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MAKAROV SHUTS OUT HITMEN

Feb 01, 2013 - 13:35 MST
Written By: Forbes, Bryce

The Calgary Hitmen fired all they could at Saskatoon Blades goaltender Andrey Makarov, but for the second straight game, they couldn't put one past him.

Last time around in November, the Russian 'tender shutout the Hitmen 4-0 to pick up the win, and much of the same occurred during the Blades 6-0 victory Friday night on home ice.

This time around, he faced 42 shots and didn’t let one behind him for his eighth career shutout.

The loss drops the Hitmen to 33-15-1-3 and have six games remaining on a season high nine-game road trip.

The Hitmen controlled play through the first few minutes of the game, but an unlucky bounce on the powerplay seemed to deflate them. About 13 minutes in, Blades forward Josh McNicholls threw the puck chest high to the front of the net and it bounced off a Hitmen player and behind goaltender Mack Shields.

Calgary had a chance to tie it up early in the second period when they had a two-man advantage for over a full minute, but couldn’t get one past Makarov. Similar results happened a few minutes later when Pavlo Padakin had a clean-cut breakaway, but he just missed going top corner.

Nathan Burns and Brendan Walker extended the Blades lead to 3-0 after the second period, and both added a second goal in the third frame. Matej Stransky also scored in the final 20 minutes to make it 6-0.

Hitmen goaltender Mack Shield turned away 28 pucks on 34 shots.

The Hitmen couldn’t score on five extra man opportunities, while the Blades sniped two goals on six powerplay chances.

Calgary now moves to their fourth game in five nights when they take on the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night. Game time is 6 p.m. MT.  The Raiders got the better of Calgary 5-4 in their first meeting of the year in October. Raiders are second in the Eastern Conference, but the Hitmen have eight more points.