A third period push fell short as the Calgary Hitmen dropped a 3-1 decision to the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday night at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
The loss pushes the Hitmen to the brink of elimination as they now trail the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series 3-1.
Ryan Pulock on the powerplay and Mark Stone even strength scored first period goals to give Brandon a 2-0 lead after the opening period.
Stone's goal was a thing of beauty and brought back memories of Mario Lemieux's playoff goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Minnesota North Stars in the 1991 Stanley Cup Final. The only difference for Stone was he finished shooting high glove side instead of a deek.
Alessio Bertaggia extended the lead to 3-0 early in the second period spelling the end of the night for Hitmen starter Chris Driedger who stopped 13 of 16 shots.
Alex Gogolev scored the lone Hitmen goal in the third period, a frame where they out shot the Wheat Kings 13-3 and also got a goal post from Collin Bowman.
The series resumes Thursday night in Winnipeg with Game 5.
Click here to listen to the post game thoughts of Hitmen forward Danny Gayle
Calgary Hitmen 1 at Brandon Wheat Kings 3
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB
Calgary 0 0 1 - 1
Brandon 2 1 0 - 3
1, Brandon, Pulock 1 (Walker, Stone), 10:53 (PP).
2, Brandon, Stone 2 (Pulock, Melnychuk), 15:25.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (hooking), 10:18; Virtanen Cal (roughing), 13:41; Seaman Bdn (roughing), 13:41.
3, Brandon, Bertaggia 2 1:53.
Penalties-Humphries Cal (cross checking), 3:58; Dziurzynski Bdn (boarding), 4:43; Meilleur Bdn (boarding), 10:48; Bowman Cal (hooking), 13:13; Miller Bdn (roughing), 18:02; Gayle Cal (high sticking), 19:13.
4, Calgary, Gogolev 2 (Gayle, Clayton), 8:22. Penalties-Miller Bdn (tripping), 12:35; Roach Cal (cross checking), 19:56.
Shots on Goal-Calgary 9-11-13-33. Brandon 13-13-3-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 4; Brandon 1 / 5.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 0-2-0-0 (16 shots-13 saves); Glover 1-1-0-0 (13 shots-13 saves). Brandon, Boes 3-1-0-0 (33 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Chris Crich (80), Jeff Ingram (82).
Linesmen-Kelsey Mahoney (138), Darrell Surminski (37).