBlanc failed to find the scoresheet for the first time in seven games.
Dupont, the club's top scorer in the playoffs, said there's no secret to beating Keetley.
"We just have to get traffic in front of him," Dupont said. "We need to do the same things we did to (Kootenay 'tender Taylor) Dakers -- if he can't see it, he's not going to stop it."