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Game Preview: Hitmen At Warriors Jan. 9

Candice Ward/Photos

They are oozing with confidence.

Wednesday night sees the Hitmen kick off a four-game road trip with a clash against the Moose Jaw Warriors for the third time this season, as they look to match a season-high five-game win streak.

The Hitmen have had their way with the Warriors so far, winning both of the previous clashes by a combined score of 10-2. Kaden Elder (2G, 2A), Mark Kastelic (2G, 2A) and Riley Stotts (4A) lead Calgary in the season series with four points each while Josh Prokop (1G, 2A) and Egor Zamula (1G, 2A) have three points each.

With a successful 4-0 mark on the home stand, the most recent victory by the boys from the Stampede City was Saturday afternoon as they held on to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers by a 4-3 score. Jake Kryski, Bryce Bader, Luke Coleman and Carson Focht all found the back of the net, while Jack McNaughton made 33 saves to pick up his 13th win of the season.


Hitmen vs Tigers Jan. 5


The Warriors meanwhile head into the tilt following a 5-0 loss to the Portland Winterhawks Saturday night. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak but they still continue to sit third in the East Division thanks to a 6-3-0-1 mark in their last ten games, and sit seven back of Saskatoon for second with six games in hand.

With a 4-1 mark since the Christmas break and winners of seven of their last ten games, the Hitmen find themselves right in the mix of the Central Division race being five points out of third and eight from first in the division.

With their success from December carrying over to 2019, the Hitmen will look to replicate similar success on the road that did back in October.

“We’re a confident road team which is important,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “We don’t fear of leaving the Saddledome and know our game isn’t going to change at all.

“It’ll be good for us to get to bond more as a group but we know how important we know this trip is.”

Following the tilt, the Hitmen will gear up for back-to-back games on the weekend against the Saskatoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders.

Jack McNaughton picked up his team-leading 13th win Saturday afternoon against the Tigers
Jack McNaughton picked up his team-leading 13th win Saturday afternoon against the Tigers

Hitmen Streaks:

Jake Kryski (5G, 7A) is on a career high nine-game point streak.

Luke Coleman (3G, 1A) and Bryce Bader (3G) are both riding three-game goal scoring streaks.

Cael Zimmerman (2G, 2A) and Layne Toder (3A) have points in back-to-back games.

Jack McNaughton has won his last four starts in goal, posting a combined goals against average of 2.25 and a .918 save percentage.

Mark Kastelic (5G, 1A) has points in five of his last six games while Vladislav Yeryomenko (4A) has points in three of his last four outings

Hitmen Milestones:

Hunter Campbell is three games away from 100.

Riley Stotts needs one assist for 50 while Kaden Elder is three helpers shy of 50

Hitmen

Record: 19-16-3-1

Goals For: 144

Goals Against: 139

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (27)

Assists: Egor Zamula (28)

Points: Jake Kryski (43)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (14)

Shorthanded Goals: Kastelic (2)

Shots: Kastelic (150)

Top Goalie: Jack McNaughton, 13-9-1-1, 3.24 GAA, 0.889 SV%

Warriors

Record: 21-9-5-1

Goals For: 120

Goals Against: 105

Leaders:

Goals: Tristin Langan (30)

Assists: Justin Almeida (39)

Points: Langan (66)

Powerplay Goals: Langan (11)

Shorthanded Goals: Several Players Tied (1)

Shots: Langan (147)

Top Goalie: Brodan Salmond, 12-3-3-1, 2.72 GAA, .906 SV%

In their last 19 games, the power play has gone 20-61 (32.8%) while the penalty kill has gone 60-67 (89.6%).
In their last 19 games, the power play has gone 20-61 (32.8%) while the penalty kill has gone 60-67 (89.6%).

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 37 for 137 27% (4th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 81% (6th Overall)

Warriors

Powerplay: 34 for 127 26.8% (5th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 76.5% (16th Overall)

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