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Hitmen overcome poor first period and take 2-1 series lead over Warriors

NHL.com @NHL

MOOSE JAW, Sask. - The Calgary Hitmen survived a terrible first period and rallied for a 8-3 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors in Western Hockey League playoff action Tuesday night.

The Hitmen now have a 2-1 lead over the Moose Jaw Warriors in their Eastern Conference best-of-seven quarter-final series. Game 4 is Thursday. Brandon Kozun and Brock Nixon scored 27 seconds apart to give the Hitmen a 5-3 lead after two periods.

The Warriors out-shot the Hitmen 15-5 in the first period to take a 2-1 lead. After Ian Schultz opened the scoring for the Hitmen on the power-play, the Warriors recorded 14 straight shots on goal, scoring twice as Riley Holzapfel and Frazer McLaren staked the home side to the lead.

The Hitmen came out flying in the second and regained the lead as Nixon and Paul Postma scored 32 seconds apart to take a 3-2 lead.

The Warriors were on a power play when Holzapfel was called for interference and Terrance Delaronde got another minor for arguing the call. The Hitmen scored twice on the advantages.

The Warriors were out-shot 18-4 in the second period, but got a huge break when Calgary defencemen Keith Seabrook and Postma collided at the blue-line, giving Holzapfel and Jason Bast a two-on-zero break. Bast scored to tie the game.

Kozun replied 11 seconds later when he banged in a loose puck in the crease., and soon after Moose Jaw goalie Joey Perricone passed the puck on the tape of Nixon who then beat him five-hole to pad the Hitmen advantage.

Karl Alzner and Matt Mackenzie each scored third period power-play goals and Kyle Bortis added another for the Hitmen.

The Hitmen scored on three of their first four power-plays and were 5-for-10 on the power-play on the night.

Dan Spence made 21 saves for the Hitmen, while Perricone made 29 saves.

After outshooting the Hitmen 15-3 at one point in the first period, the Warriors were outshot 34-9 the rest of the way.

(Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

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