CALGARY (CP) - Steve Covington had a goal and an assist to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-1 win over the Saskatoon Blades in Western Hockey League action Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Hitmen (38-24-3-4) clinched third spot in the WHL's Central Division and will now play the second place Kootenay Ice in the first round of the playoffs which get underway March 23.
Meanwhile, Saskatoon's record fell to 25-30-2-2. The Blades have just three games remaining in their season and they trail the Prince Albert Raiders (26-36-3-3) by four points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division.
Derek LeBlanc, Ryan White, Brodie Dupont and Devon Kalinski also scored for the Hitmen, while defenceman Dan Mercer chipped in with three assists.
Colton Gillies scored the lone goal for Saskatoon in the third period to spoil Hitmen goalie Dan Spence's shutout bid.
Spence finished the game with 12 saves, while Saskatoon goaltender Garrett Zemlak made 27 saves at the other end of the ice. After the final buzzer, all five skaters on the ice got into a skirmish near the penalty boxes. While that was going on, Spence and Zemlak skated to centre ice and squared off for a short fight that was almost immediately broken up by the on-ice officials.
The attendance at the Pengrowth Saddledome was announced at 19,017 which is a new franchise record crowd for the Hitmen. It's also the second largest crowd to attend a WHL game behind the 19,103 fans who attended a game in Portland on March 15, 1997.