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Game Preview: Hitmen At Rebels – 04.05.21

Candice Ward/Photos

Hitmen (9-8-3) vs Rebels (4-15-3)

7 p.m. MT | Stream: WHL Live on CHL TV | Radio:

 

Stats Pack

Hitmen:

Points – Josh Prokop (22)
Goals – Sean Tschigerl (12)

Goalie – Brayden Peters, 5-6-1, 3.77 GAA, .890 SV%

Rebels:

Points – Ben King (25)
Goals – King (10)

Goalie – Ethan Anders, 1-7-2, 4.50 GAA, .866 SV%

Special Teams:

Hitmen:

PP – 6.1%

PK – 66.7%

Rebels:

PP – 17.2%

PK – 62.8%


 One Last Go

It all comes down to this.

One last game to wrap up the 2021 WHL season.

After three months and 20 games, the Hitmen are set to end the condensed schedule in Red Deer to take on the Rebels Tuesday night.

With the WHL playoffs cancelled for another year, this will be the last time this specific group will play together.

“It has gone by fast, it feels like it started yesterday,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “It’ll be a memorable year for a lot of reason nobody would’ve thought and one that we will all look back on in the future. It’s a great tightly connected group and you couldn’t ask for a better set of young players.

“I love our guys, I will remember this group for a long time in all the memories made and the strong connections built.”

The Hitmen will look to end things on a high note and avenge Sunday’s 5-4 overtime loss to Red Deer and snap a two-game losing sked.

In the season series against the Rebels, Sean Tschigerl (3G, 3A) leads the team lead in scoring against Red Deer with six points while Jackson van de Leest (1G, 4A) is next with five. The past three games have all gone to overtime with the Hitmen currently sitting at 2-0-2 against their rivals.

As they gear up for one final bus ride, the players know that there will be a lot of emotions running wild when they final buzzer sounds to end the game.

“It’s a huge game to set us up for the off-season,” Adam Kydd said. “For some guys this is the last time they will play in the league so everyone is gong to step up and battle for them, it’s going to be an emotional night.

“We’re going to go out there and play as hard as we can. The result will be whatever it is but after the game we want to look in the mirror and know we gave it our all.”


Streaks & Milestones

Sean Tschigerl (10G, 7a) is riding a career high 11 game point streak.  It’s the longest run by any Hitmen player this season and longest since former captain Mark Kastelic (14G, 7A) rattled off a 13-game point streak last season from Feb. 9 – Mar. 6, 2020.

Jackson van de Leest (1g, 3a) and Josh Prokop (1g, 2a) both have points in two of their last three games.

Riley Stotts (1G, 3a) is on three-game point streaks. Stotts also needs three points to reach 200 in his WHL career. Since joining the Hitmen in 2017, he has racked up 178 points which is 17th best in franchise history, three points behind Michael Stone.  On the goal scoring front, his 66 goals share 18th place in the Hitmen record books with Jordan Krestanovich.

Goaltender Brayden Peters is one game shy of 50.


Player To Watch

kydd

Adam Kydd – The sophomore forward has had a strong season with 15 points in 20 games played and heads into the contest riding a three-game point streak (2G, 1A). Kydd has already surpassed his rookie numbers from a year ago when he posted 12 points in 53 tilts, and has had a shot on goal in all but one game this season.

The Regina product also ranks third on the team in goals with eight and in plus/minus at +10.


Quotable

“I hope they show up with an oxygen tank beside them because I’m going to play them a lot, they deserve it. They’ve been huge pillars to build on and brought such great leadership all year. They’re special guys and I want to do everything we can to give them the send off they deserve because they are so important to our organization.”

Head Coach Steve Hamilton on his thoughts on the 20-year-olds as they gear up for their final game in the WHL. 

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