The Calgary Hitmen (33-22-2-1) play game two of a BC Division road trip tonight in Kelowna against the Rockets (24-26-3-5). Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 8:00 p.m. MST. Both teams are coming off games on Wednesday night. The Hitmen posted a 5-3 win in Victoria to snap a four game losing streak while the Rockets lost 6-3 at home to Edmonton to fall to 0-3-1-1 over their last five games.
Calgary enters play tied with Saskatoon for fifth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 69 points, just a point behind Kootenay for fourth and three ahead of Regina for seventh. Kelowna meanwhile is sixth in the Western Conference with 56 points. The Rockets are in an unique spot unlikely to move up or down, 13 points back of Spokane for fifth yet 14 points ahead of seventh place Seattle.
Photo Credit: Marissa Baecker
Tonight is the second of three regular season meetings. Calgary leads the season series 1-0. On January 1st, the Hitmen rang in 2012 with a 2-0 victory at Prospera Place. Chris Driedger made 27 saves for his first career WHL shutout. Brooks Macek and Alex Gogolev scored the goals while Jimmy Bubnick and Brock Sutherland both had a pair of assists.
HOME AND AWAY: Calgary is 17-11-2-0 on the road this season while Kelowna is 12-15-0-1 at home.
PROSPERA PLACE: Over their last five seasons the Hitmen have gone 3-4 in Kelowna including a 1-2 mark during the 2009 WHL Championship series.
SCORING DEPTH: Joey Kornelsen netted his 10th goal of the season Wednesday in Victoria becoming 11th Hitmen to reach the double digit mark in goals this season.
Click here to listen to a game day interview with Head Coach Mike Williamson
Jimmy Bubnick 26g 32a 58pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 39a 57pts
Brady Brassart 19g 27a 46pts
Shane McColgan 15g 41a 56pts
Brett Bulmer 22g 21a 43pts
Colton Sissons 26g 15a 41pts
The Kelowna Rockets head into tonight with a lengthy injury list
#5, Mitchell Chapman, Upper Body, 1-2 weeks
#10, Filip Vasko, Lower body, 3 weeks
#14, Cody Chikie, Upper body, day to day
#15, Colton Sissons, Upper body, 1 month+
#16, Spencer Main, Upper body, 1 month+
#27, Jessey Astles, Upper body, day to day
Suspensions #21, Brett Lyon, 1 games remaining
HITMEN ALUMNUS: Martin Jones is in his his second season of pro hockey with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs. The 21-year-old 13-13-1 with a 2.88 GAA and a .911 save percentage.