The Calgary Hitmen (23-16-2-1) wrap up a three game home stand this afternoon against the Eastern Conference leading and Canadian Hockey League’s number eight ranked Edmonton Oil Kings (29-10-1-0). Game time is 2:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome. Today is also Dodge Skate with the Hitmen. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to today's matchup to join the Hitmen for a post-game skate. Please note, all participants under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
The Hitmen are coming off Friday’s 5-2 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors. After giving up the opener, Calgary scored five unanswered goals from five different players: Brady Brassart, Trevor Cheek, Collin Bowman, Cody Sylvester and Rob Trzonkowski. Brandon Glover made 27 saves to record the win. Cheek finished the game with a team leading three points (1g 2a). He was also +4. The Oil Kings were on home ice last night and needed overtime to beat the Kootenay Ice 3-2. Jordan Peddle scored the game winner 3:06 into sudden death.
The Hitmen enter play with 49 points. They sit seventh in the WHL Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Brandon for eighth and four points back of Saskatoon for sixth. Calgary has two games in hand on the Wheat Kings and Blades who also both play today. Edmonton meanwhile leads the Eastern Conference by eight points over both Moose Jaw and Kootenay. However the Oil Kings are third overall trailing Kamloops by two points and Tri-City by three.
VS. EDMONTON: Today is the fourth of six meetings with the Oil Kings. Edmonton leads the season series 3-0 will all three previous meetings in the provincial capital. Cody Sylvester (1g, 2a) and Trevor Cheek (1g, 2a) both have three points each to lead the Hitmen in the series while Cody Corbett (5a) tops the Oil Kings with five points. Last season Edmonton won five of six meetings with Calgary.
- Dec. 1 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 1. Mark Pysyk led the Oil Kings with three assists.
- Dec. 6 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 2. Griffen Reinhart had 1g 2a for Edmonton.
-Dec. 17 in EDM: Oil Kings 2 Hitmen 1. Cody Corbett had two assists for the Oil Kings who out shot Calgary 33-22.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 71 EDM 83 Power Plays: CAL 2-17 (11.8%) EDM 5-17 (29.4%)
SIX AND COUNTING: During the Hitmen's current season high six game winning streak they have outscored their opponents by a combined 34-16 while also holding a 205-162 shot clock advantage. In that span Calgary has gone 8-29 on the powerplay (27.5%) while killing 22 of 27 (81.2%) opposition chances. . The last time Calgary won six in a row came as part of a nine-game winning streak to conclude the 2009-10 regular season from February 26 to March 14, 2010.
Cody Sylvester 16g 29a 45pts
Jimmy Bubnick 17g 21a 38pts
Brady Brassart 15g 18a 33pts
Michael St. Croix 25g 42a 67pts
Dylan Wruck 17g 40a 57pts
Tyler Maxwell 23g 20a 43pts
STREAKIN': Four Hitmen take point scoring streaks into today's game. Victor Rask (2g 5a) is on a six game run. Brady Bassart (4g 3a) has points in four straight while Jaynen Rissling (1g 2a) has points in three straight. Danny Gayle (1g 4a) and Jimmy Bubnick (1g 2a) both have points in back-to-back games. Alex Roach is a combined +8 during his last six games while Collin Bowman is +8 in his last three games. Goaltender Brandon Glover has won his last four starts, while Chris Driedger has won two straight.
WHL LEADERS: Alex Gogolev (16g 15a) and Victor Rask (17g 14a) are tied with each other for seventh WHL rookie scoring with 31 points. Rask’s 17 goals has him fifth among WHL rookie snipers in that category. Hitmen defenceman Collin Bowman is tied for 15th among WHL defencemen with 28 points. His 11 goals are tied for the third most among WHL rearguards.
CAREER WATCH: Cody Sylvester is one goal shy of 50. Brandon Glover is 33 saves shy of 2,000 while Chris Driedger needs 73 saves for 1,000.
HITMEN ALUMNUS: T.J. Galiardi, who played one season with the Hitmen (2007-08) picking up 70 points in 72 games is now in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche. The 23-year-old left winger has 12 points (7g 5a) in 43 games. Galiardi also has 79 shots on goals.