Winning streak dozen last

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Number 13 proved to be unluckey again.

For the second time this season, the Calgary Hitmen had a winning streak snuffed out at a dozen games.

Kelowna defenceman Collin Bowman's powerplay marker 5:09 into the third period was the difference as the Rockets beat the Hitmen 2-1 at the Saddledome.

The loss could prove costly for the Hitmen, who are battling the Vancouver Giants for top spot in the WHL standings.

Cody Almond also scored for the Rockets as Calgary lost for just the third time in regulation time at the Dome and failed to tie the WHL record for home wins in a single season.

Tomas Karpov replied for the Hitmen (55-8-3-1) in front of a crowd of 16,690 that took in the Hitmen's regular-season finale.

Hitmen bench boss Dave Lowry lamented the work of his top-ranked powerplay, which let the team down for one of the few times this season, going 0-for-6 on the night.

"In a 2-1 hockey game, the difference was the special teams battle," Lowry said. "They scored one and we didn't.

"Our powerplay has been good all year and we had an opportunity to take control of the game.

"For whatever reason, we were unable to capitalize."

The Rockets took three straight penalties in the middle frame, but killed them all off, including a 24-second span when they were down two men.

The Hitmen are still on pace to break the franchise record for points, set by the 1999-2000 squad with 120 points.

Hitmen goaltender Martin Jones got a piece of Bowman's point shot, but the puck trickled over the line for the eventual game-winner. It was Jones' first loss in regulation time in 29 outings (26-1-2).

Lowry said his club was missing the fire it usually plays with.

"I look at the end result and I don't think we had enough guys come prepared to play," Lowry said. "But Kelowna played a great game and I'm not going to take anything away from them."

The line of Brett Sonne, Brandon Kozun and Kyle Bortis, which had been successful for a big part of the season, was reunited late in the game, but couldn't produce the equalizer.

Kozun saw his 16-game points streak come to an end.

Thanks to a half-dozen powerplays, the Hitmen owned a 24-7 advantage on the shot clock through 40 minutes, but could only manage a 1-1 tie on the scoreboard.

The Rockets opened the scoring 1:40 into the middle frame. Former Hitmen speedster Ian Duval was tripped up as he cut into the slot. He let a shot go as he was falling and the puck went off Almond's skate and past Jones.

The heavyweights dropped the mitts six minutes into the period.

Hitmen winger Rigby Burgart, who stands 5-foot-10, had trouble dealing with 6-foot-4 Ryley Grantham's reach advantage. Grantham, a Calgary Flames draft pick, landed at least one major blow that opened up a cut on Burgart's left temple.

Karpov evened the score late in the period when he dangled into the offensive zone, weaved into the slot and dropped a pass to defenceman Eric Bonsor.

The rookie blueliner's shot was blocked, but the puck went right to Karpov, who was standing in the corner. The Czech import beat Kelowna starter Mark Guggenberg for his seventh of the season.


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