At least the Calgary Hitmen can say they lasted one more day than the Calgary Flames.
One night after the Flames were ousted from the playoffs in San Jose, the Hitmen suffered the same fate in Lethbridge.
Carter Bancks scored twice to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Hitmen in front of a capacity crowd of 5,097 fans at the Enmax Centre.
Hitmen head coach and general manager Kelly Kisio praised his players for their effort.
“We played better tonight as a whole,” Kisio said. “We finally got back to our playoff hockey but obviously a little too late.”
With the win, the Hurricanes captured the Eastern Conference final series in four straight games and will move on to play either the Tri-City Americans or Spokane Chiefs for the Ed Chynoweth Cup and the right to represent the Western Hockey League at the Memorial Cup in Kitchener, Ont., from May 16-25. That series is currently tied 2-2.
“I believe we can do that,” said Lethbridge goalie Juha Metsola, who was named most valuable player of the series. “I don’t care if it’s Spokane or Tri-City. We can beat both of them.”
Dan Iwanski and Craig Orfino also scored, while goalie Metsola made 22 saves to improve his playoff record to 12-2.
Michael Stone and Kyle Bortis scored power-play goals for the Hitmen, who have now lost in the Eastern Conference final in two straight seasons.
“The team over there had a system we couldn’t find a way to beat,” said Hitmen captain Karl Alzner.
“For me, two years losing in the second round and two years losing in the third round, it really sucks when you have a great group of guys.”
Hurricanes blow away Hitmen
At least the Calgary Hitmen can say they lasted one more day than the Calgary Flames. One night after the Flames were ousted from the playoffs in San Jose, the Hitmen suffered the same fate in Lethbridge.