Just a shootin' gallery

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

They come in waves.

And so did the shots.

That's an apt description of the Calgary Hitmen offence.

But the difference between Sunday's Game 2 and last night's Game 3 of the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference quarter-final was the wind didn't start pounding the Edmonton Oil Kings' shore until near the end of the first period en route to 4-1 Calgary win at Rexall Place.

Beleaguered Oil Kings goalie Torrie Jung managed another 41 saves, but his teammates were unable to weather a less intense storm.

"They expect him to be good and we expected him to be good. Our mindset is that we have to put pucks at the net," said Hitmen head coach Dave Lowry.

"I thought we were a little flat mentally," said Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau.

"We weren't doing some of the simple things we can do. Give them credit; they were all over us. We know what kind of skill their forwards have and they forced us to play in our own end.

"Some of that was because we weren't getting the puck deep (in their zone). We'd get past centre, but we continually turned it over at their blue line. When we're effective, we're getting the puck behind their defenceman."

Over three minutes had elapsed before the Hitmen got their first official shot on the Edmonton net, a Paul Postma blast from the point that was kicked aside by Jung -- fresh off a 54-save overtime loss on Sunday.

It was shots 12 through 16 when the wind really picked up for the Hitmen.

The zero came off the scoreboard on shot No. 17, when Oilers draft pick Alex Plante blew one past Jung at 19:57 of the first period. The shots were 17-3 after 20 minutes.

"We had a lot of effective pressure in the offensive zone in the second period and we finally got some bounces and scored," said Lowry.

"It's one of those games when you have pressure and then they had a two-on-one and a rebound comes popping out. It was a hard- fought win for us."

Unlike Game 2, for the most part the Oil Kings defence held their ground against Calgary's physical play last night.

Weariness may have begun to show past the midway point of the second period when, after two more Jung stunners, Calgary's Joel Broda showed his hand skills when he snared a loose puck at the top of the circle and, while falling to his knees, managed to fire a shot past Jung at 12:44.

Then at 16:03, Brandon Kozun found himself alone at the circle to Jung's right, flipping one home to make it 3-0. Bostjan Golicic got his third assist of the game on the play.

Lonely Hitmen goalie Martin Jones made his mark by making a terrific leg save on Brett Breitkreuz off a two-on-one that could have tied it.

The Oil Kings gave full effort early in the third with Robin Soudek making it 3-1, but an Ian Schultz deflection sealed the game at 4-1 and tightened up the screws on a 3-0 series lead.

The teams square off again tomorrow night at Rexall.


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