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Game Preview: Hitmen At Americans Nov. 24

Candice Ward/Photos

It’s been quite the trip so far.

The Hitmen head into their last clash of the U.S. portion of the road swing Saturday night as they take on the Tri-City Americans.

After a 5-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night, the Hitmen improved to 4-1 on the trip. Mark Kastelic and Luke Coleman both scored a pair of markers while Carson Focht added a goal and an assist. In his return to Seattle, Carl Stankowski made 24 saves to pick up his third straight win.


Hitmen At Thunderbirds Nov. 23


In the lone meeting of the season last year, Tri-City held on for a 4-3 win at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 14. The last time Calgary beat the Ams was at the ‘Dome on Nov. 14, 2015.  Jakob Stukel netted his first career hat-trick while Jackson Houck collected four assists in a 4-3 triumph.

Saturday’s tilt will be played on even terms as the Americans also played Friday night in a game that saw them fall 5-1 to the Kamloops Blazers. With a run of 5-5 in their last ten clashes, Tri-City continue to hold on to a wildcard spot while only sitting three points back of Spokane for third in the U.S. Division.

A trip that has seen returns to former clubs will see the trend continue as Focht and Dakota Krebs are set to play against their former team. The duo were acquired from the Ams prior to last season’s WHL trade deadline and have proving to be key for the Hitmen this season.

“It’s a game I’m really looking forward to and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since I arrived that I would one day be headed back to play there,” Focht said. “It’ll be a fun night to play against the guys I came up with in the league and to see a lot of familiar faces.

“We want to keep playing at the level we’ve been playing at lately and continue to build our confidence.”

As the Hitmen travel back up north, they will enjoy some well-deserved rest before wrapping up the trip Friday night in Red Deer.

With points in back-to-back games, Carson Focht now sits fourth in team scoring with 18 points
With points in back-to-back games, Carson Focht now sits fourth in team scoring with 18 points

Hitmen Streaks:

Jake Kryski (1G, 1A) has points in back-to-back games and in four of his last five contests.

Luke Coleman (2G, 2A) and Carson Focht (1G, 3A) have points in back-to-back games.

Carl Stankowski has won his last three starts in goal stopping 95 of 100 shots.

Hitmen Milestones:

Kaden Elder is three goals away from 50.

James Malm is six points shy from 150.

Hitmen

Record: 10-13-2

Goals For: 89

Goals Against: 95

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (21)

Assists: Jake Kryski (15)

Points: Kastelic (32)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (11)

Shorthanded Goals: Kastelic (2)

Shots: Kastelic (100)

Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 6-6-2, 3.72 GAA, 0.879 SV%

Americans

Record: 12-9

Goals For: 68

Goals Against: 67

Leaders:

Goals: Parker AuCoin (12)

Assists: Isaac Johnson, Nolan Yaremko (16)

Points: Yaremko (27)

Powerplay Goals: Yaremko (5)

Shorthanded Goals: None

Shots: Yaremko (78)

Top Goalie: Beck Warm, 11-9, 3.08 GAA, 0.901 SV%

Hitmen now sit in the top ten in both powerplay and penalty kill percentages in the WHL
Hitmen now sit in the top ten in both powerplay and penalty kill percentages in the WHL

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 21 for 85 24.7% (10th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 77.5% (10th Overall)

Americans

Powerplay: 14 for 88 15.9% (20th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 75% (16th Overall)

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