The Calgary Hitmen (42-24-2-1) are in Scotiabank Saddledome tonight for a date with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (27-41-0-1). Game time is 7:00 p.m. If you can't make it to the rink, the game is live on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. Calgary is coming off Tuesday's 5-2 home ice win over Red Deer while the Hurricanes dropped a 3-1 home ice decision Saturday to Medicine Hat.
Calgary enters the night already having clinched fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 87 points. However they are just two points back of Medicine Hat for third. The Hitmen have three games left in the regular season, the Tigers two. Lethbridge meanwhile sits 11th in the conference with 55 points. They will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row.
Photo Credit: Brad Watson
VS. LETHBRIDGE: Tonight is the sixth and final meetings with the Hurricanes. Calgary is 3-1-1-0 against the ‘Canes. Three times Calgary has fired a season high 47 shots in a single game against Lethbridge. The team scoring first has won four of the five meetings. Over the last five seasons Calgary is 8-6-0-0 in their last 14 home games against the Hurricanes. This season they are 2-0. Alex Gogolev tops the Hitmen with 11 points (3g 8a) in the season series while Victor Rask (4g 4a) is next with eight. The recently traded Cam Braes leads Lethbridge in scoring against the Hitmen with eight points (5g 3a) while Graham Hood (3g 3a), Nick Buonassisi (2g 4a) and Brody Sutter are next with six (2g 4a).
-Sept. 30 in Leth: Hurricanes 6 Hitmen 5. Brandon Anderson made 42 saves in the ‘Canes net. Jay Merkely 2g 1a.
-Nov. 13 in Cal: Hitmen 6 Hurricanes 2. Alex Gogolev 2g 2a.
- Dec. 14 in Leth: Hurricanes 6 Hitmen 5 OT. Cam Braes forced sudden death with 25 seconds remaining leading to Graham Hood’s winner 21 seconds into the extra session.
-Jan. 8 in Cal: Hitmen 6 Hurricanes 3. Brady Brassart (2g 1) and Brooks Macek (1g 2a) both had three points each.
-March 9 in Leth: Hitmen 6 Hurricanes 3: Trevor Cheek scored twice while Alex Gogolev had three assists.
INSIDE THE SERIES
SHOTS ON GOAL: Cal 210 Leth 162 POWERPLAYS: Cal 7-21 (33.3%) Leth 5-18 (27.8%)
PLAYOFF TICKETS: The Calgary Hitmen will open the 2012 WHL Playoffs at home with Game 1 against their yet to be determined opponent (Brandon/Regina/Saskatoon or Kootenay) on Thursday, March 22nd. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday, March 23rd. Both are 7pm starts. Tickets to Game 1 and 2 went on sale at 10:00 a.m. today. They are available at all ticketmaster locations including http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
WHAT'S LEFT: Following tonight's game the Hitmen will close the regular season with a home-and-home series with the Kootenay Ice. Friday Calgary visits Cranbrook before hosting the Ice the following night at Scotiabank Saddledome. Game time Saturday is 7:00 p.m.
POST CHRISTMAS RUN: Since dropping their first game following the Christmas Break in Prince George the Hitmen have gone 25-8 in their last 33.
Jimmy Bubnick 32g 39a 71pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 43a 66pts
Victor Rask 31g 28a 59pts
Brody Sutter 29g 28a 57pts
Nick Buonassisi 16g 32a 48pts
Philip Tot 14g 30a 44pts