SUN Hockey Pool

Bourque's stellar night highlights Alberta angle for Hawks

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Rene Bourque couldn't have asked for a better homecoming.

With more than 100 family and friends in the stands, Bourque spanked in two goals and was the main man for the Chicago Blackhawks in their 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night.

"It's awesome being back here and to beat the Oilers two games in a row, the team I grew up watching and my favourite team growing up," said the native of Lac La Biche.

"It's a great feeling."

Bourque benefitted from a less-than-stellar performance by Oilers netminder Jussi Markkanen.

The former St. Albert Saint banged home a puck that Markkanen misplayed on a shot by Kyle Calder in first, and then sent a high screamer at the net that the goaltender mishandled in third.

PAIR OF VICTORIES

The two from Bourque were a big reason why the Hawks are able to leave Alberta with a pair of victories following Friday's dismantling of the Calgary Flames.

"We're playing with confidence now and we're believing in ourselves that we can go out and beat these good teams on the road," said Bourque.

Bourque moved on to the University of Wisconsin after his stint in the AJHL and last season captured the hardest shot competition in the American League.

Calder, a native of Mannville, played a clutch role, too, for the Hawks, earning three assists including helpers on each of Bourque's goals.

PLENTY TO RAVE ABOUT

Like Bourque, Calder is seeing plenty of things to rave about in the recent turnaround for Chicago such the surprising showing from backup goaltender Craig Anderson who turned aside 33 shots.

"Ever since I've been here the best we've ever done is get a tie here, so it feels really good to get a win," said Calder of the visit to Rexall Place.

"We've come a long way from the beginning of the year. We weren't getting the bounces and now we are."

Just from the look of their two wins over the weekend, no teams will be taking the new-look Hawks for granted.

"We're a good team and we're going to work hard," said the four-year veteran. "Our biggest attribute is hard work and work ethic and that can't be underestimated. You start getting bounces and you start getting goals and things start to get turnaround in a hurry.

"We can't get over-confident but we know we're the underdogs and we just have to go out and work hard."


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