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A Weekend Of First’s

Candice Ward/Photo

The weekend was nothing short of excitement.

Playing in his first career WHL games, rookie Josh Prokop wasted little time in making an impression.

The 18-year-old forward looked right at home with his new club and capped off the weekend by scoring his first career major junior goal against Red Deer.

“It felt really good to get that first one out of the way,” he said. “I had a lot of chances leading up to it and was happy to put one away.

“I knew it would come eventually and that I just had to keep playing my game.”

Paired alongside Riley Stotts and Jake Kryski, the line showed a lot of chemistry over the three contests on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Along with his first career goal, Prokop also added an assist in the trio of tilts.

Not a bad start.

“They’re both really good skilled players that make everyone around them better,” he said. “They find me in the best spots and also find the right places to be to create chances. It doesn’t put a lot of stress on me playing alongside such great players.

“They’ve made the transition easier and overall it’s such a great organization, with everyone making me feel at home.”

The weekend set also marked the first time the Prokop brothers played together.

“I’ve always watched him (Luke) my whole life so it was a little weird to go from watching him play to finally playing alongside him,” the older Prokop said. “We never thought that we would hit the ice together, let alone on the same team and it’s something not many people can say they’ve done.

“Having Luke here helped with my decision to come play for the Hitmen.”

Of course, there were other factors in his decision to come to Calgary. After spending time in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers, it was also time for a change of scenery.

“At the end of this whole journey I want to be a professional hockey player,” he said. “I want to earn a contract. That’s a big part in why I came here because I feel like this is where my best shot is of getting to that goal.”

But the first goal for Prokop and the team is getting their first W.

“It stings going 0-3 this past weekend and it would’ve been nice to win them all or a couple but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” he said. “We have a lot of things to build on and it’s still early on in the season.

“With the group of guys we have, we know we can turn things around and go on a run.”

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