After a home-and-home split with the defending Western Hockey League Champion Edmonton Oil Kings, the task doesn't get any easier for the Calgary Hitmen tonight who face the CHL's number four ranked Kamloops Blazers. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome. Husky Hitmen Hockey on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at six o'clock with the Mr. Fireplace 60 minute warm-up.
THE STANDINGS: Calgary is 20-7-1-2. At 43 points they sit tied with Edmonton for top spot in the Central Division, just a single point behind the Eastern Conference leading Prince Albert Raiders. Kamloops is 24-7-1-2. At 51 points the Blazers lead the BC Division and are tied with the Portland Winterhawks for number one overall in the Western Hockey League. Although the Hitmen are eight points back of Kamloops, they have four games in hand.
HOME AND AWAY: Calgary is 9-6-1-1 on home ice while Kamloops is 10-5-0-1 on the road.
HEAD TO HEAD: Tonight is the second and final regular season meeting between the Hitmen and Blazers. Kamloops won their only previous tilt posting a 5-2 victory at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 14th. The Blazers scored all five goals on the powerplay going 5-10 with the man advantage. JC Jipon led the scoring attack with four points (2g 2a) as Kamloops outshot the Hitmen 31-15.
RECENT RUN: Calgary 12-2 in their last 14 while Kamloops is 7-2-1-1 in their last 11.
Brooks Macek 12g 23a 35pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 10a 28pts
Brady Brassart 7g 21a 28pts
Colin Smith 23g 36a 59pts
JC Lipon 22g 35a 57pts
Tim Bozon 17g 25a 42pts
LINE-UP NOTE: Kamloops with be without the services of Lipon tonight who is attending Canada's World Junior Selection Camp in Calgary.
BATTLE BETWEEN THE PIPES: Both teams feature goalies who are having remarkable seasons thus far. For Kamloops 19-year-old Cole Cheveldave holds the third best goal against average in the WHL at 2.16 while Calgary's 18-year-old Chris Driedger is fourth with a 2.29 GAA.
DID YOU KNOW? Kamloops has scored the fourth most goals in the WHL. They also have three of the top nine scorers in the league; Smith (1st). Lipon (2nd) and Bozon (9th). The Blazers are also tied for the third fewest goals allowed in the WHL.