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Calgary Hitmen Game Preview - Wednesday, January 15 at Swift Current

January 15, 2020 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Calgary Hitmen News Release

CALGARY HITMEN (21-13-4-1, 47 pts.) at SWIFT CURENT BRONCOS (9-27-1-2, 21 pts.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. MT - Innovation Credit Union iPlex

TODAY'S GAME

The Calgary Hitmen open a five-game road trip tonight in Swift Current in the second of back-to-back games against the Broncos. It follows a three-game homestand which saw the club collect four of a possible six points, culminating in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Swift Current. Blake Allan led the way with a goal and an assist while Orca Wiesblatt and Connor Gabruch notched single tallies. It was Gabruch's debut with the Hitmen after Calgary acquired the 18-year-old forward from the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday. Jaxan Kaluski chipped in the lone marker for Swift Current on a day where the Broncos were outshot 45-25. The Hitmen hold the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with 47 points while Swift Current has a league low 21 points.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Radio: Sportsnet 960-The Fan

Webcast: WHL Live at whllive.com

ATTACHMENT: Media Kit

STREAKS

- Jett Woo (1g, 7a) is on a season high seven-game point streak. His career high of eight games was set last season with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

- Orca Wiesblatt (2g, 1a) has points in three of his of his last four games.

- Blake Allan (1g, 2a), Adam Kydd (1g, 1a) and Sean Tschigerl (2a) all have points in two of their last three contests.

- Riley Stotts (1g, 4a) saw his four-game point streak halted on Sunday against Swift Current while a three-game run for Mark Kastelic (2g, 3a) and a two-game point streak for Josh Prokop (2g, 1a) also ended.

NOTEWORTHY

VS. SWIFT CURRENT: Tonight is the third of five regular season meetings between the two clubs. They have spilt their first two with the home team a perfect 2-0. Four Hitmen lead the way with two points each against Swift Current in Blake Allan (1g, 1a), Carson Focht (1g, 1a), Orca Wiesblatt (1g, 1a) and Jackson van de Leest (2a). Nine Broncos all have one point each against Calgary this season but only Jaxan Kaluski (1g), Alex Moar (1a) and Tyler Smithies (1a) remain on the roster from that group. The Hitmen are 2-2-2-1 in their last seven visits to Swift Current.

2019-20 SERIES RECAP

Sept. 21/19 in SC: SC 3 CGY 2 OT...Joona Kiviniemi scored the winner with one second left in the extra session.

Jan. 12/20 in CGY: CGY 3 SC 1...Calgary did all their scoring in the second period building a 3-0 lead.

INSIDE THE SERIES

Shots on Goal: CGY 81 SC 47 Power Plays: CGY 0-5 (0%) SC 1-8 (12.5%)

SUNDAY STATS: Looking back to the last meeting between these two teams, Connor Gabruch and Riley Stotts led the Hitmen with five shots on goal each. Jaxan Kaluski paced the Broncos with six. As a team, Calgary was 55.9 percent in the face-off circle. Riley Fiddler-Schultz was the top performer at 76.9 percent efficiency going 10-13 on draws.

FAST FACTS: Calgary is 10-9-3-0 against the Central Division...There have been 30 penalty shots in the WHL this season with five involving the Hitmen. Three of those have been against Swift Current; The Broncos have had two, scoring once when Ethan Regnier beat Carl Stankowski on opening night but then denied when Brayden Peters thwarted D-Jay Jerome on Sunday. Calgary's lone attempt by Josh Prokop, also on opening night, was stopped in overtime by Isaac Poulter.

TOP PROSPECTS INVITE: Hitmen defenceman Luke Prokop will play in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The game, which showcases the top CHL players eligible for the NHL Draft, takes place tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 16 in Hamilton. Prokop will become the 27th Hitmen player to compete in the Top Prospects Game. Jake Bean was the last to appear, suiting up in 2016.

HOME AND AWAY COMPARISON: Calgary is 9-6-3-0 on the road this season producing a 2-1 overtime win in Lethbridge on Jan. 4 in their last game away from the 'Dome. Swift Current is 6-11-0-1 at home but 2-2 in their last four games at Innovation Credit Union iPlex with wins over Regina and Medicine Hat in that span.

DRAFT WATCH: NHL Central Scouting has named two Hitmen players to its midterm rankings list ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft. Defenceman Luke Prokop makes the list at number 86 among North American skaters while goaltender Jack McNaughton is ranked 14th among North American goalies.

MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS INJURY REPORT: Kyle Olson (lower body, week-to-week), Andrew Viggars (upper body, week-to-week). Total man-games lost: 99

HITMEN MONTH-BY-MONTH: September (3-0-1-0), October (5-3-0-0), November (6-4-1-1), December (3-4-2-0), January (4-2-0-0).

ROSTER MOVES: The WHL Trade Deadline passed on Jan. 10. Calgary acquired a fifth-round pick in the 2021 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft from the Kelowna Rockets in exchange for 18-year-old forward Jonas Peterek. They also recalled 16-year-old defenceman Tyson Galloway from the BCHL's Merritt Centennials and 19-year-old defenceman Andrew Viggars from the BCHL's West Kelowna Warriors. Both players will remain with the team for the remainder of the season. In a separate transaction, 18-year-old forward Tye Carriere was reassigned to Canmore of the AJHL. The Hitmen made a pair of trades Thursday. In the first move, they added 18-year-old forward Conrad Mitchell and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft in exchange for 18-year-old forward Hunter Campbell. The second deal of the day had Calgary acquire 18-year-old forward Connor Gabruch from the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. On Jan. 2, Calgary acquired 20-year-old forward Kyle Olson from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for 20-year-old forward James Malm, a second-round pick in the 2020 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022.

WORLD JUNIORS: Two members of the Hitmen claimed medals at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Assistant and Goaltending Coach Jason LaBarbera won gold with Team Canada as Goaltending Coach while Egor Zamula struck silver with Team Russia becoming the 23rd player in franchise history to play in the prestigious event. Zamula had five points (2g, 3a) in seven games. On Dec. 9, the Hitmen announced Zamula will undergo season ending back surgery, a procedure that includes an expected recovery time of three to four months. The injury is a result of a degenerative condition that intensified at the World Juniors.

TIGHT AT THE TOP: Two Hitmen are within two points of each other atop the team scoring race. Riley Stotts leads the way with 41. Mark Kastelic is next with 39.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Paul Postma, who played two seasons with the Hitmen from 2007 to 2009, is playing pro hockey in Switzerland with Lugano in the National League. The 30-year-old defenceman has six points (2g, 4a) in 16 games. He also helped Canada win the 2019 Spengler Cup scoring once in the post-Christmas tournament. Postma tallied 126 points (37g, 89a) in 136 career games with the Hitmen.

HITMEN PLEDGE: 'The Hitmen Pledge powered by ENMAX' is here. As part of the 25th anniversary season fans and members of the community are asked to take the pledge and donate 25 volunteer hours to a charitable cause. One lucky winner will receive $25,000 to gift to a registered Southern Alberta charity of their choice. Full details can be found at https://hitmenhockey.com/pledge.

PROSPECT PROFILE: Joah Morberg, Calgary's 10th round pick, 211th overall, in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft is in the CSSHL with Edge School Elite 15's. In 13 games the 15-year-old defenceman has four points (2g, 2a). He played Bantam Prep with Edge School last season recording 16 points (6g, 10a) in 28 games.

UPCOMING GAMES

All times MT. Schedule subject to change.

Date Opponent Time Broadcast

Fri., Jan. 17 at BDN 6:30 PM Sportsnet 960-The Fan

Sat., Jan. 18 at WPG 6:30 PM Sportsnet 960-The Fan

Sun., Jan. 19 at WPG 6:30 PM Sportsnet 960-The Fan

Sat., Jan. 25 at RD 7:00 PM Sportsnet 960-The Fan

Sun., Jan. 26 vs. RD 2:00 PM Sportsnet 960-The Fan

PROMO CALENDAR

Hitmen single game tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations. Upcoming home game highlights include:

- Dodge Skate with the Hitmen on Sun. Jan. 26 vs. RD. It's also Sunday Funday, presented by Ricky's All Day Grill.

- Obscure Jersey Night & RE/MAX Chuck-A-Puck on Jan. 29 vs. TC. Four lucky participants will win a hot air balloon ride courtesy of RE/MAX.

- CBE Night on Jan. 31 vs. BDN. Game Sponsor: Wawanesa Insurance.

- 'Every Child Matters' on Feb. 1 vs. RD presented by Siksika Health Services in partnership with Siksika Child & Family Services and First Nations Health Consortium.

CAREER MILESTONE WATCH

- Jackson van de Leest is one game shy of 150

- Mark Kastelic is tied with Brandon Segal for 11th spot on the clubs all-time points list with 206, nine points behind Ryan Getzlaf who is 10th. Kastelic is also one goal back of Segal for fourth place on the clubs all-time goal scoring list. Segal has 110.

- Jack McNaughton needs 17 saves to move into a tie with Nick Schneider for 10th place on the clubs all-time saves list at 1,651.

- Orca Wiesblatt reached 100 games on Sunday against Swift Current while Blake Allan hit the century mark in games last Saturday in Lethbridge.


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