Hitmen top guns come through

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

KELOWNA -- Calgary Hitmen snipers have been firing at will all season.

For the first three games of the WHL Championship, they were firing blanks.

But they loaded up with the live ammo last night.

WHL MVP Brett Sonne scored twice and added a pair of assists, while Brandon Kozun also had a goal and a helper, as the Hitmen staved off elimination with a 6-2 win in Game 4 at Kelowna's Prospera Place.

Game 5 goes tonight at the Saddledome (7 p.m., Shaw TV, Fan 960).

Sonne, who hit the scoresheet for the first time in the series, said some relief came with his three-point night.

"When you're put in a position where you have to produce and help your team win, and you're not doing that, it's frustrating," Sonne said.

"But at the same time, if we got a win and I didn't have any points, I'd be happy with that."

The problem is, when Sonne and Co. don't score, the Hitmen don't win.

Alex Plante, Bostjan Golicic and Carson McMillan also scored for the Hitmen, who got a much-needed boost from its dormant powerplay.

The Hitmen scored their first three powerplay goals of the series last night, and killed off all five Rockets opportunities -- including a massive two-man disadvantage in the second period.

Kozun, Joel Broda and Kyle Bortis all picked up their first points of the series.

"We've been a little unlucky and the bounces hadn't gone our way," Kozun said. "But we got some bounces tonight, so hopefully that will unleash (the offence)."

The Rockets, who outshot the Hitmen 37-34, got a pair of goals from Calgary Flames prospect Mikael Backlund, but were largely held at bay by Calgary starter Martin Jones.

Trailing 4-2 in the third period, the Rockets mounted a charge to get back in the game, but Jones kicked out the right pad to twice rob Kelowna sniper Cody Almond.

Sonne buried a rebound and McMillan batted a puck in out of mid-air on a late powerplay to round out the scoring.

The game turned after Backlund gave the home side a 2-1 lead with two quick goals to start the second period.

With the overflow crowd going crazy, the Hitmen found themselves down a pair of men for 53 seconds.

They managed to survive the major test and then extended their playoff lives at the other end with three straight goals.

Kozun drove around the Kelowna defence and found Golicic on the doorstep.

The Hitmen kept coming and Sonne potted his first of the series to put the visitors back on top.

With momentum clearly on their side, the Hitmen spent the next two minutes in the Kelowna zone and were rewarded when Kozun found the back of the net for a 4-2 lead. Two third-period goals secured the 6-2 win for the Hitmen.


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