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Game Preview: Hitmen At Pats Jan. 29

Candice Ward/Photos

Four games in five days. That’s a lot of hockey.

The Hitmen head off for a quick two-game road swing starting Tuesday night to take on the Regina Pats in the second meeting of the season.

Winners of two in a row, the Hitmen will look to extend the win streak to three games after a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay ICE Sunday afternoon.

Four different Hitmen found the back of the net with Kaden Elder, Riley Fiddler-Schultz, Tye Carriere and Hunter Campbell lighting the lamp. In his 21st straight start, Jack McNaughton turned aside 20 shots for his 17th win on the season.


Hitmen vs ICE Jan. 27


The two clubs last met back in October which saw the Pats come away with a 4-3 overtime win. Elder (1G, 1A), Riley Stotts (1G, 1A) and Mark Kastelic (2A) lead Hitmen in the season series with two points each.

Regina head into the clash after a home-and-home set against Brandon which saw them pick up three points in the two games with a 4-0 win Friday and a 3-2 shootout loss Saturday. With a 1-8-0-1 mark in their last ten games, the Pats sit tenth in the Eastern Conference, one point up on Kootenay.

The Hitmen meanwhile continue to hold onto the second wildcard spot in the conference, sitting eight points back of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat for the first wild card spot and third in the Central Division respectively.

It continues to be a close race in the division but the focus remains on their own play.

“You don’t usually go to Saskatchewan for two quick ones but it’ll be just as important to build up momentum,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “You can’t control what other people do and we need to just worry about ourselves.”

“The focus is on this game and not worrying about travel or the games this weekend.”

Wednesday night will see the Hitmen back in action against the Swift Current Broncos to conclude the mini-trip as they are set to return home for the first game of the Corral Series presented by Adrenalin Source For Sports Friday against the Wheat Kings.

With his recent run, Luke Coleman is one goal shy from matching his career high from a year ago
With his recent run, Luke Coleman is one goal shy from matching his career high from a year ago

Hitmen Streaks:

James Malm (1G, 3A) is riding a four-game point streak.

Dakota Krebs (3A) and Cael Zimmerman (1G, 1A) both have points in back-to-back games.

Hunter Campbell (2G, 2A) has points in four of his last five games.

Jack McNaughton is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 1.00 goals against average and a .965 save percentage.

Luke Coleman (3G, 1A) has scored in three of his last five games.

Hitmen Milestones:

Jack McNaughton needs 80 saves to reach 1,000. 

Kaden Elder three assists away from 50 and five games shy of 300.

Egor Zamula needs four assists for 50 while Carson Focht is five assists away from 50.

Riley Stotts is six points short of 100.

Hitmen

Record: 23-19-3-1

Goals For: 165

Goals Against: 160

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (30)

Assists: Egor Zamula (30)

Points: Kastelic (48)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (16)

Shorthanded Goals: Luke Coleman, Kastelic (2)

Shots: Kastelic (178)

Top Goalie: Jack McNaughton, 17-12-1-1, 3.18 GAA, 0.892 SV%

Pats

Record: 13-33-1-2

Goals For: 127

Goals Against: 199

Leaders:

Goals: Austin Pratt (18)

Assists: Pratt (20)

Points: Pratt (38)

Powerplay Goals: Ty Kolle (6)

Shorthanded Goals: Several Players (1)

Shots: Pratt (163)

Top Goalie: Max Paddock, 8-18-1-1, 3.63 GAA, .889 SV%

The Hitmen have drawn the fewest road power play chances in the league with 67 in 22 games
The Hitmen have drawn the fewest road power play chances in the league with 67 in 22 games

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 40 for 161 24.8% (3rd Overall)

Penalty Kill: 81.5% (6th Overall)

Pats

Powerplay: 33 for 198 16.7% (20th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 73.2% (20th Overall)

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