Friday, 30 September 2011

Calgary at Lethbridge - September 30, 2011

HITMEN HEADLINES:  Calgary (0-1) is in Lethbridge (1-1) tonight for just their second game of the young Western Hockey League season.  Broadcast on Sportsnet Radio The Fna 960 starts at 7pm.  The Hitmen opened their 17th campaign last Saturday night with a 5-1 loss in Cranbrook to the Kootenay Ice.  Calgary carried most of the play outshooting the Ice 30-18 but had problems solving Buffalo Sabres prospect Nathan Lieuwen.  The 20-year-old goaltender made 29 saves in a first star performance.  The lone Hitmen goal came off the stick of Russian rookie import Alex Gogolev.

VS LETHBRIDGE:  Tonight is the first of six meetings with the Hurricanes.  Last season Lethbridge won the season series going 4-2 against Calgary outscoring the Hitmen by a combined 21-18.  The two clubs combined for 16 powerplay goals.  The Hitmen were 1-1-1-0 at the Enmax Centre.
                                                 INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 173 Let 163 Powerplays: Cal 9-37 (24.3%) Let 7-30 (23.3%)

KING ROACH:  On Monday Hitmen defenceman Alex Roach signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.  Roach had been participating in Kings training camp on a tryout basis. 

PRE-SEASON PLAY:  The Hitmen finished their six game pre-season schedule with a record of 5-1, second only to the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Eastern Conference who went 6-1.  After dropping their opening game the Hitmen rattled off five straight victories.

POINT PARADE:  Justin Kirsch led not only all Hitmen, but the entire Western Hockey League in pre-season scoring with 11 points (6g 5a) in five games.  Brady Brassart was next on the club with eight points (3g 5a) while Alex Gogolev rounded out the top three with seven points (3g 4a).

AHL TRYOUT:  Hitmen 20-year-old defenceman Ben Wilson is in the American Hockey League attending
a tryout with the Lake Erie Monsters.

2010-11 GRADS: The three 20-year-old graduating Hitmen from last season have all continued their hockey careers elsewhere: Tyler Fiddler is in the CIS with the University of Calgary Dinos, Kris Foucault is at Minnesota Wild camp while Misha Fisenko is in the KHL with Novokuznetsk Metallurg.

DRAFTED PLAYERS: Brooks Macek (6th round Detroit), Victor Rask (2nd round Carolina 2011).

OFF SEASON MOVES: July 20 - Hitmen acquire 17-year-old Chris Driedger (G) from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for a third round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.  July 28 – Hitmen claim 20-year-old Kenton Miller (LW) off waivers from the Spokane Chiefs.  August 18 - Hitmen acquire 18-year-old Brady Brassart (C) from the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a fourth round conditional pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.  September 15 – Hitmen trade 18-year-old Kyle Schmidt (D) to the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

CHL IMPORT DRAFT:  Hitmen selected 18-year-old Victor Rask (C) from Sweden 3rd overall in 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft and 19-year-old Alexander Gogolev (RW) from Russia with their second round pick, 60th overall.

REGULAR SEASON CAREER WATCH:  Brooks Macek needs four assists for 100. 

IN THE COMMUNITY:  The Hitmen will be at Adrenalin Source for Sports (9309 Macleod Trail SW) on Saturday from Noon to 3pm.  Purchase skate sharpening, equipment or a stick and receive a FREE ticket to Sunday’s home opener.  Sportsnet Radio The Fan 960 will also be live on location with three full hours dedicated to the WHL and the Hitmen.  Fans are also encouraged to come by and meet the following players and coaches: 12:00 to 12:30 Spencer Humphries & Brooks Macek from 12:30 to 1:00 Jimmy Bubnick & Cody Sylvester from 1:00 to 2:00 Chris Driedger and from 2:00 to 3:00 Assistant Coach Joel Otto

MOBILE APP:  The official WHL Calgary Hitmen App for iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices is now available FREE from the iTunes store, Blackberry App World and Android Marketplace.  It allows fans to stay updated on the latest scores, statistics, standings, and schedules, interact with other fans through chat, follow the Hitmen Twitter and Facebook feeds and purchase tickets through the mobile browser.

HOME OPENER: The Adrenalin Source for Sports Home Opener is Sunday, October 2nd against the Kootenay Ice.  Game time is 2:00 pm at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Fans will also have a chance at the home opener to buy a piece of franchise history.  The club will hold its annual game worn jersey auction.  All white jerseys from the 2010-11 season are up for bid.  Net proceeds go to the Hitmen Education Fund which supports post secondary study for alumni players.  The silent auction will take place on the Saddledome concourse by section 226.  All bids will close when the puck drops at the start the third period.  Winners also receive a letter of authenticity.

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