Hitmen win to claim crown

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

The Edmonton Oil Kings were in town to try to spoil the party.

But it was the Calgary Hitmen who were crowned at the end of the night.

The Hitmen got goals from seven different players in a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings that gave the Calgary club its second straight WHL regular-season championship.

Co-captain Ian Schultz, whose club will enjoy home-ice advantage throughout the post-season, said he was proud of his teammates for locking up top spot.

“It’s pretty remarkable,” Schultz said after the Hitmen won their eighth in a row to improve to a league-best

51-17-3. “You come in here with a great group of guys and the sky’s the limit.

“When you look around the room, we have all the talent in the world.”

Tyler Shattock, Ian Schultz, Brandon Kozun, Tyler Fiddler, Michael Stone, Cody Sylvester and Mackenzie Royer scored for the Hitmen, who won all six games against their provincial rivals this season.

Michael St. Croix and Robin Soudek replied for the Oil Kings (16-42-13).

Sitting on a comfortable

6-2 cushion in the third period, Kris Foucault went on an end-to-end rush, dangling through everyone wearing an Oil Kings jersey, before finding Royer for the lone goal of the frame.

After falling two games shy of their ultimate goal of winning the league a season ago, the Hitmen were reserved after locking up the regular-season title.

There were no wild celebrations once the buzzer sounded.

“We don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face,” Stone said.

“I think everyone’s excited on the inside. But we have a bigger prize to look forward to.”

The Hitmen will host the Red Deer Rebels Sunday

(2 p.m.) in the regular-season finale and will open the playoffs at home Thursday night against either the Moose Jaw Warriors or the Swift Current Broncos.

The Hitmen’s red-hot powerplay had a pair of opportunities in the opening period and converted on both.

The home side struck twice in 15 seconds to seize full control of the game in the middle frame. Later in the game, the Hitmen powerplay made it

3-for-3 — and a ridiculous

14-for-20 (70%) over the past four games.

The visitors scored on a late-period powerplay as Soudek had all kinds of space in the slot and fired a slapper past Jones.


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