REBOUND SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE
March 29, 2012
The 2012 WHL playoffs have come to a close for the Calgary Hitmen with a 3-2 overtime loss against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
|North Bay Battalion|
|Owen Sound Attack|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Chicoutimi Sagueneens||Drummondville Voltigeurs|
|Gatineau Olympiques||Halifax Mooseheads|
|Moncton Wildcats||PEI Rocket|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
The 2012 WHL playoffs have come to a close for the Calgary Hitmen with a 3-2 overtime loss against the Brandon Wheat Kings at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Thursday night.
“I thought tonight we could have had a better fate and I think if we would have seen that type of game throughout the series it wouldn’t be over today. Brandon played hard, they played extremely well in front of their goalie, they have good goaltending, they played well defensively, blocked shots and certainly deserved to win,” said Hitmen head coach, Mike Williamson.
Paul Ciarelli netted the game-winning marker 8:26 into overtime to capture the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series 4 games to 1.
Although the Hitmen outshot the Wheat Kings by a 8-2 margin in extra time, Ciarelli took advantage of a scramble in front of the net and roofed in the rebound.
Starting netminder, Brandon Glover made 40 saves for Calgary as the Hitmen outshot Brandon 44-43.
The opening period was rendered scoreless as both goaltenders put on an impressive display. Brandon Glover was tested just before the midway mark of the first frame as Alessio Bertaggia and Bruno Mraz came racing down the ice on the 2-on-1. Glover read the play well as Bertaggia passed it to Mraz who ripped a one-timer which was turned away by his left pad.
Scoring was opened just 36 seconds into the middle stanza as Eric Roy launched a shot from the point. Series-point leader, Bertaggia, not only provided the leaping screen in front of Glover but managed to get a stick on it to deflect it in.
Alex Gogolev marked his third of playoffs 1:12 into the third frame to even the slate. The Russian rookie muscled his way through Mark Stone in front of the net and landed a backhander over the glove of Corbin Boes.
Thirty seconds later Calgary took their first road lead of the series as Chase Clayton registered his first goal of the playoffs, depositing in the rebound.
The score was reset at 2 apiece three minutes later as Ciarelli beat the trapper of Glover as the puck caught the inside of the far post.
Plenty of scoring chances surfaced for both sides in the third as intensity built into the waning minutes of regulation. Boes flashed the leather at 9:43, making one of his 34 regulation saves, as Jimmy Bubnick was denied on a prime scoring opportunity off the faceoff.
Game 5 was destined for overtime as a combined 77 shots were fired over 60 minutes of play.
Jimmy Bubnick, Collin Bowman, Brooks Macek and Trevor Cheek each chipped in one assist in the loss. The Hitmen compiled 44 wins in the 2011-12 WHL regular season to finish sixth overall, improving from last year’s 20 win and 22nd place finish.