Calgary Hitmen Game Preview - Wednesday, February 7 at Red Deer
CALGARY HITMEN (16-30-5-1, 38 pts.) at RED DEER REBELS (15-25-10-3, 43 pts.) Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 7:00 p.m. MT - ENMAX Centrium
The Calgary Hitmen play the first of three straight games against teams from their own division tonight as they visit the Red Deer Rebels. Calgary is coming off Saturday's 6-5 shootout win in Kamloops which saw the Hitmen overcome a 5-2 deficit with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. Jake Kryski and Carson Focht completed the comeback scoring the only two goals of the shootout while Tristen Nielsen (3a) led all Hitmen with three points. Jakob Stukel scored twice for the visitors including the tying goal with 55 seconds remaining. Mark Kastelic, Dakota Krebs, and Egor Zamula tallied singles. For Zamula, it was his first career goal in the Western Hockey League. Nick Chyzowski paced the Kamloops attack with two goals and an assist while Luc Smith added a pair of helpers. Matthew Armitage went the distance in the Hitmen net making 36 saves through overtime and was perfect on two Kamloops shootout attempts to record his first career WHL win. The Hitmen, at 38 points, are 11 points back of Kootenay for a Central Division playoff spot. Red Deer, at 43 points, is six points behind Kootenay for that same post-season berth. The Rebels are coming off Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss in Brandon. Stelio Mattheos scored three times including the game winner for the Wheat Kings who erased a 3-2 third period deficit.
HITMEN BROADCAST INFORMATION Radio: Sportsnet 960-The Fan Webcast: WHL Live at whl.neulion.com
ATTACHMENTS Media Kit and Daily Report
- Jakob Stukel (5g) has points in four of his last five games.
- Tristen Nielsen (1g, 3a) has points in back-to-back contests.
- Riley Stotts (2a) has points in two of his last three games.
NOTEWORTHY VS. RED DEER: Tonight is the fourth of seven regular season meetings between the Hitmen and Rebels. Calgary has won the last two games to improve to 2-1 against their Central Division rivals. The departed Jake Bean (1g, 3a) leads the Hitmen with four points against Red Deer while Jake Kryski (2g) and Conner Chaulk (1g, 1a) are next with two points each. Grayson Pawlenchuk (1g, 2a) is the top-performing Rebel with three points. Brandon Hagel (1g, 1a), Mason McCarty (1g, 1a) and Alexander Alexeyev (2a) all have two points each. Calgary is 5-6-0-1 in their last 12 visits to the ENMAX Centrium. The two teams will meet again two weeks from today on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Calgary.
2017-18 SERIES RECAP Oct. 20/17 at RD: RD 4 CGY 2...The Rebels built a 4-0 lead. Nov. 25/17 at CGY: CGY 2 RD 1 OT...Mark Kastelic scored the winner 30 seconds into sudden death. Dec. 2/17 at RD: CGY 4 RD 3 SO...The Hitmen erased a 3-1 second period deficit.
INSIDE THE SERIES Shots on Goal: CGY 79 RD 91 Power Plays: CGY 2-11 (18.2%) RD 1-11 (9.1%)
INSIDE THE ROAD TRIP: Tristen Nielsen (2g, 3a) leads all Hitmen on this season-high seven-game road trip with five points in five games. Luke Coleman (3g, 1a) and Jakob Stukel (4g) are next with four points each. Riley Stotts (3a) and Mark Kastelic (1g, 2a) have three points each while Jake Kryski (2a) has two. Eight others have recorded a single point: Hunter Campbell (1g), Carson Focht (1a), Dakota Krebs (1g), Andrew Viggars (1a), Vladislav Yeryomenko (1a), Orca Wiesblatt (1a), Egor Zamula (1g) and Cael Zimmerman (1a).
SCORING RACE: Jakob Stukel (41) and Jake Kryski (37) are only four parts apart for the team scoring lead. The last time two Hitmen shared the points lead at the end of the season was 2013-14 when Brady Brassart and Greg Chase both recorded 85 points.
NHL WATCH: NHL Central Scouting has named four Hitmen among the top players available for the 2018 NHL Draft. Vladislav Yeryomenko, Riley Stotts, Egor Zamula and Carson Focht are all on the midterm rankings among North American skaters. Yeryomenko is number 79, Stotts 88, Zamula 100 and Focht 200. The 2018 NHL Draft will be held June 22-23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
THE OLYMPIC FIVE: Former Hitmen star Brandon Kozun has been named to the Canadian men's hockey team for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Kozun, who played parts of four seasons in Calgary from 2006 to 2010, is fourth on the Hitmen's all-time regular season points list with 270. Meanwhile four other Hitmen alumni will also play in the tournament: Bostjan Golicic with Slovenia, Freddie Petterson with Sweden, Brooks Macek with Germany and Alex Plante with Korea. The preliminary round begins Feb. 14 with the gold-medal game on Feb. 25.
DID YOU KNOW?: Hitmen sophomore Vladislav Yeryomenko is in a three-way tie for 20th in league scoring by a defenceman with 31 points.
INJURY REPORT: Heading into today, the Hitmen have lost a combined 133 man games to injury this season.
COMMUNITY INVESTMENT: The Calgary Hitmen Foundation Community Restoration Program is back. The initiative, unveiled last year, will once again see the Foundation award a $50,000 grant to a recreational improvement project in one local neighbourhood or community within 50km of Calgary city limits. Communities registered as a not-for-profit organization or registered charity currently refurbishing an outdoor space or fundraising for a new project are invited to visit HitmenHockey.com for grant application and eligibility information. Project examples include parks, playgrounds, outdoor rinks and arenas. The application process is now closed with three communities to be named finalists on Thursday, Feb. 8. The top candidates will then create a video showing why fans should cast a ballot for their project. The online voting period will take place from February 17 - March 2 on HitmenHockey.com. The community project with the most votes will be awarded the $50,000 grant.
ALUMNI WATCH: Chris Driedger is in the AHL with the Belleville Senators. The 23-year-old goalie is 2-4 with a 3.90 goals against average and .880 save percentage. Driedger spent three seasons with the Hitmen from 2011-14 and holds the franchise record for career regular season saves with 3,773.
PROSPECT REPORT: Josh Prokop, who the Hitmen obtained the rights to in a November, 2017 trade with the Swift Current Broncos, is in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers. The 17-year-old forward has 36 points (21g, 15a) in 48 games but will miss the rest of the year with season ending shoulder surgery. Prokop was originally selected by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. His younger brother Luke was Calgary's first-round pick in 2017.
Hitmen single game tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the 'Dome box office. Upcoming home game highlights include:
- Co-op Family Game on Feb. 11 vs. MH - Valentine's Day on Feb. 14 vs. TC - Sunday Funday presented by Pocky on Feb. 18 vs. SAS - RE/MAX Chuck-A-Puck on Feb. 21 vs. RD - Lunar Celebration presented by A1 Chesney Service Experts on Feb. 23 vs. EDM - Dodge Skate with the Hitmen on Feb. 25 vs. BDN - TELUS BE BRAVE Anti-Bullying Game on Feb. 27 vs. SC - Multicultural Day presented by Cornerstone on Mar. 4 vs. RD - RE/MAX Chuck-A-Puck on Mar. 14 vs. KTN - Fan Appreciation Day presented by Vision Travel on Mar. 18
CAREER MILESTONES - Jake Kryski needs two points for 150 and five assists for 100.
- Jakob Stukel is five games away from 250.
- Luke Coleman is three assists shy of 50.
- Matthew Armitage passed 500 minutes played on Saturday in Kamloops while Riley Stotts reached career game 100 on Feb. 2 against the Giants.
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