Friday, 23 March 2012

Game 2: Brandon at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen host the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight just one day after dropping the opener of their Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series 6-2.  Tonight's Game 2 is a 7:00 p.m. start at Scotiabank Saddledome and can be heard on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starting with a 60 minute pre-game show at six o'clock.

                                                Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

If history has taut us anything between these two clubs its to not put too much stock in the winner of Game 1.  In their five previous meetings, the team recording a Game 1 victory has only gone on to win two series.  Take 2005 for example where the Hitmen posted a massive 10-1 victory in the opener, yet went on to drop the series in seven games.  Or even 2007 when Brandon grabbed a 2-0 series lead but then proceeded to drop four straight.  I know there are no remaining players from either 2005 or even 2007 on the ice in this 2012 meeting, but the point is to remember its a series and over the course of up to seven games anything can happen and has in the past.

BOUNCE BACK ABILITY:  In games following a loss in the regular season Calgary was 16-11-1-0.

PUCKS TO THE NET:  Calgary’s 36 shots in Game 1 came from 13 different players.  Trevor Cheek led the way with seven while Brooks Macek and Danny Gayle both had four.  The Wheat Kings 31 shots came from 14 different players.  Alessio Bertaggia had six to lead the charge while Darian Dziurzynski recorded five.  Brandon sniper Mark Stone was held to just one shot on goal, but scored.

PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 108-75.  The Hitmen have competed in 33 series prior to this one and have won 22 and lost 11.  Calgary is 18-15 in post season overtime games.

BACK AGAIN: After missing the playoffs last season, this is Calgary's 14th trip to the post season in their 17 year franchise history.

ICE BREAKER:  Nine Hitmen played their first WHL playoff game last night: Kenton Helgesen, Alex Roach, Alex Gogolev, Chase Clayton, Jake Virtanen, Calder Brooks, Greg Chase, Trevor Cheek and Chris Driedger.

THE ROLLING STONE:  As if Brandon right winger Mark Stone's 123 point regular season wasn't impressive enough if you include his tournament play at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship for Team Canada along with last night's Game 1 performance the Ottawa Senators prospect now has a remarkable 135 points in 73 meaningful games this season.  It breaks down as follows.
Brandon Regular Season 66GP 41G 82A 123PTS
Team Canada 6GP 7G 3A 10PTS
Brandon Playoffs 1GP 1G 1A 2PTS

PRE-GAME EATS:  The Avison Young Club Dining Room at Scotiabank Saddledome will open two hours prior to all Hitmen Playoff games.  For Reservations, please call Brenda at 403-571-9733
* The Reservation Line is open Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Here is tonight's menu and pricing.
Slow Roasted Alberta AAA Beef Sirloin with a Merlot Demi Glaze
Coca Cola Barbecued Chicken Legs
Beer Battered Cod Filet
Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Chef’s Selection of Seasonal Vegetables
Calgary Flames Caesar Salad with Herb Croutons
Traditional Coleslaw
Tomato and Bocconcini Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Chef’s Selection of Desserts
$18.95 (Adults)
$10.95 (Children 11 and under)

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