Hitmen fire 56 pucks in win

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Carson McMillan seemed more relieved than ecstatic.

The Calgary Hitmen co-captain was the overtime hero yesterday as the Hitmen beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 2-1 at the Saddledome in Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series.

But, instead of celebrating their club's 2-0 series lead, McMillan and the rest of his teammates were breathing a sigh of relief after sidestepping a bullet.

The bullet's name was Torrie Jung.

The Oil Kings goaltender stood on his melon from start to finish, stopping 54 shots in an awe-inspiring performance that nearly allowed his team to steal Game 2 and home-ice advantage.

"Jung was unreal all night, so I was definitely happy to get one past him," McMillan said after deflecting defenceman Paul Postma's shot out of mid-air and past Jung at 8:04 of sudden death. "That could have been a huge momentum shift for them.

"We've got a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net, but he stopped a lot of shots today."

Game 3 of the Battle of Alberta goes tonight in Edmonton (7 p.m., fan960.com).

Oil Kings bench boss Steve Pleau struggled for words to describe Jung's performance.

"What can you say?" Pleau said. "That first period was unbelievable.

"But he's done it all year. We're not even here if it's not for Junger. We're to the point now where we expect it. He gives us all our energy and all our belief.

"When you've got a guy like that, it's fun to be at the rink."

The Oil Kings were desperately clinging to a 1-0 third-period lead, thanks to Shayne Neigum's powerplay marker in the second.

The Hitmen threw everything they had at Jung, and winger Kris Foucault finally found the back of the net on his team's 40th shot of the game. Co-captain Kyle Bortis fought off three Oil Kings defenders, drew a delayed penalty and threw the puck at the net, where Foucault swatted in the rebound to force extra time.

The Hitmen outshot the visitors 20-1 in the third period and 47-21 through regulation.

Postma said his squad refused to panic in the third period and believed the league's top-ranked offence would eventually produce.

"(Jung) was unreal," Postma said. "That whole third period, we were putting pressure on him the entire time."

The first period was a mirror opposite of Game 1, with the Hitmen receiving four straight powerplays -- including a pair of lengthy 5-on-3s.

The puck was in the visitors' end for 90% of the period and the snowbanks in the slot rivalled those along Calgary's streets yesterday.

But Jung refused to bend under the pressure, turning aside 20 shots -- at least a half-dozen of the high-quality variety.

It was the Hitmen's turn for the penalty parade in the middle frame as the home side was whistled for five straight infractions. The Oil Kings powerplay, which was skunked in the series opener, showed good puck movement on a two-man advantage.

Eight seconds after the first penalty expired, Neigum took a pass at the bottom of the circles and roofed a shot over Martin Jones, who had no chance.


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