The Calgary Hitmen didn’t have to wait long to earn a measure of revenge against the Red Deer Rebels.
Just two nights after the Rebels swiped two points at the Saddledome, the Hitmen returned the favour Friday with a 4-2 victory at the Enmax Centrium.
Ian Schultz, Kris Foucault, Tyler Shattock and Joel Broda each scored for the visiting Hitmen.
Brandon Kozun and Matt MacKenzie each had three assists, while Broda also
had a helper.
Hitmen coach Mike Williamson said his club’s desire to put the tough loss behind and dig deeper was key to rebounding Friday night after the Rebels went home with a 5-4 shootout win Wednesday night.
“We played with a lot more intensity and we were a lot more physical,” Williamson said of his club’s win in Red Deer compared to its loss in Calgary earlier in the week.
“We talked a bit about Wednesday’s game. We have a very good leadership group, and I think our experience helped us to come up with a much better effort.”
Import winger Andrej Kudma opened the scoring for the Rebels in the first period, but Hitmen goalie Martin Jones was rock-solid as his teammates rattled off four unanswered tallies. Jordan Deagle scored the Rebels second goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation, but it was too little, too late by then.
Williamson tipped his hat to Jones once again.
“He’s really getting back into his form,” Williamson said of the Hitmen puck-stopper. “And Brandon Kozun had a very good game, too.
I think he was the best player on the ice tonight.”
The Hitmen (44-17-1-2) are back in action Saturday at the Saddledome, where they host the Kelowna Rockets
(30-29-2-4) in a rematch of last year’s league final.
The Hitmen are chasing the Saskatoon Blades for top spot in the Western Hockey League but didn’t gain any ground despite beating the Rebels.
The Blades registered a
5-0 romp of the Prince Albert Raiders Friday and remain two points ahead of Calgary in the battle for first place and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.