Hitmen hope to score more fans

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

The Flames' loss might be the Hitmen's gain.

Hitmen blueliner Paul Postma hopes hockey fans will continue to come to the Saddledome even though the NHL club is done for another season.

"Me and a few of the guys were at Game 6 (of the Flames/Hawks series) when they lost out," Postma said.

"We could hear the 'Let's go Hitmen' chants that started up with about five minutes left in the game.

"So we would love to see a few more fans come out and support us. That would be unreal."

The Hitmen are 6-0 at the Dome in the playoffs after posting the league's best home record (32-3-1) during the regular season.

WHL player of the year Brett Sonne hopes to see a jam-packed house for tonight's series-opener (7:30 p.m.).

"Any time you play in front of a big crowd, it's a big momentum swing in your favour," Sonne said. "We've had pretty good crowds all year, but I expect it'll be a little bigger now that (the Flames') season is over."

Sonne said a boisterous crowd could put a charge into his club but insisted the Hitmen will be ready to go regardless of who's in the stands.

"We can't rely on other elements besides ourselves," he said.

"We've been waiting for this moment our whole WHL careers, so I don't think there will be a lack of energy."

The Rockets likely won't be intimidated.

They were responsible for one of the Hitmen's four home losses this season and have excelled on the road in the post-season.

Rockets bench boss Ryan Huska said his team has been unfazed by going into hostile territory.

"We won twice on the road in Vancouver, which is a difficult place to play," said Huska, whose team had a .569 winning percentage (T6th) on the road during the season and is 5-3 in the playoffs.

"We managed to win a game in Tri-Cities, which is a very difficult building to play in.

"That's not really going to change here.

"We know what their home record's been like. We know what their overall record's been like.

"If we're going to have a chance to win in this series, we have to make sure we play our very best each and every night and keep our game very simple."


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