HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen wrap up a five game U-S road trip tonight in Spokane against the Chiefs. The Hitmen are 2-2 on the swing. It began last Wednesday with a 5-1 victory in Portland followed by a 4-2 loss in Everett. Calgary then produced a 3-2 OT win in Kent against Seattle before falling 3-1 in Tri-City last night. Americans goaltender Drew Owsley made 34 saves as Calgary outshot Tri-City 35-29. After a scoreless first period, the Americans took a 1-0 lead to the third period.
VS SPOKANE: Tonight is the first and only meeting with the Chiefs this season. Last season Spokane posted a 3-2 win at the Saddledome on November 22nd scoring twice in the final three minutes to erase a 2-1 deficit.
TRADE WINDS: On Thursday, the Hitmen dealt 20-year-old defenceman Zak Stebner to the Tri-City Americans in exchange for a third round pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. The move leaves the Hitmen with a league maximum three overagers; Tyler Fiddler, Kris Foucault and Misha Fisenko.
TEAM WHL: Hitmen Head Coach Mike Williamson will serve as an assistant coach for Team WHL at the next month’s Subway Super Games. Games will be played in Kamloops November 17th and Prince George November 18th. Williamson is 27 wins shy of 300 regular season coaching victories in the WHL.
LEADERSHIP GROUP: Forward Tyler Fiddler and defenceman Matt MacKenzie have been named co-captains of the defending WHL Champion Hitmen. The club has two assistants; Jimmy Bubnick and Ben Wilson.
STREAKIN: Justin Kirsch (3g) is on a three game goal scoring streak. Kris Foucault had his three game (2g 4a) point streak snapped last night against the Americans.
2009-10 GRADS: Nine players from the 2010 WHL Champion Hitmen have moved on; Del Cowan is in the CIS with the University of Manitoba Bisons, Joel Broda is at Houston Aeros camp, Rigby Burgart is in the BCHL with the Quesnel Millionaires, Brandon Kozun and Martin Jones are both at Manchester Monarchs camp, Giffen Nyren is at Abbotsford Heat camp, Ian Schultz is attending Hamilton Bulldogs camp, Tyler Shattock is attending Peoria Rivermen camp while Michael Stone is at San Antonio Rampage camp.
HITMEN TEAM LEADERS:
Goals (5) Justin Kirsch
Powerplay Goals (2) Justin Kirsch
Points (8) Cody Beach
Plus/Minus (+7) Cody Beach
Assists (5) Cody Beach
Wins (3) Michael Snider
PIM (27) Cody Beach
HOMEGROWN TALENT: Of the 24 players on the Hitmen roster, nine are from the Calgary area; Kris Foucault (Calgary), Peter Kosterman (Calgary), Keaton Lubin (Okotoks), Matt MacKenzie (Calgary), Riley Reinbolt (Calgary), Brendan Santini (Calgary), Rob Trzonkowski (Calgary), Michael Snider (DeWinton) and Ben Wilson (Calgary).
BEATTIE HOMES HOCKEY MUMS FIGHT BREAST CANCER: The 2nd annual Hockey Mums Fight Breast Cancer Campaign is underway. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the Hitmen wearing their pink and black retro jersey for all seven home games this month. The players are also sporting pink and black gloves with both the jerseys and gloves to be auctioned online in early March. The Hitmen vs. Red Deer Rebels game on March 13th is designated as the Beattie Homes Hockey Mums Fight Breast Cancer Game with the pink and back jerseys and gloves to be worn again.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Calgary (9-45) on the powerplay operating at 20%. Meanwhile the penalty kill is 34-44 at 77.3%.
UPCOMING GAMES: The Hitmen return home to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday to host former teammates Chase Schaber, Austin Madaisky and the Kamloops Blazers. Game time is 7:00 p.m. It’s the start of a six game home stand.