Saturday, February 8, 2014

Driedger Blanks G-Men

Chris Driedger stopped all 44 shots he faced to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Giants at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night. The Vancouver club went 0-for-9 on the power play in the loss.

Jared Rathjen started between the pipes for Vancouver and made a couple of big saves early, stopping Brady Brassart on a shot from the slot and robbing Adam Tambellini on the rebound as well. The Hitmen would eventually break through to open the scoring though when Brassart sent a long shot in on Rathjen from the right wing, and the puck got caught up in the Vancouver goalie's equipment before he inadvertently knocked it into his own goal. The G-Men had an opportunity to tie the game later in the period on a five-on-three power play that last 1:13, but they couldn't find the net.

The Giants took a number of costly penalties in the second period, and the Hitmen capitalized on the ensuing power plays to extend their lead. Jake Virtanen made it 2-0 at the 7:05 mark, wiring a hard snap shot past Rathjen from the top of the right circle before Tambellini gave the Hitmen a three goal lead, scoring from the same spot on another power play later in the stanza. After the third goal, Rathjen was pulled from the net in favour of Payton Lee.

The Calgary club gave the Giants four power plays in the third period, including another five-on-three, and the G-Men peppered Driedger with 24 shots in the final frame alone but couldn't ripple the mesh. Tambellini added another goal on a nice tic-tac-toe play on a man advantage while Chase Lang added his name to the score sheet with a goal from the high slot in the closing seconds of the game.

The Vancouver squad will get right back at it on Saturday night when they host the Edmonton Oil Kings at the Coliseum. The face-off is set for 7:00pm. For tickets, call 604-4-GIANTS or visit

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Chris Driedger - Calgary
2. Adam Tambellini - Calgary
3. Jake Virtanen - Calgary

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