Joanna French

Calgary, AB – Justin Hickman scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, in a first star performance as the Seattle Thunderbirds edged the Calgary Hitmen 5-4 Friday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Both teams jumped to a quick start with seven of the nine goals coming in the first period. Burke Gallimore opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds before Calgary’s Danny Gayle found the back of the net 1:08 later. The Thunderbirds rallied back with a goal from Connor Sanvido while Alex Roach posted his first goal of the season on a powerplay opportunity to bring the score back to even. Calgary’s Brady Brassart scored his fifth goal of the season 16 seconds later to give the Hitmen a brief 3-2 lead. Hickman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Marcel Noebels both scored one for the visitors to give Seattle a 4-3 advantage after 20 minutes.

The Hitmen drew even midway through the second period when rookie Alex Gogolev buried his fifth goal of the season. Hickman then scored with 12.1 seconds left in the middle frame securing Seattle’s seventh victory of the season.

Gayle and Gogolev each chipped in a pair of assists in the loss.

Both teams finished the game with 27 shots on goal.

Chris Driedger and Brandon Glover shared the Hitmen goaltending duties. Driedger stopped 11 of 15 shots in the first frame, while Glover allowed one goal and recorded 11 saves over two periods.

Calgary is now 8-9-1-1 on the season.

The Hitmen play game two of a four-game home stand Sunday, November 13 when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Game time is 2:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.

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