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Game Preview: Hitmen At Wheat Kings Oct. 20

Candice Ward/Photos

Momentum is on their side.

The Hitmen head into Saturday night’s clash against the Wheat Kings on a high note, following their second straight win Friday night by a 5-1 score in Moose Jaw. Mark Kastelic scored a pair of goals while Jake Kryski, Cael Zimmerman and Josh Prokop also chipped in with tallies. Goaltender Carl Stankowski made 30 saves for the win, as his strong play helped guide the Hitmen to the win.

The victory marks the second on the road trip and their third win in their last five games played. With a 3-1-1 mark in those games, the Hitmen have seemed to turn the corner and displayed their dominate play in the victory over the Warriors.

Saturday marks the first of four meetings between the two clubs, which saw Brandon sweep the season series last year outscoring the Hitmen by a combined 21-12.  The Hitmen have lost five in a row to Brandon as last time they beat the Wheat Kings was on Feb. 22, 2017, but it’s a stat they aren’t worried about as they beat the Warriors for the first time since 2015 last night.

Although they’ve only played nine games thus far, Brandon has come out of the gates strong with a 6-1-1-1 mark to sit third in the East Division. The Wheat Kings snapped a two-game skid Friday night as the defeated the Everett Silvertips 5-2 following losses to the Swift Current Broncos and Spokane Chiefs.

Of note, the top line of Kryski, Kastelic and Elder continue to be a driving force as headed into the match-up they have combined for 19 goals so far.

The Hitmen will head back to Alberta following the contest but a date with Rebels in Red Deer on Tuesday will be their next stop before returning home on Oct. 28 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Hitmen Milestones:

Mark Kastelic is one goal away from 50.

Luke Coleman needs five goals for 50.

Hitmen Streaks:

Mark Kastelic (5G, 6A) and Kaden Elder (3G, 4A) are riding season high five-game point streaks.

Josh Prokop (3G, 1A) and Carson Focht (1G, 2A) both have points in back-to-back games

Carl Stankowski has won back-to-back starts.

Jake Kryski (3G, 3A) has points in four of his last five games.

Mark Kastelic leads the Hitmen in five different categories
Mark Kastelic leads the Hitmen in five different categories

Hitmen

Record: 3-6-2

Goals For: 38

Goals Against: 50

Leaders:

Goals: Mark Kastelic (8)

Assists: Kastelic (7)

Points: Mark Kastelic (15)

Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (3)

Shorthanded Goals: Luke Coleman, Kastelic (1)

Shots: Kaden Elder (39)

Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 2-4-2, 4.11 GAA, 0.868 SV%

Wheat Kings

Record: 6-1-1-1

Goals For: 39

Goals Against: 28

Leaders:

Goals: Stelio Mattheos (11)

Assists: Schael Higson (9)

Points: Mattheos (18)

Powerplay Goals: Mattheos (5)

Shorthanded Goals: Caiden Daley, Liden McCallum (1)

Shots: Luka Burzan(32)

Top Goalie: Jiri Patera 6-1-1, 3.00 GAA, .919 SV%

Next meeting between the clubs will be Feb. 1 during the Corral Series
Next meeting between the clubs will be Feb. 1 during the Corral Series

Special Teams Rankings:

Hitmen

Powerplay: 7 for 43 16.3% (20th Overall)

Penalty Kill: 77.2% (12th Overall)

Wheat Kings

Powerplay: 9 for 33 27.3% (3rd Overall)

Penalty Kill: 72.2% (15th Overall)

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