Hitmen must regroup from heartbreaking loss

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

The Calgary Hitmen aren't looking for total amnesia.

But a selective memory would serve the purpose.

Hitmen bench boss Mike Williamson said he doesn't want his players to completely forget Friday's 6-3 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

"I don't think you ever want to completely forget," said Williamson, whose club blew a 3-1 lead against the Wheaties and faces the top-ranked Tri-City Americans Sunday (2 p.m. at the Dome, Fan 960).

"We did a lot of good things. Our preparation and intensity out of the gate was good.

"But the guys started squeezing it a bit when (the Wheat Kings) got momentum in the third period."

One guy who wasn't squeezing the sawdust out of his stick was Tyler Shattock.

The big winger, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Kamloops, was goalless with his new team until potting a pair Friday night.

Shattock lit the lamp 20 times with the Blazers prior to the deal and said he was happy to contribute in the offensive zone.

"It was nice to get that first goal and get the monkey off my back," Shattock said. "But I'd rather take the two points."

Shattock hasn't been shy about throwing his 6-foot-3, 200-lb. frame around.

Shattock, who turns 20 Wednesday, said he's focusing on what the team did right against Brandon.

"We're disappointed with what happened at the end," Shattock said. "But there were some positives. We pretty much dominated that team for 48 minutes."

The Americans, who lead the WHL's overall standings and have won three straight against the Hitmen, pose some of the same problems as the Wheat Kings did -- a powerful offence that can break loose at any moment.

Co-captain Ian Schultz said they'll need a similar effort to what they came up with (for 48 minutes) against the Wheaties.

"If you give them an inch, they'll take a couple feet," Schultz said of the Ams, the Western Conference's top offensive squad.

"We'll need to be strong defensively, but we'll have to do it for 60 minutes."

Schultz said the setback against the Wheat Kings could help the team down the road.

"You have to look at it like it's the playoffs," he said. "You have to have a short memory.

"And you have to make sure you're always trying to get better."

The Americans snapped a rare two-game losing streak by thumping the inept Oil Kings in Edmonton Friday night.

Prior to losing to Spokane and Red Deer, the Ams had won six straight on home ice.

They'll have top scorer Brendan Shinnimin back in the lineup. He was suspended for Friday's game after making post-game comments to the officials in Red Deer.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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