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Game Preview: Hitmen vs Oil Kings Dec. 1

Candice Ward/Photos

There’s no place like home.

After a seven-game road trip and 20 days since the last home game, the Hitmen are back on Scotiabank Saddledome ice Saturday night as they take on the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Hitmen wrapped up the trip Friday night in Red Deer in a 6-2 loss to the Central Division leaders despite outshooting the Rebels by a lopsided 45-23. Luke Coleman and Mark Kastelic scored the Hitmen markers while Jack McNaughton stopped 17 shots. Although the trip ended with a loss, the Hitmen had a successful trip with a 4-2-0-1 mark.


Hitmen At Rebels Nov. 30


Saturday night is the second of eight regular season meetings between the Hitmen and Oil Kings.  Edmonton grabbed the opener at the ‘Dome in late September with a 6-3 victory.  Jake Kryski (2G) scored a pair of markers and leads all Hitmen skaters in the season series so far.

Edmonton head into the matchup following a 3-1 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors and will wrap up a stretch that sees them play three games in four days. With a 4-4-1-1 mark in their last ten tilts, they continue to hold onto second in the Central Division with a three point lead over Lethbridge and behind Red Deer by three points. The Hitmen meanwhile trail Medicine Hat by four points for a wildcard spot and have seen a jump in the standings with their recent play.

Now that the trip is over, the Hitmen will now enjoy some home cooking as the next six out of seven games will be played at the ‘Dome before the Christmas break.

“We need to prioritize the challenges in front of us and not look too far ahead,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “This is an opportunity to continue to grow as a group and get better with each game.

“There are seven games left before the Christmas break so there’s still a lot to be done.”

The three-in-three weekend will wrap up Sunday afternoon when the Hitmen welcome the Warriors for the second meeting of the season.

The Hitmen captain is just one goal shy from matching his career high from last season (23)
The Hitmen captain is just one goal shy from matching his career high from last season (23)

Hitmen Streaks:

Jake Kryski (1G, 3A) is on a four-game point streak.

Mark Kastelic (3G) has scored in two of his last three games while Kaden Elder (3A) has assists in two of his last three contests.

Hitmen Milestones:

Kaden Elder is four goals away from 50.

James Malm is six points shy from 150.

Layne Toder and Egor Zamula are both four games away from 100. 

Hitmen

Record: 10-14-2-1

Goals For: 93

Goals Against: 104

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (22)

Assists: Jake Kryski (17)

Points: Kastelic (33)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (11)

Shorthanded Goals: Kastelic (2)

Shots: Kastelic (109)

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

Oil Kings

Record: 14-11-2-2

Goals For: 108

Goals Against: 99

Leaders:

Goals: Trey Fix-Wolansky, Brett Kemp (18)

Assists: Fix-Wolansky (38)

Points: Fix-Wolansky (56)

Powerplay Goals: Vince Loschiavo (7)

Shorthanded Goals: Quinn Benjafield (3)

Shots: Fix-Wolansky (127)

Top Goalie: Dylan Myskiw, 11-7-2-1, 3.10 GAA, 0.899 SV%

Both clubs have powerplay's ranked in the top ten headed into the matchup
Both clubs have powerplay’s ranked in the top ten headed into the matchup

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 22 for 91 24.2% (10th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 77.5% (12th Overall)

Oil Kings

Powerplay: 31 for 123 25.2% (4th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 78.4% (11th Overall)

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