For the first time this season the Calgary Hitmen face a must win hockey game. Sure there have been other big games but none bigger than tonight. It's game 5 as the Hitmen meet the Brandon Wheat Kings trailing the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series 3-1. Game time is 6:00 p.m. (MDT) at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan also begins at six o'clock.
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck
SERIES RECAP: Brandon, leading the series 3-1, has outscored Calgary by a combined 13-8.
-Game 1: Brandon 6 Calgary 2. After Mark Stone snapped a 2-2 tie with less than four minutes remaining in the second period the Wheat Kings never looked back scoring four straight.
-Game 2: Calgary 4 Brandon 0. Trevor Cheek picked up his first career playoff hat-trick while Brandon Glover made 20 saves for hist first career post season shutout.
-Game 3: Brandon 4 Calgary 1. Michael Ferland broke a 1-1 second period tie just past the eight minute mark. Kevin Sundher 1g 1a.
-Game 4: Brandon 3 Calgary 1. Mark Stone had 1g 1a while Corbin Boes made 32 saves.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 137 Bdn 123 Powerplays: Cal 2-11 (18.2%) Bdn 2-14 (14.3%)
SERIES TRENDS: The team scoring first has won all four games....Neither team has given up the lead....Of the 240 minutes played, the Hitmen have only led for 58 minutes and 35 seconds....Brandon has outshot the Hitmen in seven of the 12 periods. However Calgary has outshot the Wheat Kings by a per game average of 34.3 to 30.8
PERIOD SCORING: Of Calgary's eight goals in the series they have scored three in the first period, two in the second and three in the third. Of Brandon's 14 goals in the series they have scored five in the first period, four in the second and four in the third period.
SCORING DEPTH: 17 Wheat Kings have at least one point in the series while Calgary has points from 11 different players.
IN NEED OF A STREAK: The Hitmen need a three game winning streak to avoid elimination from the 2012 WHL Playoffs. During the regular season seven times the Hitmen put together winning streaks of three games or more.
BOES BLOCKADE: Brandon goaltender Corbin Boes, who finished the regular season with the third best save percentage in the WHL, has turned in a strong performance this series. The 18-year-old from Saskatoon has stopped 129 of 137 shots for a .942 save percentage.
DID YOU REMEMBER? The last time the Hitmen faced a 3-1 series deficit was in the opening round against Moose Jaw in the 2010 WHL post season. The Hitmen rattled off three straight wins to take the series in seven.
PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 109-77. The Hitmen have competed in 33 series prior to this one and have won 22 and lost 11. Calgary is 18-15 in post season overtime games.
Collin Bowman 0g 4a 4pts
Trevor Cheek 3g 0a 3pts
Alex Gogolev 2g 1a 3pts
Alex Roach 1g 2a 3pts
Alessio Bertaggia 2g 3a 5pts
Mark Stone 2g 3a 5pts
Michael Ferland 2g 1a 3pts
* Game 6 Apr 1 Brandon at Calgary 4:00 PM MDT
* Game 7 Apr 3 Brandon at Calgary 7:00 PM MDT
HITMEN ALUMNUS: Paul Postma who played parts of four seasons in Calgary (2007-08 to 2008-09) is in the AHL with the St. John's Ice Caps. The 24-year-old is currently third among AHL defencemen in scoring with 13 goals and 31 assists for 44 points in 55 games.