Hitmen saddles up in second

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

The Calgary Hitmen finally stopped procrastinating.

After pulling a pair of wins out of the fire in their last two games, the Hitmen took care of business a little earlier this time.

Austin Madaisky, Kris Foucault, Tyler Fiddler and Joel Broda scored as the Hitmen beat the Swift Current Broncos 4-2 last night at the Saddledome.

Brandon Kozun, who extended his points streak to 14 games with a pair of assists, said his squad was happy to do without the late-game theatrics.

"It's definitely a lot easier to play with the lead," Kozun said. "Any time you have a lead going into the third period, it's a bonus.

"We're making strides. If you're making forward strides, that's always a good thing.

"We're getting there."

The Hitmen took a 3-2 lead into the third and then got all the insurance they'd need when Kozun found Broda in the slot for a powerplay marker.

Backup goaltender Michael Snider kicked out 22 shots to lower his goal-against average to a league-best 2.10.

Eric Doyle and Brad Hoban connected in the first period for the visitors, who remain winless on the road (0-8-2) this season.

Kozun, the league's top scorer with 38 points in 21 games, said his scoring streak is a product of the team playing well.

"I try not to think about it too much," Kozun said of the run that has seen the Los Angeles Kings prospect score 27 points.

"I'm just trying to make the right plays out there."

The Hitmen (16-5) travel to Lethbridge tomorrow (7 p.m., fan960.com) before hosting the Kootenay Ice Wednesday (2 p.m. at the Dome).

A turnover at the Swift Current blueline early in the first period gave the Broncos a 4-on-2. Doyle took a pass, coasted into the slot and buried a wrister over Snider's glove for the powerplay marker.

The Hitmen wasted a glorious opportunity to get back on even footing but came up empty on a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:21.

Madaisky, though, did find the back of the net with under two minutes to play in the period. Goaltender Morgan Clark got a piece of the defenceman's slapper from the point, but not enough.

The Hitmen dominated the early part of the middle frame, outshooting their guests 9-0.

But a turnover in their own end left Hoban alone in the slot, and his quick shot found the top corner over Snider's mitt.

The Hitmen caught fire later in the period, scoring a pair just 16 seconds apart.

Foucault scooped up a rebound and potted his seventh, and Fiddler scored on a near carbon-copy on the next shift, as the home side took its first lead of the night.

The Broncos called timeout, and then winger Mike Brown tried to give his team a lift by dropping the mitts with Hitmen captain Ian Schultz.

It turned out to be a bad idea, as Schultz dropped a huge left-hand bomb that sent the Calgary product to the ice.

The Hitmen outshot the Broncos 21-5 in the deciding second period.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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