Hitmen on target vs. Ams

By Annie Fowler, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 13, 2013 

It was hockey night at Toyota Center on Tuesday, but the action on the ice more resembled a production of The Comedy of Errors.

The Calgary Hitmen scored four goals on eight shots in the second period en route to a 6-2 drubbing of the Tri-City Americans before a disappointed crowd of 3,355.

"We are not used to this, for sure," Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said of the blowout. "There weren't enough guys. We started with some energy and had some chances, but not enough guys pushing. (Lucas) Nickles and (Braden) Purtill had more contact than the rest of our forwards together."

Tri-City (31-22-1-2, 65 points), which has lost three in a row, is sixth in the Western Conference, one point behind Spokane.

Swedish forward Victor Rask scored three goals, Brooks Macek had a goal and two assists, and Pavlo Padakin dished up two assists as the Hitmen (37-16-1-3, 76 points) improved to 4-0 against the U.S. Division. They play at Spokane today.

"It's always nice to score," said Rask, who has 10 goals this season. "We know we are a good team and we played our game. This is my first U.S. trip and it has been good for us."

The Hitmen featured three former Tri-City players -- Macek, defenseman Spencer Humphries and goalie Chris Driedger -- and all played key roles for Calgary.

Chris Driedger finished with 31 saves for Calgary, which was outshot by Tri-City 33-20, and Humphries had an assist on Macek's goal.

"It feels good to get the win," said Macek, who spent 21/2 years with Tri-City before being traded in January 2011. "My linemates put the puck in the net when I give it to them, and they set me up. (Jake) Virtanen set me up nice tonight backdoor. It was nice to get a goal in this game."

Calgary led just 1-0 after the first period as Rask got a start on his second career hat trick.

Macek, with his 27th goal, put the Hitmen out front 2-0 just 31 seconds into the second. Brady Brassart and Rask scored just 29 seconds apart later in the period to take a 4-0 lead.

"Sometimes you battle hard, do everything you can and lose," Hiller said. "We didn't do everything we could. You want to be a hockey player you have to dig down. This is a tough business."

Jesse Mychan put the Americans on the board at 18:36 of the second, taking a nice pass from Malte Strmwall and beating Driedger at the right post on the man advantage to cut Calgary's lead to 4-1.

Chase Clayton quickly restored Calgary's four-goal lead, finding the net just 23 second after Mychan's goal.

Rask would finish off his hat trick at 8:49 of the third, while Tri-City defenseman Mitch Topping finished the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:22.

Strmwall had two assists, while Luke Lee-Knight and Troy Trombley combined for 14 saves in the loss.


Former Tri-City American Colton Yellow Horn scored his first AHL goal Tuesday for the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs. He scored at 12:20 of the first period, then assisted on Brandon Kozun's power-play goal at 4:55 of the third period. Yellow Horn, who was named the game's third star, also scored in the shootout, but Manchester lost 5-4. In two AHL games, Yellow Horn has one goal and two assists.

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