The Calgary Hitmen (39-24-2-1) are on the road tonight to face the Red Deer Rebels (30-29-1-5). Internet Broadcast on Sportsnet960.ca starts at 7:00 p.m. from Enmax Centrium. Calgary is coming off Saturday's 2-1 loss in Cranbrook to the Kootenay Ice while Red Deer also last played Saturday beating Saskatoon 4-1.
With six games left in the regular season, the Hitmen are currently fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 81 points, four back of third place Medicine Hat and three points up on fifth place Kootenay, however the Ice have a game in hand. Red Deer meanwhile is ninth in the conference with 66 points, sitting eight points back of Brandon for the final playoff spot. I'm sure many Rebels fans are thinking if only we played in the Western Conference. Red Deer would be sixth in the west, having already clinched a post season berth.
Photo Credit: Brad Watson
Tonight is the fifth of six meetings between the two clubs. Calgary leads the season series 3-1 having outscored the Rebels by a combined 17-9. Jimmy Bubnick (3g 6a) leads all Hitmen with nine points against Red Deer. Cody Sylvester (1g 4a) is next with five. John Persson (2g 3a) tops the Rebels with five points against Calgary while Matthew Dumba (2g 1a), Colton Mayor (1g 2a) and Flames prospect Turner Elson (3a) all have three points each.
-Oct. 7 in CAL: Rebels 4 Hitmen 2. Colton Mayor and John Persson each had a goal and an assist for the Rebels.
-Jan. 17 in RD: Hitmen 5 Rebels 1. Alex Gogolev scored twice, while Greg Chase had a career high three points (1g 2a).
-Jan. 22 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Rebels 2. Chase Clayton scored twice while Brooks Macek had two assists.
-Feb. 4 in RD: Hitmen 6 Rebels 2. Jimmy Bubnick had a career high five points (2g 3a).
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: CAL 126 RD 124 Powerplays: CAL 1-13 (7.7%) RD 4-20 (20%)
STREAKIN': Alex Gogolev (2g 4a) has tied his career high with points in six straight games. Cody Sylvester (3g) has scored in back-to-back games. Victor Rask (7g 4a) had his career high eight game point scoring streak snapped Saturday against Kootenay. On the Red Deer side there are no current point streaks.
HOME AND AWAY: Calgary is 19-12-2-0 on the road this season while Red Deer is 15-14-1-2 at home.
WHAT'S LEFT: Following tonight's game the Hitmen visit Lethbridge Friday. They then return home to host Red Deer Sunday at 4pm and Lethbridge next Wednesday before closing out the regular season with a home and home against the Kootenay Ice next Friday (in Cranbrook) and Saturday (in Calgary).
SPOTLIGHT: Hitmen defenceman Collin Bowman currently leads all Hitmen defencemen with 43 points (13g 30). He's also 16th among defenceman scoring leaders in the WHL. Tonight will be the 341st career regular season game for the 20-year-old who has also played for Kelowna and Moose Jaw.
Jimmy Bubnick 30g 36a 66pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 42a 65pts
Victor Rask 30g 25a 55pts
John Persson 22g 32a 54pts
Matthew Dumba 18g 30a 48pts
Turner Elson 21g 25a 46pts