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Posted: April 2, 2015

ICE in big hole heading to Calgary

Connor Rankin scored a hat-trick, while Adam Tambellini finished with four points as the Calgary Hitmen upended the Kootenay ICE 7-2 Wednesday at Western Financial Place.

The loss puts Kootenay down three games to one in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final, with game set for Calgary on Friday night.

Rankin and defenseman Travis Sanheim put the Hitmen ahead 2-0 just 10:10 into the game with similar rebound goals, but the ICE found the scoresheet with three and a half minutes remaining in the opening frame when Jaedon Descheneau slapped a slot past Calgary netminder Brendan Burke from the right-wing circle.

The Hitmen extended their lead in period two, firing 16 shots at Kootenay goaltender Wyatt Hoflin. A re-directed shot from Rankin put the visitors ahead 3-1 just shy of the four-minute mark before Kenton Helgesen wrapped a puck around the net following a turnover 1:28 later.

Rankin completed his hat-trick at 12:56 with a snap shot from the left circle.

The ICE cut their deficit to 5-2 before the midpoint of period three when Tyler King blasted a slapshot through traffic and past Burke.

Calgary sealed their third win of the series with a pair of goals inside the final four minutes. Tambellini slotted home an empty-net marker before Helgesen added a seventh Hitmen goal 35 seconds laters after a turnover the Kootenay zone.

Burke made 28 saves to record the victory for Calgary, while Hoflin stopped 33 shots for the ICE.

1. Connor Rankin, Calgary
2. Adam Tambellini, Calgary
3. Jaedon Descheneau, Kootenay

Game Five is set for Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Game time is 7 p.m.

Kootenay ICE

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