The Himen kick off a five-game road trip starting Tuesday night in Prince Albert, taking on the Raiders for the second week in a row.
The two clubs squared off on Thanksgiving Monday at the Scotiabank Saddledome, a contest that saw the Raiders blank the Hitmen in a 4-0 win. Calgary native Ian Scott made 23 saves to record the shutout, with Brett Leason pacing the Raiders offence with three points which included a pair of markers.
Tuesday’s clash is the second game of a stretch that will see the Hitmen play three games in four nights, which started Sunday afternoon at the ‘Dome with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Regina Pats. Riley Stotts, Jake Kryski and Kaden Elder all found the back of the net with both Stotts and Elder scoring on the powerplay.
A change of scenery could help the Hitmen get back on track after a 1-3-2 homestand and one win in the first eight games of the new season.
“It’s imperative we get off to a good start,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “Spending some time away from the Saddledome and spending time some time as a team will be huge for us right now.”
“We’re headed into some tough buildings but we need to be ready to play.”
With the line Mark Kastelic, Elder and Kryski having combined for 21 points and 13 of the 23 total goals scored by the Hitmen, they have led the charge consistently on a nightly basis.
Despite their success, Hamilton is looking for more depth scoring as he knows all four lines are capable of putting the puck in the back of the net.
“They’re the hardest and gritty working forwards up front and I don’t think its coincidence that the offence goes through them,” he said. “It’s no question we need secondary scoring. We can’t rely on just one line to produce the offence.”
After Tuesday’s tilt, the Hitmen will return to action Wednesday night in Saskatoon for the second meeting of the season against the Blades.
Mark Kastelic is one point shy of 100 and four goals away from 50.
Luke Coleman needs six goals for 50.
Jake Kryski (2G, 2A) and Kaden Elder (2G, 1A) have both scored in each of the last two games.
Mark Kastelic (2G, 3A) has points in back-to-back games.
Goals For: 23
Goals Against: 37
Goals: Jake Kryski (6)
Assists: Vladislav Yeryomenko (6)
Points: Kryski, Mark Kastelic (9)
Powerplay Goals: Several Players (1)
Shorthanded Goals: Luke Coleman, Kastelic (1)
Shots: Kaden Elder (34)
Top Goalie: Carl Stankowski, 0-4-2, 4.72 GAA, 0.840 SV%