When Victor Rask puts on the Hitmen jersey, he’s been a point a game player in the WHL. In 87 career games, he has exactly 87 points.
Unfortunately for Hitmen fans, he has commitments to the Carolina Hurricanes and Team Sweden, cutting down the amount of games he should be in the lineup.
Games like Tuesday night against the Tri-City Americans shows the impact that he can make.
He sniped a hat trick, the second in his WHL career, to help pace Calgary to a 6-2 victory over their American counterparts.
The win is Calgary’s fourth in a row in the United States and improves their record to 37-16-1-3. The Hitmen are now only 11 points back of the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings, with two games in hand. Their season-long nine-game road trip is almost over, with one game left against the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday night.
In what turned out to be a fairly uneventful first period, Rask opened the scoring with his eighth of the season about eight minutes in. The two teams combined for only seven shots in the first 20 minutes.
The floodgates opened though in the second, with Brooks Macek tapping in his 28th of the season only 31 seconds in following a nice cross-crease pass from Jake Virtanen.
Brady Brassart followed that one up about 11 minutes later when he found himself all along on a breakaway and slid one past Americans goaltender Luke Lee-Knight. Rask added his second of the game only 29 seconds later.
Americans left winger Jesse Mychan earned his team’s first marker, but Chase Clayton responded almost immediately for the Hitmen.
Five goals in total were scored in the second period, with the Hitmen holding the 5-1 lead.
Rask finished off his hat trick partway through the third, while Mitch Topping scored the final marker of the game in the third.
Driedger stood tall in net for the Hitmen, turning away 31 of 33 shots for his 28th win of the year.
Lee-Knight split time with Troy Trombley in the Americans net, combining to make 14 saves on only 20 shots.
Both of Tri-City’s goals came on the powerplay from eight opportunities, while the Hitmen were shutout on three extra man chances.
Macek (1g,2a) joined Rask for a three point effort, while Pavlo Padakin assisted on two goals.
The final game of the road trip occurs Wednesday night when they take on the Spokane Chiefs. Game time is 8:05 p.m.