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Hitmen take 2-0 series lead in WHL final with 4-1 win over Americans

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY - Peter Kosterman and Del Cowan scored goals 73 seconds apart in the second period as the Calgary Hitmen beat the Tri-City Americans 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Hockey League final.

Joel Broda and Tyler Fiddler also scored, while Brandon Kozun added a pair of assists. Goalie Martin Jones stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced to improve his post-season record to 14-6.

Johnny Lazo scored the lone goal of the game for the Americans, who will host the third and fourth games of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash.

Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley stopped 12 of 15 shots before being replaced in net by Alexander Pechurskiy, who made 22 saves in a relief appearance.

The Hitmen scored the lone goal of the first period when Broda one-timed a pass from defenceman Giffen Nyren past Owsley.

In the second, Kosterman fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle past Owsley for his first career WHL goal. Cowan then tipped a Michael Stone point blast past Owsley to put the Hitmen up 3-0.

For the second straight game, Tri-City coach Jim Hiller opted to replace Owsley in net with Pechurskiy, a fifth-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008.

The Americans finally scored their first goal of the series at 4:44 of the second period when Lazo roofed a shot over the outstretched glove hand of Jones. Up to that point, Jones had a blanked the Americans for 146 minutes 37 seconds dating back to 2008.

After Pechurskiy made a nice stop on a close-in shot by Kozun late in the third period, Fiddler followed up on the play to knock in the rebound to the delight of the 10,049 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

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