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Game Preview: Hitmen At Blades Oct. 17

Candice Ward/Photo

There’s no time to rest.

The Himen return to action Wednesday night to take on the Saskatoon Blades in the second meeting of the season between the clubs.

Just 12 days are separated from the last clash, which saw the Blades skate away with a 3-0 victory at the ‘Dome. Former Blade Michael Farren had a goal and an assist along with Logan Christensen. Goaltender Dorrin Luding picked up the shutout, with both of his two career shutouts coming against the Hitmen.

The Hitmen kicked off their five-game road swing Tuesday night in Prince Albert, falling 8-4. Despite getting within a goal on two occasions in the second period, the Raiders would build on a 5-3 lead headed into the final 20 minutes to put the game away. Mark Kastelic, Zach Huber, Luke Coleman and Dakota Krebs all tallied the markers. Rookie forward Tye Carriere picked up his first career WHL point with an assist on Coleman’s goal.

With closing in on ten games played on the season, the Hitmen know more needs to be done to get back to winning but the veterans of the team know that there is still plenty of hockey left to be played.

“As long as we stick to our gameplan and focus in on the little details we should be able to get back on track,” Kaden Elder said. “We need to make sure we are all focused both mentally and physically and come prepared.”

“We’re still a younger team, there will be some growing pains but as we work through the tough times it’ll only make us stronger.”

The two teams will meet for the third time this month on Sunday, Oct. 28 when the Blades return to the ‘Dome.  Over the last five seasons the Hitmen are 8-4-1-0 against Saskatoon including a 4-1-1-0 mark at SaskTel Centre.

The Hitmen will have one day off before another back-to-back set when they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors Friday night, and the Brandon Wheat Kings Saturday night.

Hitmen Milestones:

Mark Kastelic is three goals away from 50.

Luke Coleman needs five goals for 50.

Hitmen Streaks:

Mark Kastelic (3G, 4A), Jake Kryski (2G, 3A) and Kaden Elder (2G, 2A) are all riding three-game point streaks.

Riley Fiddler-Schultz (1G, 1A) and Luke Coleman (1G, 1A) both have points in back-to-back games.

Dakota Krebs has scored in two of his last three games.

Hitmen

Record: 1-6-2

Goals For: 27

Goals Against: 45

Leaders:

Goals: Jake Kryski, Mark Kastelic (6)

Assists: Vladislav Yeryomenko (6)

Points: Mark Kastelic (11)

Powerplay Goals: Several Players (1)

Shorthanded Goals: Luke Coleman, Kastelic (1)

Shots: Kaden Elder (34)

Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 0-4-2, 4.72 GAA, 0.840 SV%

Blades

Record: 7-3

Goals For: 35

Goals Against: 26

Leaders:

Goals: Max Gerlach (7)

Assists: Kirby Dach (12)

Points: Dach (17)

Powerplay Goals: Several Players Tied (2)

Shorthanded Goals: Eric Florchuk (1)

Shots: Gerlach (44)

Top Goalie: Nolan Maier 6-3, 2.94 GAA, .892 SV%

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 5 for 37 13.5% (21st Overall)

Penalty Kill: 77.1% (12th Overall)

Blades

Powerplay: 11 for 49 22.5% (12th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 78.8% (10th Overall)

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