Hitmen snowed under

IAN BUSBY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

The return of the silver stars couldn't help the Calgary Hitmen break the Ice.

Even with world junior players Martin Jones and Brandon Kozun back in the lineup, the Hitmen fell 2-0 to the Kootenay Ice last night in front of 6,571 spectators at the Saddledome.

Just like Canada's loss Tuesday to the U.S., they came up just a bit short and the Hitmen (27-12-2) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Early in the third period, Kozun had a golden opportunity to even up a 1-0 game.

Parked by the side of the net, the team's leading scorer took a pass and had a sprawled Ice goalie Todd Matthews in front of him, but Kozun's high shot rang off the crossbar and went over the glass.

Less than a minute later, Matt Fraser whacked home a backhander from the side of the net to give the Ice a 2-0 lead.

"There were a couple crossbars and a post," Kozun said. "It comes down to working and we didn't do it. "I wish we would have worked a little harder out there, myself included. You still come away with a loss and you have to learn from it. We have to come out better against Vancouver on Saturday."

Meanwhile, the Ice (24-15-3) are red hot. The win over Calgary is Kootenay's ninth in a row, with the last defeat coming at the hands of the Hitmen in a shootout back on Dec. 13.

The home side didn't get on the board until a little more than two minutes were left on the clock, as Giffen Nyren cut to the slot and roofed his fourth of the season.

It was the only shot that made it through Matthews, who made 27 saves in his 17th win of the season.

"Matthews made some good saves on us," Nyren said. "He plays well when he faces us, but we have to find a way to get pucks by him."

The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first period when Steele Boomer's screened point shot found its way through Jones.

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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