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Preview: Hitmen At Hurricanes Nov. 9

Candice Ward/Photos

There’s been no shortage of goals.

The Hitmen kick off the weekend with a trip to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes for the third meeting of the season, a series that has been all about the offence.

With a combined 24 goals scored in the first two games, both clubs have been able to come away with a win, with the Hurricanes winning the last tilt by a 7-6 score. Mark Kastelic leads the Hitmen with four goals and a trio of assists against the ‘Canes while Logan Barlage (3G, 2A) is the Hurricanes’ top performer with five points.

The Hitmen are coming off a three-in-three weekend which saw the club finish with a 1-2 mark. The most recent tilt was Sunday night in Medicine Hat, falling 5-4 to their division rivals despite controlling and outshooting the Tigers in the third period 16-1. The last two games have seen the Hitmen outshoot the opposition in the final frame 31-2, but both have ended in losses.

“The coaches keep reminding us to keep that ketchup bottle mentality,” Layne Toder said. “You bang away and nothing is coming but then finally the wins start coming.

“We have a good team and we have confidence in ourselves, and we know that things will start going our way with the way we’ve been playing.”

Lethbridge meanwhile head into the matchup after a pair of losses to the Edmonton Oil Kings and Swift Current Broncos. Last Friday night was their most recent clash, a 5-4 overtime loss to the boys from Speedy Creek. Despite being winless in their last two games, the Hurricanes continue to hold down the first wildcard spot with a 5-2-2-1 mark in their last ten tilts.

The Hitmen will return to action Sunday afternoon against the Kootenay ICE in the final home game of the month, before they head onto the road for two weeks with a swing down in the U.S.

James Malm has two points in his first three games with the Hitmen. He sits one goal shy of 50 in his career.
James Malm has two points in his first three games with the Hitmen. He sits one goal shy of 50 in his career.

Hitmen Milestones:

James Malm needs one goal for 50

Luke Coleman is three goals shy of 50.

Dakota Krebs is two games away from 200

Jake Kryski is four games short of 300.

Kaden Elder needs four goals for 50.

Carl Stankowski is 43 minutes played shy of 1,000.

Hitmen Streaks:

Jake Kryski (3G, 8A) has points in seven of his last eight games.

Vladislav Yeryomenko (1G, 2A) and Dakota Krebs (3A) both have points in three of their last four games while Hunter Campbell (2A) has points in two of his last three outings.

The Hitmen have scored 11 goals in their last three games played.
The Hitmen have scored 11 goals in their last three games played.

Hitmen

Record: 5-11-2

Goals For: 62

Goals Against: 79

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (14)

Assists: Jake Kryski (12)

Points: Kastelic (24)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (6)

Shorthanded Goals: Kastelic (2)

Shots: Kastelic (63)

Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 3-5-2, 4.30 GAA, 0.862 SV%

Hurricanes

Record: 7-5-2-2

Goals For: 68

Goals Against: 69

Leaders:

Goals: Taylor Ross (10)

Assists: Calen Addison (15)

Points: Dylan Cozens (21)

Powerplay Goals: Ross (5)

Shorthanded Goals: Jake Elmer (2)

Shots: Jordy Bellerive (65)

Top Goalie: Reece Klassen 6-2-2-2, 3.70 GAA, 0.884 SV%

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 13 for 66 19.7% (20th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 73.5% (15th Overall)

Hurricanes

Powerplay: 23 for 82 28.1% (3rd Overall)

Penalty Kill: 75.8% (13th Overall)

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