By Ryan McCracken on February 11, 2018.
Conner Chaulk hoisted the Calgary Hitmen onto his back on Sunday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The overage centre scored his second of the game with less than two minutes left in regulation to break open a tie and steal a 5-4 victory from the hands of the Tigers just two days after falling 4-0 in Medicine Hat.
David Quenneville started up the back-and-forth affair while putting himself two points shy of 200 points on his career when he fired a wrist shot through Hitmen goaltender Nick Schneider for his 23rd of the season — a league-high among defenceman.
While Tigers netminder Michael Bullion extended his shutout streak past 140 minutes with 10 stops in the first period, the Hitmen came marching back in the second.
Dakota Krebs put an end to the streak at 148:39 when he beat Bullion on the rebound five minutes into the middle frame, then Carson Focht stole the lead away 79 seconds later to leave Medicine Hat trailing for the first time in more than a week.
The Tabbies shook off Calgary’s sudden surge just over two minutes later when Vladislav Yeryomenko put the Hitmen into penalty trouble.
Ryan Jevne was left alone in the circle when a Quenneville shot was deflected his way, and the 19-year-old Edmonton product deposited the puck past Schneider to snuff out Calgary’s short-lived lead.
Medicine Hat continued to push the pace and Bryan Lockner cashed in entering the final minute of the second. The 18-year-old winger took a pass from James Hamblin in the right circle and ripped his shot past Schneider to regain the edge through 40 minutes with his third goal since joining the Tigers at the trade deadline.
But the Hitmen continued to chip away and Focht set things back to even with an impressive individual effort seven minutes into the third period. The 19-year-old centre cut around Tigers defenceman Dylan MacPherson and beat Bullion high to ignite the crowd of 7,468 and set up a wild conclusion.
Chaulk pushed Calgary back in front less than three minutes later when he picked up a puck on the doorstep and chipped a backhand over Bullion’s shoulder.
While the Tigers quickly answered back when Lockner forced a turnover on the forecheck and fed captain Mark Rassell for his team-leading 45th goal of the year, Chaulk struck again with less than two minutes left in regulation to send the Tigers home empty-handed.
Schneider bounced back from Friday’s 4-0 loss with a 44-save victory to push Calgary to 17-31-5-2 on the season. Bullion stopped 42 in the loss, dropping Medicine Hat to 28-23-7-0.
The Tigers make the trip to Swift Current to open a home-and-home set with the Broncos on Friday at 6 p.m.
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