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Game Preview: Hitmen At Hurricanes Dec. 14

Candice Ward/Photos

A familiar foe is on tap.

The Hitmen are set for the final two games before the holiday break with a home-and-home set against the Lethbridge Hurricanes starting Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.

It’ll be a chance for the Hitmen to enter the break on a high note after a tough 6-3 loss to the Everett Silvertips last Sunday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. In what was the tail end of a three-in-three weekend, the Hitmen saw a 3-1 lead disappear to fall to 15-9-3-1. Riley Stotts scored a pair of markers while Egor Zamula provided the other goal.


Highlights Dec. 8: Hitmen vs Silvertips


It’s hard to believe that the two rivals have yet to square off this season after the classic seven-game playoff series during the 2019 WHL Playoffs, which saw the Hitmen topple Lethbridge 4-3. They were staring adversity right in the eye when they found themselves in a 0-2 hole but battled back to pick up the series win.

There was no love lost in the series and things could pick up right where they left off with five more tilts to come during the second half of the season.

What makes things even more interesting for the Hitmen is the fact that the next 10 of 11 tilts are against Central Division opponents.

Major points on the line.


What They’re Saying

“There’s some bad blood there with the playoff series but ultimately we need to stay engaged and not look ahead to the break. We haven’t seen them yet, both teams lost players and have new ones so it’ll interesting to see how this games play out.” – Riley Fiddler-Schultz

“I was thinking about it the other day how it’s weird we haven’t played them yet. That’s the team I’ve been most looking forward to going up against after last season. In that series last year, we proved to ourselves that we are legitimate contenders.” – James Malm


Quick Hits

Stotts is tied for the team lead in points (30) with his current point streak
Stotts is tied for the team lead in points (30) with his current point streak

Riley Stotts (6G, 5A) is on a season high seven-game point streak.  His career best is 10 games set last season from Jan. 29 to Feb. 16.

Calgary is nine points ahead of their pace 28 games into last season when they were 11-14-2-1.

Hitmen are 8-3-2-0 on the road this season, going 5-1-1-0 in their last seven games away from the ‘Dome.


Milestone Tracker

Jett Woo is one assist shy of 100.

Mark Kastelic needs three points for 200.  He is 12th on the clubs all-time points list, nine back of Brandon Segal’s 206.  Kastelic is also four goals behind Segal for fourth place on the clubs all-time goal scoring list.

Jack McNaughton is 44 saves behind Brandon Glover for 11th place on the clubs all-time regular season saves list with 1,561.

Riley Stotts needs three points for 150.


2019/20 Stats Leaders

Hitmen

Goals: Mark Kastelic (18)

Assists: Zamula (21)

Points: Kastelic, Stotts (30)

Power Play Goals: Kasteilc, Zamula (4)

Shots: Kastelic (100)

Top Goalie: Jack McNaughton, 10-3-1-1, 3.12 GAA, 0.883 SV%

Hurricanes

Leaders:

Goals: Oliver Okuliar (23)

Assists: Alex Cotton (27)

Points: Dylan Cozens (46)

Power Play Goals: Okuliar (7)

Shots: Cozens (147)

Top Goalie: Carl Tetachuk, 10-5-0-5, 2.41 GAA, .914 SV%

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