Beck Malenstyn scored a hat-trick, while goaltender Cody Porter turned aside 20 shots to help the Calgary Hitmen post a 6-1 victory over the Kootenay ICE Friday at Western Financial Place.
Max Patterson scored the lone ICE goal, as Calgary clinched a playoff berth with the win.
Neither side found the back of the net in the opening frame, with Kootenay coming closest on a pair of opportunities from in tight from forward Michael King. The Hitmen were foiled on three power plays in period one, thanks in part to ICE goaltender Payton Lee. The 20 year-old stopped all ten shots he faced in the opening stanza including a point blank glove robbery of Calgary’s scoring leader Matteo Gennaro while short-handed.
The Hitmen struck quickly in period two with three goals in a span of less than two minutes. Forwards Jake Kryski and Tyler Mrkonjic both tallied before Malenstyn worked his way out of the left corner, back-handing an effort past Lee from in close at 6:04 to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.
Kootenay got on the scoreboard with just under five minutes remaining in period two when Patterson banged a rebound past Porter’s right pad.
Malenstyn added a fourth Calgary goal 3:59 into period three, with Gennaro wiring a power play marker into the top corner just over a minute later.
Malenstyn then completed his hat-trick with 8:01 to play on a short-handed breakaway.
Lee, appearing in his final game in his hometown, made 32 saves for the ICE. Kootenay finished 1-3 on the power play. Calgary went 1-5.
HADDAD FINANCIAL SERVICES 3 STARS:
1. Payton Lee, Kootenay
2. Beck Malenstyn, Calgary
3. Jake Bean, Calgary
UP NEXT: the ICE will finish the 2016-17 season Saturday at Scotiabank Saddledome in the second half of the home-and-home series. Puck drop is set for 7:25 PM.