Hitmen power past Ice

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Keeping the Calgary Hitmen off the powerplay has to be the No. 1 goal of every WHL team that visits the Saddledome.

The Kootenay Ice decided to go in a different direction.

And they paid dearly.

The Hitmen powerplay struck three times yesterday afternoon as they overcame a two-goal deficit to score seven unanswered goals in a 7-2 romp.

Brandon Kozun had a goal and three assists to boost his league-leading point total to 43.

"I guess that's (Kootenay's) fault to a certain degree," Kozun said of the visitors' foolish penalties. "But when you're drawing penalties, you're doing something right. I thought we were moving our feet well and playing physical."

Kozun now has a point in 16 straight games.

Ian Schultz, Kris Foucault, Michael Stone, Matt MacKenzie, Misha Fisenko and Cody Sylvester provided the rest of the offence as the Hitmen won their seventh straight home game to improve to 17-6.

Joe Antilla and Brock Montgomery gave the Ice (8-12-1) a 2-0 lead midway through the first period before the game turned on a dime, when Schultz and Foucault scored 12 seconds apart.

The wheels fell off for the visitors in the middle frame, when Joey Leach hit Foucault well after the whistle, drawing a penalty. The Ice bench voiced their displeasure and picked up another minor.

The Hitmen scored on both powerplays -- on point blasts by Stone and MacKenzie -- and the rout was on.

"Any time I see a lane, I definitely put most of my weight into it," said Stone of his goal. "I didn't get all of that one."

Don't tell that to Ice goalie Todd Mathews. He never saw the rocket and was replaced by Nathan Lieuwen after surrendering four goals on 15 shots.

Michael Snider (8-2) kicked out 32 shots to lower his league-best goals-against average to 2.09.

Leading 4-2 after two periods, the Hitmen put the game out of reach with three more goals in third.

After Ice defender Hayden Rintoul roughed up Kozun with another post-whistle foul, the league's top scorer got his revenge on the powerplay, tapping in his 11th goal of the season.

Fisenko scored on a nice backhand deke, and then Sylvester, whose older brother Dustin plays for the Ice, rounded out the scoring with a top-shelf beauty.

The Hitmen powerplay -- which is clicking at a 32.4% success rate -- wasn't expected to be this potent after losing stars Brett Sonne and Paul Postma. But Schultz said there's still enough skill to make other teams pay.

"We've got puck-movers like Kozy, Foucault and (Joel) Broda and Stone and MacKenzie on the point," Schultz said. "They know where to put the puck to get good scoring chances.

"I stand in front and create as much havoc as I can. That's all my job is.

"I watch the pretty plays around me."

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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