The Hitmen wrap up the five-game road trip Tuesday night in Red Deer looking for their fourth straight win and fifth in their last seven games.
The first four games of the trip couldn’t have been drawn up better with wins over Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Brandon which included a pair of overtime wins.
Tuesday’s clash marks the third meeting of the season against the Rebels, which saw Red Deer win the first two tilts. Both tilts have been tightly contested with the Hitmen only been outscored 10-8, while outshooting the Rebels 82-58.
Saturday night was the last time the Hitmen were in action with a 4-3 overtime win in Brandon. Mark Kastelic, who sits third in the league in goals with 10, scored twice including the game winner while Luke Prokop and Luke Coleman scoring in regulation. Jack McNaughton made 28 saves for his second win on the season.
Red Deer meanwhile are coming off back-to-back wins last weekend with a 5-2 win over Edmonton and a 4-3 overtime win over Kootenay to push their record to 7-3-1, good for first place in the Central Division.
With the trip winding down, confidence is at a high as they have turned the ship around on a trip that was no walk in the park.
“This trip has made us closer as a group,” Kastelic said. “It has given everyone in the room confidence and for us going forward we can build on the success to keep rolling.
“It’s always difficult to play on the road but we’ve been able to stick to our game and stay focused.”
Following the contest, it’s back to ‘Dome ice for the Hitmen for a four-game home stand that starts Friday night against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a special Roughnecks in-game entertainment style game.
Luke Coleman needs four goals for 50.
Carson Focht is two points away from 50 in his career
Mark Kastelic (7G, 6A) is riding a career-high six-game point streak.
Josh Prokop (3G, 2A) and Carson Focht (1G, 4A) both have points in the last three games
Egor Zamula (3A) and Jake Kryski (1G, 1A) have points in back-to-back games
Carl Stankowski has won back-to-back starts.
Luke Coleman (2G, 2A) has points in four of his last five games.
Goals For: 41
Goals Against: 53
Goals: Mark Kastelic (10)
Assists: Kastelic, Yeryomenko (7)
Points: Mark Kastelic (17)
Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (5)
Shorthanded Goals: Luke Coleman, Kastelic (1)
Shots: Kaden Elder (42)
Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 2-4-2, 4.11 GAA, 0.868 SV%
Goals For: 39
Goals Against: 35
Goals: Brandon Hagel (9)
Assists: Hagel (12)
Points: Hagel (21)
Powerplay Goals: Several Players Tied (2)
Shorthanded Goals: Several Players Tied (1)
Shots: Hagel (42)
Top Goalie: Ethan Anders 6-3-1, 3.09 GAA, .919 SV%