THE MATCH-UP: Two teams heading in opposite directions to start the Western Hockey League season square off tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome as the unbeaten Calgary Hitmen (3-0) host the winless Red Deer Rebels (0-3). Game time is 7:00 p.m. with fans reminded its Student Night. The Hitmen are offering all students a special $2.00 ticket (plus GST and SFPFF). Present a valid student I.D. at the Scotiabank Saddledome box office to take advantage of this limited time offer and the opportunity to enter to win an iPad. Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 6:00 p.m. with a one hour pre-game show.
COMING IN: Calgary is coming off last night's 4-1 win up in Edmonton over the CHL's #2 ranked Oil Kings. The Rebels also played last night giving up a 3-0 first period lead in a 5-4 home ice loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.
MILESTONES: Both Pavlo Padakin and Carson Samoridny scored their first career goals in the WHL last night in the win in Edmonton.
SEASON SERIES: Tonight is the second of six regular season meetings between the two clubs.
-September 21 in RD: Hitmen 3 Rebels 2. Cody Sylvester scored twice for Calgary.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 34 RD 27 Powerplays: Cal 3-4 RD 0-5
Over the last five seasons Calgary is a combined 18-6-0-1 against the Rebels. The two teams will tangle again Saturday, October 13th in Calgary.
SPECIAL, SPECIAL TEAMS: A key factor behind Calgary's 3-0 record has been the play of their special teams. Their penalty kill is a perfect 15-15 while the powerplay is tied for third best in the WHL operating at 33.3% (4-12).
STREAKIN': Brooks Macek (1g 4a) and Brady Brassart (2g 2a) are both on three game point streaks for Calgary while Greg Chase (1g 1a) and Jaynen Rissling (2a) have points in back-to-back games. Joel Hamilton (4a) and Marc McCoy (1g 1a) have points in back-to-back games for Red Deer.
DIVERSE ATTACK: Calgary's 12 goals this season have been scored by eight different players while 13 Hitmen have at least a single point.
CREASE WORK: Ottawa Senators prospect Chris Driedger has been stellar in the Hitmen net holding the third best goals against average in the WHL at 1.33 while his .938 save percentage is ranked fourth.
SEASON TRENDS: The Hitmen have taken a lead to the third period in all three games...Calgary has fired at least 30 shots in every game...The Hitmen have won the special teams battle in each contest.
CENTRAL DIVISION DIET: Tonight's game against Red Deer is Calgary's fourth straight against a Central Division rival. The streak is snapped next weekend when they welcome Prince Albert on Friday night. But it's then back to three games in a row against their own division facing Edmonton twice and Red Deer.
TOP SCORERS: Cody Sylvester ( 3g 2a) and Brooks Macek ( 1g 4a) are tied for the Hitmen team lead in scoring with five points each. Joel Hamilton (4a) tops the Rebels with four points.
BACK OFF SUSPENSION: Red Deer Rebels defenceman Matthew Dumba returns to the line-up tonight after serving a two game WHL imposed suspension. The Minnesota Wild first round pick was given the ban after receiving a checking to the head major and g.m. versus Calgary on September 21st for his hit on Joey Kornelsen.