Host powerplay nets two tallies but struggles

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

The glass is always half-full after a win.

But the Calgary Hitmen can't be entirely pleased with yesterday's performance.

The No.-1 ranked powerplay did produce both goals in the 2-1 victory.

But it was only because of the powerplay's ineptitude that the game was as close as it was.

The Hitmen could have blown the tilt wide open had they converted on any of their three 5-on-3 advantages.

Winger Kyle Bortis said coming up empty on those opportunities could have come back to bite his squad in the backside.

"Those were crucial times in the game," Bortis said. "I know we didn't score, but maybe there was a little bit of momentum built off them.

"Ideally, we want to bury those chances. (The powerplay) has been struggling in the playoffs. But we did some good things, and hopefully, if we work that much harder, we'll turn things around."

Hurricanes goaltender Juha Metsola, who robbed Joel Broda and Jason MacDonald with huge glove saves, deserves some of the credit.

But winger Kris Foucault, who cashed in on a first-period powerplay, said a simpler approach is needed.

"We had a lot of shots on net during those five-on-threes, but we need more," Foucault said. "We're trying to be a little too fancy with the man advantage."

The Hitmen ended up 2-for-8 on the powerplay, which is clicking at an 18.8% success rate during the playoffs. During the regular season, it was a league-best 30.2%.

The entire game wasn't easy on the eyes.

"There were mistakes all over," Foucault said. "We're lucky it was only a 2-1 game."


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