Backup 'tends to biz

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Calgary Hitmen fans are used to seeing a goaltending clinic whenever the Edmonton Oil Kings pay a visit.

But while Oil Kings starter Torrie Jung did his best to hold the visitors in it, the sharpest 'tender was in the Hitmen cage.

Backup Michael Snider kicked out all 18 shots that came his way as the Hitmen blanked their provincial rivals 4-0.

Mackenzie Royer, Ian Schultz and Brandon Kozun had a goal and assist each, while Tyler Fiddler added his team-leading ninth of the season for the Hitmen (10-3-0).

Snider deflected the credit after picking up his second goose egg of the young season.

"I have to give credit to my team," Snider said. "I didn't have many shots because they played well in front of me."

Snider wasn't overly busy, facing just eight shots over the final 40 minutes, but he was forced to turn away Oil Kings winger Logan Proulx on a third-period breakaway.

He said he did everything he could to stay sharp.

"I was trying to get out and play the puck a little more," he said.

The two teams hook up again tomorrow night at Rexall Place (7 p.m., Fan 960).

Hitmen enforcer Rigby Burgart has been given more icetime this season and he showed in the first period why he deserves it.

Burgart deflected a Ben Wilson shot between his legs and onto the stick of Royer, who tapped it into the empty net for his first of the season.

Royer admitted he was caught off guard by the tough guy's slick stickwork.

"Uh ... no," Royer said when asked if he expected Burgart's nifty tip. "I don't know if it was going in or not, but Rigby says I owe him."

Royer said his first-career multiple-point game in the WHL will be a confidence-booster moving forward.

"The coaches have been talking to me about some stuff, and I'm starting to take advantage (of their advice)," Royer said. "It's just going to get better and better."

The Hitmen had two glorious opportunities to build on their lead before the period was out.

Matt Mackenzie hit the outside of the net after a gorgeous give-and-go with Kris Foucault, and Kozun hit Jung in the chest from point-plank range a few minutes later.

Schultz potted the lone goal of a middle frame dominated by the Hitmen. The big right-winger tried to make a cross-crease pass to Kozun, but the puck ricocheted into the net off an Edmonton defender.

Kozun picked up an assist on the play to run his points streak to a half-dozen games.

The rest of the period was all Jung all the time as the Hitmen pounded 19 pucks at the Edmonton 'tender.

But the wheels fell off in the third period as the Hitmen scored on their first two shots and Jung was replaced by Cam Lanigan.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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