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.
HADDAD FINANCIAL SERVICES 3 STARS:
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.