Hitmen, Oil Kings draw Battle lines

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

The Battle of Alberta is over for another season.

Unless the Edmonton Oil Kings can nail down the final playoff berth in the WHL's Eastern Conference.

Rekindling the QEII rivalry in the post-season would suit the Hitmen just fine.

The Hitmen received goals from six different scorers last night in a 6-2 victory at the Saddledome, giving Calgary a 5-1 record against the Oil Kings this season.

Brandon Kozun, Paul Postma, Joel Broda, Brett Sonne, Kyle Bortis and Bostjan Golicic all scored for the Hitmen (44-7-3-1) while Brett Breitkreuz and Brent Raedeke replied for the visitors.

Bortis, who also had an assist and was a plus-five, said his club wanted to send a message to the Oil Kings in case the two teams meet up again next month.

"We talked about it in the dressing room," Bortis said. "This is a possible playoff matchup. If things work out, we could play them in the first round. So that was in the backs of our minds and we wanted to send a message that it's going to be tough to play in our building."

The Oil Kings (23-27-2-4) are tied with Regina and Prince Albert for eighth in the conference.

The Hitmen entered the game with a 34-1 record when leading after 40 minutes -- the only loss was to the Oil Kings in the second game of the season -- and they quickly built on a 3-2 lead with three unanswered goals.

Sonne bounced a puck off the post, off the back of Edmonton starter Torrie Jung's pad and over the line to make it 4-2.

Then Postma stickhandled his way around three Oil Kings defenders before sliding a backdoor pass to Bortis.

Bortis said he was expecting Postma to unload the cannon and was surprised -- and a little relieved -- by the pass.

"He was curving his stick before the last game and I said 'Paul, you know what? I'm not going to be standing in front of the net if you're going to be curving it more,' " Bortis said with a smile.

"But he's got a great shot and that shows with the kind of output he's had this season."

Bortis' 20th spelled the end of the night for Jung, but it made no difference.

Less than a minute later, Golicic scored on the first shot backup Cam Lanigan faced to round out the scoring.

Postma, an Atlanta Thrashers' draft pick, extended his points streak to 10 games and moved closer to establishing a franchise record for most goals by a defenceman with his 17th of the season near the midway mark of the second period.

Jung was thoroughly screened but may not have seen Postma's bullet even if he had a clear look.

Kenton Smith set the mark for blueliners with 19 tallies during the 1998-99 season.


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