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Blazing Start

Candice Ward/Photo

The captain is on fire.

Mark Kastelic has 10 goals in just 12 games to start the season and also sits third in the league goals.

The 19-year-old is coming off an impressive week which saw him finish with eight points (5G, 3A) as he helped lead the Hitmen to a 3-1 mark.

That performance earned him the WHL On The Run Player of the Week.

“It’s a great feeling and a huge honour,” he said. “It’s something I couldn’t have done without my teammates by my side. Everyone here contributes to my success. I can’t take too much personal credit but it feels amazing.

“Every time I hit the ice I strive to work hard and do my best which has paid off in getting me to this point.”

The hot start has been a large reason why the Hitmen were able to right the ship with four wins in their last six games. During that run, Kastelic has scored 13 points (7G, 6A).

Alongside linemates Jake Kryski and Kaden Elder, the trio have accounted for 21 goals and 37 points, causing havoc for the opposition on a nightly basis.

“We have great chemistry and it’s something that we’ve built on with every game,” he said. “We all just clicked right away and it built confidence. When you are playing with confidence the game comes easier to you and the play seems to slow down which leads to creating scoring chances.

“We want to go out there and do whatever we can to help the team win.”

The last couple of weeks have also seen Katelic surpass some notable milestones: 50 career goals, and 100 career points in just over 200 games played.

October has certainly been his month.

“The milestones were something I didn’t check in on and really didn’t know about until afterwards,” said the Arizona native. “It’s crazy to see those numbers pop up but it’s something I’m proud to say I’ve accomplished.

“I expect nothing less than 100% from myself and take pride in being the best version of myself I can be, both on and off the ice. Taking care of that plays a huge factor in finding success and the numbers soon follow with all the hard work.”

As the club gears up for the final tilt of their current five-game road swing Tuesday night in Red Deer, Kastelic and the Hitmen will look to keep things rolling as they head towards the final three games of the month.

“We want to end it on a high and just continue to ride the momentum,” he said. “We have a great group of guys that work hard and we know what we are capable of.

“We have the confidence we just need to go out and show what we are all about.”

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