Calgary Hitmen Game Preview - Friday, March 22 at Lethbridge
CALGARY HITMEN at LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES
Game 1 of best-of-seven series
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. MT - ENMAX Centre
The Calgary Hitmen open the 2019 WHL Playoffs tonight on the road in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes. After missing the post-season last year, Calgary is making their 20th playoff appearance in their 24-year history. They have captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL Champions on two occasions in 1999 and 2010.
The Hitmen are the #3 seed in the Central Division after posting a regular season record of 36-26-5-1 to finish with 78 points. The Hurricanes are the #2 seed in the division after a record of 40-18-5-5 resulted in a 90 point season.
Radio: Sportsnet 960-The Fan
Webcast: WHL Live at whl.neulion.com
- Riley Fiddler-Schultz (2g) has points in two of his last three games.
2019 WHL Playoffs: Round 1 Schedule:
The Hitmen and Hurricanes opening round playoff series is a 2-2-1-1-1 format.
Lethbridge has home-ice advantage.
Game 1 Friday, March 22 7:00 p.m. ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge
Game 2 Saturday, March 23 7:00 p.m. ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge
Game 3 Tuesday, March 26 7:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
Game 4 Thursday, March 28 7:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
Game 5* Saturday, March 30 7:00 p.m. Nicholas Sheran Arena, Lethbridge
Game 6* Sunday, March 31 4:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
Game 7* Tuesday, April 2 7:00 p.m. Nicholas Sheran Arena, Lethbridge
VS. LETHBRIDGE: The Hitmen and Hurricanes met six times in the regular season. Lethbridge won five of the meetings with the two teams combining for 59 goals. Mark Kastelic (5g, 4a) was Calgary's top scorer with nine points against the "Canes while Kaden Elder (4g, 2a), Jake Kryski (1g, 5a) and Vladislav Yeryomenko (1g, 5a) all had six. Jordy Bellerive (7g, 6a) was the top "Cane with 13 points while Jake Elmer (4g, 6a) was next with 10.
2018-19 SERIES RECAP
Oct. 12/18 in CGY: CGY 6 LET 5...Mark Kastelic led Calgary with two goals and an assist.
Oct. 26/18 in CGY: LET 7 CGY 6... Zach Cox scored with 6:34 remaining to snap a 6-6 tie.
Nov. 9/18 at LET: LET 4 CGY 2...The Hitmen lost despite holding Lethbridge to 19 shots.
Dec. 16/18 in CGY: LET 6 CGY 4...Jordy Bellerive led the "Canes with three points (2g, 1a).
Feb. 13/19 at LET: LET 6 CGY 2...The Hurricanes scored five times in the first period.
Mar. 9/19 at LET: LET 7 CGY 4...Jordy Bellerive tallied five points (2g, 3a).
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CGY 199 LET 181 Power Plays: CGY 4-20 (20%) LET 5-22 (22.7%)
PLAYOFF HISTORY: 2019 marks the fifth time in league history the Hitmen and Hurricanes square off in a playoff series. Calgary has won three of the previous four.
2005: CGY 4 LET 1 - Hitmen led by Ryan Getzlaf (8pts), Andrew Ladd (6pts) and Justin Pogge 1.29 GAA
2006: CGY 4 LET 2 - Hitmen led by Fredrik Pettersson (7pts), Craig Lineker (7pts) and Justin Pogge 2.97 GAA
2008: LET 4 CGY 0 - Canes led by Mitch Fadden (7pts), Zach Boychuk (6pts) and Juha Metsola 1.73 GAA
2009: CGY 4 LET 0 - Hitmen led by Brandon Kozun (7pts), Kyle Bortis (7pts) and Martin Jones 1.00 GAA
POST-SEASON EXPERIENCE: The Hitmen have a combined 139 games of playoff experience. Kaden Elder leads all players with 46 post-season games played. He also tops all Hitmen in playoff points with 10.
GAME 1 FACTS: The Hitmen are 24-19 all-time in Game 1's.
PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 131-105. The Hitmen have competed in 43 series prior to this one. They have won 26 and lost 17. Calgary is 30-19 all-time in post-season overtime games.
RACE FOR THE TOP: For the fifth time in franchise history there was a tie for Hitmen leading scorer as James Malm and Mark Kastelic both finished with 77 points. The last time it happened was the 2013-14 campaign when both Brady Brassart and Greg Chase finished with 85 points. Kyle Bortis and Ryan White both collected 72 points in 2007-08, Ryan White and Brodie Dupont shared the lead at 53 points in 2005-06 while Ryan Getzlaf and Andrew Ladd finished with 75 points each in 2003-04.
HOME AND AWAY: Calgary was 16-15-2-1 on the road this season while Lethbridge went 20-9-1-4 at home.
FAST FACTS: Goaltender Jack McNaughton, with 25 victories, recorded the most wins by a Hitmen rookie goalie since Brent Krahn tallied 33 in 1999/00...Since January 1, Calgary has posted a record of 26-12-3-0.
SCORING DEPTH: For the first time since the 2013-14 season, Calgary had four players with 25 or more goals in a regular season with Mark Kastelic (47), James Malm (34), Kaden Elder (27) and Carson Focht (26). In 2013-14 they were Jake Virtanen (45), Brady Brassart (35), Greg Chase (35) and Pavel Padakin (27).
IMPORT IMPACT: Defenceman Egor Zamula was the first Hitmen import player to top the 50-point plateau since Radel Fazleev tallied 71 during the 2015/16 season. Zamula finished the regular season with 56.
ROSTER MOVES: On Thursday the Hitmen recalled 2018 first-round pick Sean Tschigerl from OHA Edmonton Prep in the CSSHL. The 15-year-old has appeared in eight regular season games with the Hitmen this season during three different recalls. Tschigerl tallied 47 points (21g, 26a) in 28 games with Edmonton during the regular season before adding four more points (1g, 3a) in five playoff games.
IRON MAN: Carson Focht and Luke Coleman played in all 68 games for the Hitmen this season. Ironically, Kaden Elder played 69. He was one ahead of the team schedule due to his games played with Swift Current prior to his trade to Calgary.
& TICKET INFO
Upcoming home game highlights include:
- Tuesday, Mar. 26 vs. LET, Game 3 of the Hitmen 2019 WHL Playoffs presented by Real Canadian Superstore
- Hitmen playoff tickets are on sale now and can be bought through Ticketmaster.ca, HitmenHockey.com or at the Scotiabank Saddledome Box Office.
- Twelve-game playoff packages are available for $199. Single game tickets start at $22.49 for adults, $12.99 for kids 12 and under and group tickets for $15.00 plus applicable fees and taxes.
- Also available is the Calgary Co-op Family Playoff Pack which includes four tickets, four hot hogs, four soft drinks and one popcorn for $74.99. This deal can be purchased at all Calgary Co-op locations.
- Game 6, if necessary, will also be played at the "Dome on Sunday, Mar. 31 at 4:00 p.m. Sunday Funday pricing, presented by Ricky's All Day Grill, will be in effect and includes face painters and a post-game family skate that is FREE with a game ticket.
PLAYOFF MILESTONE WATCH
- Kaden Elder is four games shy of 50.
• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...
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