The Calgary Hitmen (32-20-2-1) host Canadian World Junior Quinton Howden and the Moose Jaw Warriors (33-15-5-1) tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome. Game time is 7:00 p.m. It's Student Night. Show your student I.D. to receive a special ticket rate of $8. Fans are invited to "Get Your Head in the Game" with Great Clips. Visit Great Clips on the concourse and make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to receive a haircut or Hitmen hockey hair colouring. If you can't make the game, Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m.
Calgary is coming off Wednesday's humbling 9-5 home ice loss to the CHL's #7 ranked Edmonton Oil Kings while Moose Jaw faired much better on Wednesday posting a 5-3 win in Lethbridge.
HISTORY LESSON: The last time the Hitmen surrendered nine goals in a single game happened on the road in Brandon on January 7th, 2011 in a 9-2 loss to the Wheat Kings. However you have to go all the way back to October 14th, 2002 for the last time the Hitmen gave up nine or more on home ice. That night they were beaten 10-4 by the visiting Prince George Cougars. Brady Block was left in net for all 10 goals against on a night where the Hitmen actually outshot the Cougars 40-30. A combined five players from both teams in the line-up that day went on to play in the NHL: Dan Hamhuis and Derek Boogaard for PG, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Getzlaf and Fredrik Sjostrom for Calgary.
Calgary is currently tied with Saskatoon for fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 67 points just a point ahead of Kootenay and three back of Medicine Hat. Moose Jaw is the number two seed with 72 points, two ahead of Medicine Hat and six points behind Edmonton.
Photo Credit: Brad Watson
Calgary and Moose Jaw have met three times this season with Calgary grabbing five of a possible six points. Trevor Cheek leads the Hitmen with five points (1g 4a) while Cody Sylvester (3g 1a), Brady Brassart (2g 2a) and Jimmy Bubnick (4a) have four points each. Cam Braes leads all Warriors with eight points (5g 3a) against the Hitmen, but all eight came as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Quinton Howden is next with four points (2g 2a). Tonight is their final regular season clash.
-Nov. 6 in MJ: Warriors 3 Hitmen 2 OT. The Warriors overcame a 2-0 first period deficit with Quinton Howden scoring the winner 1:22 into sudden death.
-Nov. 23 in MJ: Hitmen 5 Warriors 2. Cody Sylvester led the way for Calgary with 2g 1a.
-Jan. 13 in CAL: Hitmen 5 Warriors 2. Trevor Cheek had three points in the win (1g 2a).
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Calgary 95 Moose Jaw 90 Powerplays: Calgary 1-12 Moose Jaw 3-16
FORMER TEAMMATES SQUARE OFF: The Calgary roster features four former Moose Jaw Warriors: Collin Bowman, Danny Gayle, Brandon Glover and Joey Kornelsen. Meanwhile Moose Jaw has three former Hitmen: Cody Beach, Justin Kirsch and Kenton Miller.
DID YOU KNOW? Former Hitmen Kenton Miller has scored the game winning goal in the last five Warrior wins.
HEADING IN: Calgary has dropped three of their last four, but is 16-9-0-1 on home ice this season. Moose Jaw has won two straight going 8-1-1-0 in their last 10. However the Warriors are two games under .500 on the road this season at 10-12-3-0.
OFF SUSPENSION: Warriors defenceman and New York Rangers first round pick Dylan McIlrath returns to the line-up tonight following an eight game suspension for a checking to the head major against Victoria on January 18th.
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Jimmy Bubnick 25g 30a 55pts
Brady Brassart 17g 26a 43pts
Cam Braes 30g 31a 61pts
James Henry 10g 42a 52pts
Quinton Howden 23g 25a 48pts
HITMEN ALUMNI: Former Hitmen Alex Plante and Dylan Yeo returned to Scotiabank Saddledome last night as their Oklahoma City Barons beat the Abbotsford Heat 4-0 in a battle between the Flames and Oilers AHL affiliates. Yeo was +2 in the victory while Plante was +1.