Hosts record holiday Hit

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

It wasn't the prettiest goal Brendan Rowinski has ever scored.

But it was certainly one of the most important.

The sophomore centre slid into the crease and knocked both Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender Ryan Holfeld and the puck into the net to give the Calgary Hitmen a 2-1 WHL win over the visitors yesterday at the 'Dome.

Rowinski said his stick never touched the puck.

"I think it hit my (butt), and that's about it," Rowinski said. "It was nice. I'll take it."

Rowinski and the rest of the Hitmen headed home after the game for a 10-day Christmas break, and he said the goal might sound a little different when he tells his friends back home about it.

Coast-to-coast, top-shelf beauty?

"When I tell my buddies, that's what it's going to be," he said with a smile.

Holfeld held the Hitmen at bay for nearly 48 minutes.

But Rowinski kickstarted the offence by winning a faceoff with his foot back to defenceman Keith Seabrook, who snapped home his second goal of the season.

"Us young guys needed to step up tonight," Rowinski said. "We worked hard, drove the net hard, and the goals will come."

Cochrane product Trevor Glass put the visitors up with seven seconds left in the opening period.

Hitmen goaltender Marty Jones kicked out the other 24 shots he faced to pick up his 11th win of the season.

With the victory, the Hitmen head into the break in top spot in the Eastern Conference at 23-11-1-2, one point ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Veteran winger Carson McMillan said he'll be able to enjoy his holiday now.

"That's what we were hoping for when we came into tonight's game," he said.

"We were a little sketchy in the first period, but we pulled through as a team, battled it out and got the victory."

McMillan said it was nice to see two players who have struggled offensively pull the game out of the fire for the Hitmen.

"(Rowinski) did a great job on the faceoff to kick it back to Seabs, and he sniped it from the point.

"It's good to see guys like him get some points."

The Hitmen will head into the break searching for consistency. After busting out of the gates with a 9-1 record, the club won three of its next 11. They followed that slide by going 11 games without a regulation-time loss. They then lost three straight before winning their last two tilts.

"We haven't been that consistent," Rowinski said. "We've gone on some long streaks, and we've had some losing streaks, too.

"But we just have to get back to the way were playing when we were winning."

Rowinski and McMillan could have hired the team bus to travel home to Manitoba for the holidays -- Alex Plante, Ian Duval and Ryan White are also headed to Manitoba.


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