Calgary Hitmen Game Preview - Saturday, February 16 at Medicine Hat
CALGARY HITMEN (29-21-4-1, 63 pts.) at MEDICINE HAT TIGERS (31-20-3-2, 67 pts.)
Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 7:30 p.m. MT - Canalta Centre
The Calgary Hitmen face the Tigers for the second time in as many days tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. Calgary took the opener 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome last night. Goaltender Carl Stankowski made 29 saves in a first-star performance to backstop the Hitmen to their fifth straight win at the 'Dome. Captain Mark Kastelic led the way with a goal and an assist while Egor Zamula and Carson Focht also scored. Focht's marker was into an empty net. Elijah Brown replied for the Tigers, who after a scoreless first period, trailed 2-1 through 40 minutes. Both teams finished the game with 30 shots.
Radio: Sportsnet 960-The Fan
Webcast: WHL Live at whl.neulion.com
- Riley Stotts (4g, 7a) is riding a nine-game point streak.
- James Malm (3g, 6a) is on a six-game point streak.
- Mark Kastelic (2g, 2a) has points in three straight games.
- Ryder Korczak (1g, 1a) and Luke Coleman (2a) both saw their two-game point streaks end last night against the Tigers.
VS. MEDICINE HAT: Tonight is the fifth of six regular season meetings between the Hitmen and Tigers. The home team is 4-0. Calgary has won three of the four games, outscoring Medicine Hat by a combined 18-14. Jake Kryski (2g, 4a), Mark Kastelic (3g, 3a) and Egor Zamula (2g, 4a) lead the Hitmen in the season series with six points each while five others have three points. James Hamblin (6a) is the top performer for the Tigers with six points. The Central Division rivals will wrap up their season series on Wednesday, Mar. 6 in the Gas City.
2018-19 SERIES RECAP
Nov. 2/18 in CGY: CGY 7 MH 5...Mark Kastelic (2g, 1a) and Jake Kryski (1g, 2a) tallied three points each.
Nov. 4/18 at MH: MH 5 CGY 4 ...Tigers built period leads of 3-1 and 5-3.
Jan. 5/19 in CGY: CGY 4 MH 3...Egor Zamula led Calgary with a pair of assists.
Feb. 15/19 in CGY: CGY 3 MH 1...Calgary was 1-2 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CGY 154 MH 126 Power Plays: CGY 3-9 (33.3%) MH 5-14 (35.7%)
PLAYOFF CHASE: With 13 games to go in the regular season, the Hitmen are six points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings for the final Eastern Conference Wildcard spot and tied with Red Deer for the first Wildcard berth. Looking up, Calgary is four points behind Medicine Hat for third place and trails Lethbridge by five points for second spot.
HOME AND AWAY: Calgary is 12-12-1-1 on the road this season while Medicine Hat is 16-8-2-1 at home.
FAST FACTS: The Hitmen welcomed both Dakota Krebs and Egor Zamula back into the line-up last night. Zamula had missed five games and Krebs four with injury...Including tonight, Calgary has eight road games left in the regular season and five at home...Mark Kastelic has 13 multi-goal games this season.
WE MEET AGAIN: Tonight marks only the second time this season the Hitmen face an opponent in a home-and-home set. The last was in mid-November when they swept the Kootenay ICE by scores of 7-3 at home and 5-0 in Cranbrook. Ironically following this set with the Tigers, Calgary still has home-and-homes remaining with Swift Current, Kootenay and Edmonton.
JERSEY AUCTION: During the "Corral Series" presented by Adrenalin Source for Sports, the Hitmen honoured teams from the past by wearing three different sets of jerseys. All were put up for bid with net proceeds supporting the Hitmen Education Fund. The Calgary Centennials auction is over but two others continue. The Calgary Cowboys auction is happening at https://elevateauctions.com/CorralSeriesCowboysJerseys2019 and closes on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 p.m. while the Calgary Wranglers auction doesn't close until Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8:00 p.m. It can be found at https://elevateauctions.com/CorralSeriesCentennialsJerseys2019
ROSTER MOVES: On Monday the Hitmen reassigned 15-year-old prospects Tyson Galloway and Sean Tschigerl to their midget teams ahead of the Canada Winter Games. Galloway returns to the BCMML's Thompson Blazers and Tschigerl to OHA Edmonton in the CSSHL. Also on Monday, Calgary recalled a pair of 18-year-old affiliate players in defenceman Andrew Viggars and forward Orca Wiesblatt. Viggars has spent this season in the BCHL with the West Kelowna Warriors. In 41 games he has 10 points (1g, 9a). Viggars appeared in 39 games with the Hitmen last season registering five assists. Wiesblatt returns to Calgary from the MJHL's Portage Terriers. It's his second recall this season after appearing in four games in late January. Both Viggars and Wiesblatt played Wednesday in Lethbridge.
BOUNCING BACK: Since starting the season 1-6-2-0, the Hitmen have gone 28-15-2-1.
CANADA WINTER GAMES: Three Hitmen prospects will play in the 2019 Canada Winter Games which begin today in Red Deer. Forward Sean Tschigerl is a member of Team Alberta with defenceman Tyson Galloway on Team British Columbia and defenceman Rory Neill on Manitoba. Tschigerl has been named captain of Team Alberta.
MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS INJURY REPORT: Jake Kryski (indefinite, upper body). Hunter Campbell (indefinite, lower body), Jack McNaughton (day-to-day, upper body).
HITMEN ALUMNUS: Beck Malenstyn, who scored 48 goals with the Hitmen from 2013-17, is in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. The 21-year-old Washington Capitals prospect has 10 points (4g, 6a) in 48 games.
PROSPECT WATCH: David Hymovitch, Calgary's fourth-round pick, 69th overall, in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft is in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U15. The 15-year-old forward has 20 points (10g, 10a) in 20 games.
All times in MT. Schedule subject to change.
DATE OPPONENT TIME BROADCAST
Feb. 20 at Brandon 6:00 p.m. Sportsnet.ca/960 (Alt Stream)
Feb. 22 at Regina 6:00 p.m. Sportsnet.ca/960 (Alt Stream)
Feb. 23 at Swift Current 6:00 p.m. Sportsnet 960-The Fan
Feb. 27 vs. Swift Current 11:00 a.m. Sportsnet 960-The Fan
Mar. 1 vs. Brandon 7:00 p.m. Sportsnet 960-The Fan
Upcoming home game highlights include:
- TELUS BE BRAVE Anti-Bullying Game on Feb. 27 vs. SC
- Multicultural Night on Mar. 1 vs. BDN
- WHL Suits up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation - Presented by RE/MAX and Sunday Funday presented by Ricky's All Day Grill on Mar. 3 vs. KTN
- One Ticket, One Tree on Mar. 8 vs. EDM
- Fan Appreciation and Sunday Funday presented by Ricky's All Day Grill on Mar. 17 vs. EDM
CAREER MILESTONE WATCH
- Jackson van de Leest is three games shy of 100.
- Mark Kastelic played game 250 last Sunday against Moose Jaw. Carson Focht also reached 50 assists that same day.
- Three Hitmen reached significant milestones Feb. 6 against Regina with Kaden Elder playing game 300, Riley Stotts hitting 100 points and Kastelic reaching 150 points.
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