The Calgary Hitmen celebrated their climb to the top of the Canadian Hockey League rankings with a spirited comeback over a provincial rival.
Chase Schaber scored the game-winner as Calgary exploded for four goals in the third period of a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in WHL action Wednesday night. The Hitmen (34-5-1-1) extended their winning streak to nine games on the same day they leapfrogged the OHL's Windsor Spitfires for top spot in the CHL weekly rankings. Calgary leads the WHL overall standings by five points over Vancouver, though the Giants have five games in hand.
Schaber broke a 1-1 tie with 5:48 left in the third, his blind pass from behind the net bouncing in off Edmonton defender Tyler Hlookoff and past goalie Torrie Jung.
Calgary had a golden opportunity in the second to get the first goal as Carson McMillan was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped by Brendan Lockerby on a partial break. The Calgary captain started out wide, trying to cut across the net and go high on Edmonton goalie Jung but his wrister sailed wide.
In other WHL action Wednesday, it was: Brandon 3 Kootenay 2; Portland 4 Seattle 2; Moose Jaw 4 Chilliwack 3; Everett 6 Red Deer 3; and Tri-City 6 Spokane 1.
At Edmonton, Brent Raedeke finally broke the goalless deadlock for Edmonton (16-20-2-4) early in the third, cutting across Alex Plante and using the defender as a screen to wrist a shot past Calgary goalie Martin Jones' glove.
Calgary replied with three goals in a span of 2:30. Paul Postma's blast from the point on a power play deflected off a leg in front and through Jung's pads at 13:02. The Hitmen followed up with Schaber's eventual game winner and Cody Sylvester extended the lead at 15:32, knocking a rebound into a wide open net.
McMillan closed out the scoring with an empty netter.
Jung stopped 34 shots in net while Jones made 22 saves for Calgary.
Wheat Kings 3 Ice 2
At Cranbrook, B.C., Andrew Clark had two goals in Brandon's victory over the ice.
Scott Glennie had the other goal for the Wheat Kings (22-13-2-1).
Tylan Stephens and Andrew Bailey countered for Kootenay (19-15-2-4).
Winter Hawks 4 Thunderbirds 2
At Portland, Ore., Kurtis Mucha stopped 31 shots to lead the Winter Hawks over Seattle.
Killian Hutt, Oliver Gabriel, Riley Boychuk and Stefan Schneider scored for Portland (10-25-1-0).
Prab Rai and Lindsay Nielsen replied for the Thunderbirds (15-20-1-2).
Warriors 4 Bruins 3
At Chilliwack, B.C., Joel Broda's hat trick was the difference as Moose Jaw edged the Bruins.
Travis Hamonic added the other goal for the Warriors (12-25-0-1).
Brett Ward, Scott Ramsay and Alexander Wiklund scored for Chilliwack (11-25-2-2).
Silvertips 6 Rebels 3
At Everett, Wash., Byron Froese had a natural hat trick as the Silvertips downed Red Deer.
Kellan Tochkin scored twice and Tyler Parker added a single for Everett (17-14-5-0).
Cody Esposito, Joel Kot and Willie Coetzee scored for the Rebels (15-20-0-5).
Americans 6 Chiefs 1
At Kennewick, Wash., Tyler Procyshen scored twice in the Americans' rout of Spokane.
Spencer Asuchak, Mitch Fadden, Mason Wilgosh and Brendan Shinnimin also had goals for Tri-City (25-10-0-2).
Jared Spurgeon had the lone goal for the Chiefs (22-12-0-3).