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Calgary Hitmen Game Preview - Saturday, March 16 at Edmonton

March 16, 2019 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Calgary Hitmen News Release

CALGARY HITMEN (36-24-5-1, 78 pts.) at EDMONTON OIL KINGS (40-18-4-4, 88 pts.)

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. MT - Rogers Place

TODAY'S GAME

The Calgary Hitmen open a regular season ending home-and-home set with the Edmonton Oil Kings this afternoon at Rogers Place. The Hitmen haven't played since last Saturday's 7-4 loss in Lethbridge. Taylor Ross netted a hat-trick and added an assist in a first-star performance while Jordy Bellerive scored twice and chipped in three assists to top all Hurricanes with five points. Jackson Shepard and Jake Elmer added the other Lethbridge markers. Sean Tschigerl, Riley Fiddler-Schultz, James Malm and Vladislav Yeryomenko replied for Calgary. For Tschigerl, it was his first career goal in the WHL. The Hitmen, playing their seventh game in 11 nights, were outshot 34-28.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Radio: Sportsnet.ca/960 (Alt Stream)

Webcast: WHL Live at whl.neulion.com

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STREAKS

- James Malm (3g, 2a) is riding a three-game point streak.

- Carson Focht (10g, 12a) has points in eight of his last nine games.

- Egor Zamula (11a) and Riley Stotts (1g, 9a) have points in seven of their last eight games.

- Vladislav Yeryomenko (2g, 1a) has points in two of his last three appearances.

- Mark Kastelic (4g, 5a) saw his six-game point streak end last Saturday in Lethbridge.

NOTEWORTHY

PLAYOFF BOUND: The Hitmen are heading to the 2019 Western Hockey League Playoffs, marking the 20th time in the club's 24-year history they will compete for a WHL title. Calgary begins the post-season on the road in either Edmonton or Lethbridge before the best-of-seven series shifts to the Stampede City for Games 3 and 4. Game 3, presented by Real Canadian Superstore, is Tuesday, Mar. 26, with Game 4 on Thursday, Mar. 28. Both are 7:00 p.m. starts at Scotiabank Saddledome. Game 6, if necessary, will also be played at the 'Dome on Sunday, Mar. 31. The start time is 2:00 p.m. if the opponent is Edmonton and 4:00 p.m. if it is Lethbridge. 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. Hitmen playoff tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Mar. 18. Purchase your tickets 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. The Hitmen have won the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL Champions on two occasions, in 1999 and 2010.

2019 WHL Playoffs: Round 1 Hitmen Home Schedule

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 6* Sunday, March 31 2:00 or 4:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary

*If necessary.

VS. EDMONTON: Today is the seventh of eight regular season meetings between the two teams. Calgary is 1-4-1-0 against Edmonton with the Oil Kings outscoring the Hitmen by a combined 27-14. Jake Kryski (5g, 2a) is Calgary's top performer in the season series with seven points while Mark Kastelic (4g, 2a) is next with six. Vince Loschiavo (3g, 4a) leads the Oil Kings with seven points. Four others are next with six points each.

2018-19 SERIES RECAP

Sept. 29/18 in CGY: EDM 6 CGY 3...The Oil Kings took a 4-0 lead to the third period.

Dec. 1/18 in CGY: CGY 4 EDM 3 OT...Kaden Elder scored the winner 2:30 into the extra session.

Dec. 15/18 at EDM: EDM 3 CGY 2 OT...Andrew Fyten scored the winner 40 seconds into extra time.

Dec. 28/18 at EDM: EDM 7 CGY 3...Edmonton jumped out to a 4-0 second period lead.

Jan. 19/19 at EDM: EDM 3 CGY 2...Edmonton built leads of 2-0 and 3-1.

Mar. 8/19 in CGY: EDM 5 CGY 1... Trey Fix-Wolansky and Vince Loschiavo both tallied three points (2g, 1a).

INSIDE THE SERIES

Shots on Goal: CGY 193 EDM 202 Power Plays: CGY 6-25 (24%) EDM 6-29 (17.4%)

RACE FOR THE TOP: The Hitmen team scoring title is going down to the wire as James Malm (77pts) leads Mark Kastelic (76pts) by just a single point with two games left. The last time there was a tie for top scorer was the 2013-14 campaign when both Brady Brassart and Greg Chase finished with 85 points. It has happened four times in franchise history with Kyle Bortis and Ryan White both collecting with 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 is 16-14-2-1 on the road while Edmonton is 24-9 at home.

FAST FACTS: James Malm is on a five-game road goal scoring streak with nine goals in that span...Goaltender Jack McNaughton, with 25 victories, has the most wins by a Hitmen rookie goalie since Brent Krahn recorded 33 in 1999/00...Since January 1, Calgary has posted a record of 26-10-3-0...The Hitmen power play has scored at least once in nine straight games.

SCORING DEPTH: For the first time since the 2013-14 season, Calgary has four players with 25 or more goals in Mark Kastelic (46), 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 is the first Hitmen import player to top the 50 point plateau since Radel Fazleev tallied 71 during the 2015/16 season. Zamula has 56.

ROSTER MOVES: On Monday the Hitmen returned prospect Sean Tschigerl to the OHA Edmonton Prep in the CSSHL. The 15-year-old has appeared in eight games with the Hitmen this season during three different recalls. The transaction leaves the Hitmen with seven defencemen, two goalies and 13 forwards.

DID YOU KNOW?: Mark Kastelic is the first Hitmen player to score 46 goals in a season since Adam Tambellini reached 47 in 2014-15. Prior to Tambellini, Joel Broda scored 53 goals in 2008-09. Kastelic's 87 career markers have him 14th on the clubs all-time goal scoring list, trailing Brett Sonne by two goals for 13th spot. Brad Moran holds the franchise record with 204.

MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS INJURY REPORT: Hunter Campbell (indefinite, lower body), Jake Kryski (6 weeks, upper body), Tye Carriere (2-3 weeks, upper body).

CAREER YEARS: Twelve Hitmen have set new career highs in point totals. Their previous best is in brackets: James Malm 77pts (66), Mark Kastelic 76pts (45), Carson Focht 64pts (33), Kaden Elder 59pts (32), Riley Stotts 57pts (44), Egor Zamula 56pts (18), Luke Coleman 44pts (39), Cael Zimmerman 25pts (18), Dakota Krebs 25pts (16), Jackson van de Leest 20pts (5), Hunter Campbell 13pts (11) and Layne Toder 13pts (10).

UPCOMING GAMES

All times in MT. Schedule subject to change.

DATE OPPONENT TIME BROADCAST

Mar. 17 vs. Edmonton 2:00 p.m. Sportsnet 960-The Fan

PROMO CALENDAR

Upcoming home game highlights include:

- Sunday, Mar. 17 vs. EDM Hitmen Pre-Game Player Awards, Fan Appreciation presented by Vision Travel and Sunday Funday presented by Ricky's All Day Grill. Activities include face painters, giveaways and a post-game family skate that is FREE with a game ticket. There is also a post-game autograph session for fans in the Chrysler Club. Sunday Funday features a specially priced $9.99 ticket for kids 12 and under and a $14.99 ticket for adults (plus applicable fees and taxes).

CAREER MILESTONE WATCH

- Carson Focht is one game away from 200. He passed the 100 point mark Mar. 6 in Medicine Hat.

- Vladislav Yeryomenko is one point away from 100.

- Riley Stotts needs three goals for 50.

- James Malm is four points shy of 200.

- Jack McNaughton reached 1,000 saves on Feb. 27 against Swift Current.

- Devan Klassen scored his first career WHL goal Feb. 23 in Swift Current.


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Western Hockey League Stories from March 16, 2019


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