Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Calgary 5 Swift Current 4

Calgary, AB - Victor Rask (2g, 1a) and Spencer Humphries (1g, 2a) had three points each as the Calgary Hitmen defeated the Swift Current Broncos 5-4 Wednesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Greg Chase and Alex Gogolev also scored for Calgary while Brady Brassart added a pair of helpers in the win as the Hitmen swept the season series taking all four meetings with Swift Current.

                                            Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

Special teams played a large role in the victory, with Calgary going 4-for-6 on the power play while Swift Current capitalized on 1-of-4 chances.

Chris Driedger made 18 saves for Calgary as the Hitmen outshot the Broncos 38-22.

Calgary, now 38-23-2-1, moves three points ahead of the Kootenay Ice for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 79 points.  Both teams have eight game remaining in the regular season, with three head-to-head meetings to come.

The Hitmen wrap up a five-game home stand Friday night when they welcome the Saskatoon Blades.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.  The online broadcast begins at 7:00 p.m. on http://www.sportsnet960.ca/.  Follow the Husky Hitmen Hockey link.

For information on ticket packages including Flex Packs or Group Tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

Swift Current Broncos 4 at Calgary Hitmen 5
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Swift Current 1 1 2 - 4
Calgary 2 2 1 - 5

1st Period
1, Calgary, Rask 28 (Brassart, Humphries), 15:34 (PP).
2, Swift Current, Magnus 6 (Moser), 17:37.
3, Calgary, Chase 5 (Helgesen), 19:49.
Penalties-Sutherland Cal (interference), 12:55; Craig S.c (tripping), 14:58.

2nd Period
4, Swift Current, Hoban 18 (Vause), 0:30.
5, Calgary, Gogolev 25 (Brassart, Rask), 6:26 (PP).
6, Calgary, Rask 29 (Humphries, Roach), 17:48 (PP).
Penalties-Blanke S.c (boarding, major-fighting), 3:38; Helgesen Cal (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 3:38; Craig S.c (roughing, roughing), 6:07; Sylvester Cal (roughing), 6:07; Black S.c (high sticking), 15:31; Scarlett S.c (high sticking), 16:09; Craig S.c (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:04; Bubnick Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:04.

3rd Period
7, Calgary, Humphries 7 (Bubnick, Bowman), 7:28 (PP).
8, Swift Current, Nedomlel 9 (Scarlett, Vause), 10:21 (PP).
9, Swift Current, Magnus 7 (Cave, Craig), 18:03.
Penalties-Heatherington S.c (hooking), 1:31; Gogolev Cal (interference), 2:31; Scarlett S.c (hooking), 6:24; Bubnick Cal (high sticking), 9:42; Brooks Cal (tripping), 15:19.

Shots on Goal-Swift Current 5-9-8-22. Calgary 12-18-8-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Swift Current 1 / 4; Calgary 4 / 6.
Goalies-Swift Current, Smith 3-7-0-1 (38 shots-33 saves). Calgary, Driedger 20-10-2-1 (22 shots-18 saves).
A-7,206
Referees-Trevor Hanson (19), Andy Thiessen (11).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Scott Sharun (103).

Swift Current at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (37-23-2-1) host the Swift Current Broncos (23-33-2-7) tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.  The Hitmen, winners of five of their last six, are coming off Sunday's 2-1 victory over Kelowna.  The Broncos last played Saturday falling 5-2 in Moose Jaw and are 0-1-0-2 in their last three.

Calgary enters play fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 77 points, four back of third place Medicine Hat and just a single point up on fifth place Kootenay.  Swift Current has been mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase with 54 points and is looking to play spoiler.

                                         Photo Credit: Swift Current Broncos

Tonight is the fourth and final regular season meeting between the two clubs.  Calgary leads the season series 3-0.  Cody Sylvester tops the Hitmen with six points (2g 4a) against the Broncos.  Victor Rask is next with five (4g 1a).  Taylor Vause (2g), Ryon Moser (1g 1a) and Adam Lowry (2a) all have two points each for Swift Current.
-Oct. 16 in CAL: Hitmen 5 Broncos 1.  Alex Gogolev and Brady Brassart both scored twice.  Jimmy Bubnick chipped in three assists.
-Oct. 18 in SC: Hitmen 7 Broncos 1.  Victor Rask scored his first career WHL hat-trick.
-Nov. 8 in SC: Hitmen 4 Broncos 3 in a shootout.  Brooks Macek scored the shootout winner.
                                               INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: CAL 106 SC 90 Powerplays: CAL 6-12 (50%)  SC 2-13 (15.4%)

STREAKIN': Victor Rask (4g 3a) is on a six game point scoring streak, tying his career high.  Alex Gogolev (1g 2a) has points in three straight.  Brandon Glover has won his last two starts stopping 48 of 52 shots for a .923 save percentage.  On the Swift Current side Richard Nedomlel (1g 1a) and Taylor Vause (2a) both have points in back-to-back games.  Jon Groenheyde has made eight straight starts in the Broncos net.   

POST CHRISTMAS RUN:  Calgary dropped their first game after the Christmas Break in Prince George, since that time in their last 28 games they have gone 20-7.

DID YOU KNOW?  Calgary's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three.  Any combination of Hitmen wins combined with Red Deer losses totaling three and Calgary officially clinches a berth in the 2012 post season.

ROOKIE WATCH:  Tonight's game features four of the top rookies in the Western Hockey League.  For Calgary, Victor Rask (51pts) and Alex Gogolev (48pts) are fifth and seventh respectively in rookie scoring.  For Swift Current, Coda Gordon (50pts) and Graham Black (39pts) are sixth and 10th in WHL rookie scoring.

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 29g 34a 63pts
Cody Sylvester 20g 42a 62pts
Victor Rask 27g 24a 51pts
Brady Brassart 21g 30a 51pts

Swift Current
Taylor Vause 34g 41a 75pts
Coda Gordon 28g 22a 50pts
Brad Hoban 17g 27a 44pts

INJURIES:

Calgary
#9, Jaynen Rissling, Lower body, day to day
#11, Brooks Macek, Upper body, 1 week
#19, Calder Brooks, Upper body, day to day

Swift Current
#5, Jordan Evans, Upper body, 1 month+
#13, Shea Howorko, Upper body, week to week
#17, Adam Lowry, Upper body, 2-3 weeks

Tonight's game is of special meaning for Swift Current Bronco sniper Taylor Vause, as evidence by his tweet this week:  "Playing in Calgary on Wednesday and the game is on Shaw. Will be my last ever WHL game in my hometown. How quickly time flies."

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Calgary 2 Kelowna 1

Calgary, AB - Victor Rask broke a 1-1 third period tie at the 8:48 mark lifting the Calgary Hitmen to a 2-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets Sunday evening at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Jimmy Bubnick, on a power play opportunity, also scored for Calgary while Danny Gayle, Alex Roach and Alex Gogolev each picked up an assist helping the Hitmen to their third straight win over Kelowna this season.
                                              Photo Credit:  Brad Watson
Brett Bulmer had the lone Rockets goal.

Brandon Glover made 26 saves for Calgary to record his 18th win of the season.

The Hitmen, now 37-23-2-1, move into fourth in the Eastern Conference with 77 points, one ahead of the Kootenay Ice.
Calgary returns to action on Wednesday night to host the Swift Current Broncos in a Leap Day game.

Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

For information on ticket packages including Flex Packs or Group Tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

Kelowna Rockets 1 at Calgary Hitmen 2Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Kelowna 1 0 0 - 1
Calgary 1 0 1 - 2

1st Period
1, Calgary, Bubnick 29 (Gayle, Roach), 4:57 (PP).
2, Kelowna, Bulmer 29 (Bowey, McColgan), 11:07.
Penalties-served by Astles Kel (too many men), 3:35; Bell Kel (roughing), 10:17; Brassart Cal (roughing), 10:17; Chapman Kel (major-fighting), 14:27; Trzonkowski Cal (major-fighting), 14:27.

2nd Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-Astles Kel (charging), 3:09; Severson Kel (tripping), 4:24; Gayle Cal (hooking), 12:25; Brassart Cal (hooking), 13:10; Rigby Kel (major-fighting), 18:01; Kosterman Cal (major-fighting), 18:01; Heffley Kel (10-minute misconduct), 20:00; Severson Kel (major-fighting), 20:00; Chase Cal (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 20:00; Helgesen Cal (major-fighting), 20:00.

3rd Period
3, Calgary, Rask 27 (Gogolev), 8:48.
Penalties-Bell Kel (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:22; Bulmer Kel (roughing), 16:28; Sylvester Cal (roughing), 16:28; Kornelsen Cal (kneeing), 18:57.

Shots on Goal-Kelowna 6-9-12-27. Calgary 15-9-8-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Kelowna 0 / 4; Calgary 1 / 4.
Goalies-Kelowna, Cooke 7-7-2-3 (32 shots-30 saves). Calgary, Glover 18-12-0-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
A-9,519
Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Trent Knorr (42).
Linesmen-Steve Cochrane (125), Jeff Jobson (52).

1st Period Notes:
-Rockets didn't get their first shot until the 7:46 mark.

2nd Period Notes:
-Collin Bowman had a second period goal waved off for Calgary when Danny Gayle was ruled obstructing goalie Joran Cooke.
-Both teams missed on 5-on-3 powerplays
-Kelowna didn't record their first shot of the period until the 10:31 mark.

3rd Period Notes:
-Shane McColgan hit a goal post on a late break-away chance.

Kelowna at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (36-23-2-1) host the Kelowna Rockets (26-28-3-6) in a late afternoon Sunday matinee at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Game time is 4:00 p.m.  Calgary had their four game winning streak snapped Friday night with a 4-1 loss to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.  Kelowna meanwhile is set to play their third game in as many days falling 6-2 in Lethbridge on Friday before dropping a 4-3 shootout loss last night in Medicine Hat.

Calgary enters the day fifth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 75 points, just one back of fourth place Kootenay and one ahead of sixth place Saskatoon.  The Hitmen have a game in hand on both teams and will use that up today.  Kelowna meanwhile is comfortably stuck in sixth in the Western Conference, 10 points back of fifth place Spokane and 15 points ahead of seventh place Victoria.

                                          Photo Credit:  shootthebreeze.ca

Today is the third and final regular season meeting.  Calgary leads the season series 2-0.  Alex Gogolev tops all Hitmen with four points (2g 2a) against the Rockets while Danny Gayle, Greg Chase, Kenton Helgelsen, Victor Rask and Alex Roach all have two points each.  Chris Driedger is 2-0 with a .50 goals against average and .980 save percentage stopping 49 of 50 Kelowna shots.
-Jan. 1 at KEL: Hitmen 2 Rockets 0.  Chris Driedger made 27 saves for his first career WHL shutout.  Brooks Macek and Alex Gogolev scored the goals while Jimmy Bubnick and Brock Sutherland both had a pair of assists.
-Feb. 17 at KEL: Hitmen 7 Rockets 1.  Alex Gogolev led the scoring attack with a goal and two assists while Danny Gayle scored twice.
                                                        INSIDE THE SERIES
SHOTS ON GOAL: Cal 73 Kel 50  POWERPLAYS: Cal: 3-10 (30%)  Kel 0-7 (0%)

FORMER TEAM:  Hitmen defenceman Collin Bowman was a member of the Kelowna Rockets who beat the Hitmen in six games in the 2009 WHL Championship Series.  After playing four games with Kelowna as a 15 year-old, Bowman went on to three full seasons in the Okanagan appearing in 206 regular season games with the Rockets, plus an extra 41 playoff contests.

DID YOU KNOW?  Including the playoffs, Kelowna is 5-3 in their last eight visits to Calgary.

STREAKIN':  Victor Rask (3g 5a) and Brady Brassart (3g 4a) are both riding five game point streaks while Alex Gogolev (1g 1a) has points in back-to-back games.  Meanwhile Damon Severson (1g 4a) has points in four straight for Kelowna.

WHAT'S LEFT:  Including today Calgary has 10 regular season games remaining against the following opponents: Leth (2), Kel (1), Koot (3), RD (2) Sask (1), SC (1).  Six of the final 10 are at home.
Top Scorers: 

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 28g 34a 62pts
Cody Sylvester 20g 42a 62pts
Brady Brassart 21g 30a 51pts

Kelowna
Shane McColgan 15g 43a 58pts
Brett Bulmer 28g 22a 50pts
Colton Sissons 26g 15a 41pts


Friday, 24 February 2012

Edmonton 4 Calgary 1

Calgary, AB - The Calgary Hitmen fell 4-1 to the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday evening at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Brady Brassart opened the scoring for Calgary before Kristians Pelss drew Edmonton even at 10:36 of the first frame. 

Tristen Sieben scored the game winner early in the second on a break-away.

                                            Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

T.J. Foster and Rhett Rachinski then scored late third period goals, both into an empty net, to secure the Oil Kings 40th win of the season.

Calgary, now 36-23-2-1, remains fourth in the Eastern Conference with 75 points, two back of third place Medicine Hat and a point up on fifth place Kootenay.
The Hitmen continue their five-game home stand Sunday afternoon when they host the Kelowna Rockets. 

Game time is 4:00 p.m. for the Co-op Family Day game.  Radio broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The FAN begins at 4:00 p.m. 

Calgary will also host Swift Current and Saskatoon before heading back on the road.

Edmonton Oil Kings 4 at Calgary Hitmen 1
Friday, February 24, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Edmonton 1 1 2 - 4
Calgary 1 0 0 - 1

1st Period
1, Calgary, Brassart 21 (Gogolev, Rask), 1:58.
2, Edmonton, Pelss 23 (Gernat, St. Croix), 10:36.
Penalties-Corbett Edm (hooking), 2:27; Humphries Cal (tripping), 14:44.

2nd Period
3, Edmonton, Sieben 4 (Pelss), 4:57.
Penalties-Sieben Edm (charging), 2:49; Rachinski Edm (high sticking, high sticking), 9:12.

3rd Period
4, Edmonton, Foster 24 (St. Croix), 18:50 (EN).
5, Edmonton, Rachinski 25  19:56 (EN).
Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Edmonton 10-7-9-26. Calgary 8-9-4-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Edmonton 0 / 1; Calgary 0 / 4.
Goalies-Edmonton, Brossoit 34-13-2-3 (21 shots-20 saves). Calgary, Driedger 19-10-2-1 (25 shots-22 saves).
A-10,794
Referees-Fraser Lawrence (10), Colin Watt (72).
Linesmen-Michael Roberts (87), Scott Sharun (103).

Edmonton at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (36-22-2-1) host the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings (39-15-3-4) tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Game time is 7:00 p.m. in the Lunar Celebration and Calgary Catholic School District game featuring dragon dancers, post-game fireworks and fortune cookies containing great prizes, including a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.  The Hitmen have won four in a row and are coming off Wednesday's 5-3 win over Medicine Hat.  The Oil Kings, with just two wins in their last five, dropped a 6-4 decision to visiting Kelowna on Wednesday.

Calgary is fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 75 points, two back of third place Medicine Hat and one up on fifth place Kootenay.  Edmonton leads the conference with 85 points, four ahead of Moose Jaw but tied for third overall with Tri-City two points behind Portland and three back of WHL leading Kamloops.

                                                Photo Credit: Brad Watson

VS. EDMONTON:  Tonight is the sixth and final regular season meeting with the Oil Kings.  Edmonton leads the season series 4-1 with the home team victorious in four of the five games.  Cody Sylvester (2g, 4a) least the Hitmen with six points in the series while Trevor Cheek (1g 4a) is next with five.  Tyler Maxwell (6g 2a) leads Edmonton with eight points while T.J. Foster (5g 2a) and Dylan Wruck (1g 6a) are next with seven points each.  Dating back to last season the Oil Kings are 6-2 in their last eight trips to Scotiabank Saddledome. 
- Dec. 1 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 1.  Mark Pysyk led the Oil Kings with three assists.
- Dec. 6 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 2.  Griffen Reinhart had 1g 2a for Edmonton.
 -Dec. 17 in EDM: Oil Kings 2 Hitmen 1.  Cody Corbett had two assists for the Oil Kings who out shot Calgary 33-22.
-Jan. 15 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Oil Kings 3.  Jimmy Bubnick scored twice.
-Feb. 8 in CAL: Oil Kings 9 Hitmen 5.  T.J. Foster and Tyler Maxwell both scored hat-tricks for Edmonton.
                                                         INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 135  EDM 142     Power Plays: CAL 3-23  (13%)  EDM 7-23 (30.4%)

Click here to listen to an interview with Cody Sylvester

STREAKIN':  Six Hitmen put point scoring streaks on the line tonight.  Victor Rask (3g 4a), Brady Brassart (2g 4a) and Joey Kornelsen (1g 4a) all have points in four straight.  Collin Bowman (1g 3a) has points in three straight while Cody Sylvester (2g 3a) and Jimmy Bubnick (2g 2a) have points in back-to-back games.  Chris Driedger has won his last three starts in goal.  Meanwhile three Oil Kings are riding point scoring streaks.  Michael St. Croix  (3g 3a) has points in four straight.  Kristians Pelss (2g 2a) and  (Mark Pysyk (1g 3a) both have points in back-to-back games.

WHAT'S LEFT:  Including tonight Calgary has 11 regular season games remaining against the following opponents: Edm (1), Leth (2), Kel (1), Koot (3), RD (2) Sask (1), SC (1).  Seven of the final 11 are at home.

OFFENSIVE PUNCH:  Calgary has scored the third most goals in the 12 team Eastern Conference at 235.  Only Brandon at 238 and Edmonton with 263 have produced more.

Top Scorers:

Calgary:
Jimmy Bubnick 28g 34a 62pts
Cody Sylvester 20g 42a 62pts
Brady Brassart 20g 30a 50pts

Edmonton:
Michael St. Croix 39g 54a 93pts
Dylan Wruck 20g 55a 75pts
Tyler Maxwell 35g 29a 64pts

HITMEN HOCKEY HOUR:  A reminder the Hitmen Hockey Hour can be heard tomorrow (Saturday) from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.  Guests will include Hitmen Alumnus Michael Stone in the city this week with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Michael Stone returns to Calgary

Calgary Hitmen Alumnus Michael Stone, who played four seasons on the Hitmen blueline, returns to Scotiabank Saddledome tonight as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes. 

This morning I had to chance to catch up with Coyotes Associate Coach Jim Playfair who runs the defence to get his thoughts on Michael's first two games in the NHL.

Click here to listen

                                                  Photo Credit:  Calgary Hitmen

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Calgary 5 Medicine Hat 3

Calgary, AB - Brock Sutherland scored one goal and set up another as the Calgary Hitmen ran their winning streak to four games with a 5-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers Wednesday evening at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Danny Gayle, Collin Bowman, Alex Gogolev and Jimmy Bubnick also scored for Calgary while Cody Sylvester, Brady Brassart and Victor Rask all had two assists each. 

Brassart finished with a team best +3 rating.

                                                 Photo Credit:  Allana Minchau

Chris Driedger made 24 saves to record his 19th win of the season and third win in as many starts.

The Hitmen, now 36-22-2-1, move into fourth place in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 75 points, one point ahead of Kootenay and just two back of third place Medicine Hat.

Calgary welcomes the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings Friday, February 24. 

Game time is 7:00 p.m. for the Lunar Celebration and Calgary Catholic School District game featuring dragon dancers, post-game fireworks and fortune cookies containing great prizes, including a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas. 

Radio broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The FAN starts at 7:00 p.m. 

Medicine Hat Tigers 3 at Calgary Hitmen 5
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Medicine Hat 0 1 2 - 3
Calgary 1 3 1 - 5

1st Period
1, Calgary, Gayle 15 (Kornelsen, Brassart), 9:48.
Penalties-Bredo M.h (tripping), 7:33.

2nd Period
2, Medicine Hat, Labelle 2 (McKay, Bredo), 4:13.
3, Calgary, Bowman 13 (Brassart, Rask), 10:33.
4, Calgary, Gogolev 24 (Rask, Sutherland), 17:57.
5, Calgary, Sutherland 2 (Clayton, Sylvester), 19:02.
Penalties-Bubnick Cal (hooking), 11:41; Bettauer M.h (slashing), 13:56; Theriau M.h (high sticking), 15:41.

3rd Period
6, Medicine Hat, Valk 23 (Leier, Parkkonen), 4:48 (PP).
7, Calgary, Bubnick 28 (Cheek, Sylvester), 18:42 (EN).
8, Medicine Hat, Sheen 1 (Labelle), 18:57.
Penalties-Valk M.h (holding), 2:30; Sylvester Cal (roughing), 2:30; Gogolev Cal (hooking), 3:05; Busenius M.h (holding), 14:28.

Shots on Goal-Medicine Hat 5-9-13-27. Calgary 10-15-3-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Medicine Hat 1 / 2; Calgary 0 / 4.
Goalies-Medicine Hat, Cameron 2-7-0-1 (25 shots-21 saves); MacAuley 0-0-0-0 (2 shots-2 saves). Calgary, Driedger 19-9-2-1 (27 shots-24 saves).
A-7,788
Referees-Andy Thiessen (11).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Aidan Henderson (78).

1st Period Notes:
-Tiger scratches included 34 win goalie Tyler Bunz and 40 goal sniper Hunter Shinkaruk, both out with upper body day-to-day injuries.
-The first whistle of the first period didn't come until the 7:33 mark.
-Calgary hit three goal posts, two from Rask and one from Bubnick while Cole Grbavac struck iron for Medicine Hat.

2nd Period Notes:
-Calgary AAA Midget Northstars forward Chad LaBelle scored his 2nd career WHL goal in his hometown for the visiting Tigers.
-After Calgary failed to score on back to back powerplay chances that overlapped for a 5-on-3 for 16 seconds, they struck for two goals 65 seconds apart at even strength from Alex Gogolev and Brock Sutherland to turn a 2-1 lead into 4-1.

3rd Period Notes:
-Tigers grab the first 10 shots of the period with Calgary not getting their first shot till just past the 15 minute mark.

Medicine Hat at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (35-22-2-1) open a five game home stand tonight against the Medicine Hat Tigers (36-20-2-3).  Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.  The Hitmen have won three in a row and are coming off Saturday's 5-4 win in Kamloops.  The Tigers meanwhile dropped a 5-4 shootout decision on Monday in Edmonton but are 6-2-0-1 in their last nine.

Calgary is 5th in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 73 points, trailing Kootenay by a single point for fourth while leading sixth place Saskatoon by two.  Medicine Hat sits third in the conference with 77 points, four points back of Moose Jaw for second and three points ahead of Kootenay.

                                                Photo Credit:  Allana Minchau

Tonight is the sixth and final regular season between the two clubs.  Medicine Hat has won four of the previous five outscoring the Hitmen by a combined 19-10.  Alex Gogolev (2g 1a), Jimmy Bubnick (1g 2a), Spencer Humphries (3a) and Collin Bowman lead the Hitmen with three points each against Medicine Hat while Anaheim Ducks first round pick Emerson Etem tops the Tigers with 11 points (3g 9a). 
-Oct. 15 in MH: Tigers 5 Hitmen 0.  Tyler Bunz 36 save shutout.  Emerson Etem four assists.
-Dec. 4 in CAL: Tigers 2 Hitmen 1.  Tyler Bunz 37 saves.  Curtis Valk two goals, Emerson Etem two assists.
-Jan. 18 in CAL: Tigers 5 Hitmen 1.  Emerson Etem led the Tigers with a pair of goals.
-Jan. 28 in MH: Hitmen 5 Tigers 2.  Calgary scored three unanswered third period goals to break a 2-2 tie.
-Feb. 7 in MH: Tigers 5 Hitmen 3.  Tyler Bunz made 40 saves while Cole Grbavac snapped a 3-3 third period tie with just under 12 minutes remaining.

HOME SWEET 'DOME:  Calgary will play eight of their final 12 regular season games at Scotiabank Saddledome where they are 16-11-0-1 this season.

ROAD WARRIORS:  Calgary and Kamloops are tied for the WHL lead in road wins with 19.  Medicine Hat has 18.

STREAKIN':  Six Hitmen put point scoring streaks on the line tonight.  Victor Rask (3g 2a), Brady Brassart (2g 2a) and Joey Kornelsen (1g 3a) all have points in three straight.  Greg Chase (1g 2a), Kenton Helgesen (1g 2a) and Collin Bowman (3a) all have points in back-to-back games.  Meanwhile eight Tigers are riding point scoring streaks.  Hunter Shinkaruk (8g 9a) has points in nine straight for Medicine Hat, but has missed the last five games with an upper body injury.  Curtis Valk (3g 5a) has points in four straight.  James Bettauer (1g 3a) Matthew Konan (3a), Emerson Etem (1g 1a), Rhyse Dieno (2a), Patrik Parkkonen (2g) and Jayden Hart (1g 1a) have points in back-to-back games.  Tyler Bunz has won his last five starts in goal, but has missed the last three games with an upper body injury.

PROTECTING THE LEAD:  Both teams are nearly unbeatable when leading after two periods this season.  Calgary is 27-0-0-1 while Medicine Hat is 26-2-0-1.

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 27g 34a 61pts
Cody Sylvester 20g 40a 60pts
Brady Brassart 20g 28a 48pts

Medicine Hat
Emerson Etem 52g 40a 92pts
Hunter Shinkaruk 40g 33a 73pts
James Bettauer 19g 30a 49pts

One more note to pass along.  Hitmen defenceman Spencer Humphries took a high stick on the weekend against the Kelowna Rockets.  Teammate Brooks Macek had a little fun sending out the following tweet with the picture below.

Why so serious @shumper5? You know the batman will eventually get you! #stitches #highstick #batmobile



Sunday, 19 February 2012

Stone makes NHL debut

Michael Stone has become the 37th Calgary Hitmen grad to play at least one game in the National Hockey League.  The 21-year-old made his NHL debut Saturday night in the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 overtime win over the Dallas Stars.  Wearing number 26, Stone played 11 minutes and 31 seconds on the Coyotes defence and was held off the score sheet.

                                      Photo Credit: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Stone played four seasons with the Hitmen from 2006-07 to 2009-10 scoring a career high 21 goals in his final season and winning a WHL Championship.  In that final season the hard shooting rearguard was also named the club's top defenceman and was a WHL First Team Eastern Conference All-Star. 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Calgary 5 Kamloops 4

Kamloops, BC – The Calgary Hitmen swept their three game BC road trip with a 5-4 win over the Canadian Hockey League’s #3 ranked Kamloops Blazers Saturday night at Interior Savings Centre.

Cody Sylvester scored twice and set up another while Jimmy Bubnick had a goal and two assists to lead the Hitmen scoring attack with three points each. 

For Bubnick it was his 100th career regular season goal in the Western Hockey League.  It came against his former team as Bubnick’s first career goal came as a member of the Blazers back on October 26th, 2007.

Victor Rask and Kenton Helgesen also scored for Calgary who never trailed on the night building three two goal leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 5-3.

Greg Chase and Collin Bowman both chipped in a pair of assists.

Calgary, now 35-22-2-1, moves past both Saskatoon and Kootenay and into sole possession of fourth place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference with 73 points.

The Hitmen will open a five game home stand Wednesday night against Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem and the Medicine Hat Tigers.  Game time at Scotiabank Saddledome is 7:00 p.m.

Calgary Hitmen 5 at Kamloops Blazers 4
Saturday, February 18, 2012 - Interior Savings Centre - Kamloops, BC

Calgary 2 1 2 - 5
Kamloops 1 1 2 - 4

1st Period
1, Calgary, Sylvester 19 (Chase, Bowman), 6:39 (PP).
2, Calgary, Sylvester 20 (Bubnick, Chase), 7:57 (PP).
3, Kamloops, Smith 30 (Souto, Bozon), 16:46.
Penalties-Madaisky Kam (major-cross checking, game misconduct), 6:01; Needham Kam (high sticking), 13:23; Brassart Cal (major-fighting), 14:02; Lipon Kam (major-fighting), 14:02; Chase Cal (holding), 18:39.

2nd Period
4, Kamloops, Willick 24 (Needham, Ully), 10:09.
5, Calgary, Rask 26 (Brassart, Bowman), 16:35 (PP).
Penalties-Ranford Kam (hooking), 14:40.

3rd Period
6, Calgary, Helgesen 3 (Bubnick, Sylvester), 2:16.
7, Kamloops, Willick 25 (Ranford, Hansen), 13:13 (PP).
8, Calgary, Bubnick 27 (Kornelsen), 15:06.
9, Kamloops, Ranford 34 (Smith, Maschmeyer), 18:07 (PP).
Penalties-Roach Cal (roughing), 11:11; Herrod Kam (high sticking), 11:11; Bubnick Cal (tripping), 12:05; Brassart Cal (roughing), 16:47; Hansen Kam (roughing), 16:47; Gayle Cal (tripping), 17:58; Bowman Cal (roughing), 20:00; Humphries Cal (roughing), 20:00; Lipon Kam (roughing), 20:00; Ranford Kam (roughing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 15-8-8-31. Kamloops 6-6-15-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 3 / 5; Kamloops 2 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 18-9-2-1 (27 shots-23 saves). Kamloops, Cheveldave 28-9-1-3 (31 shots-26 saves).
A-3,942
Referees-Brett Montsion (54).
Linesmen-Spencer Lockert (84), Tim Digby (75).

Calgary at Kamloops

The Calgary Hitmen (34-22-2-1) look to sweep their three game BC road trip tonight as they visit the Kamloops Blazers (41-13-1-3).  Internet Broadcast on sportsnet960.ca starts at 8pm MST.  The Hitmen have won two in a row and are coming off last night's 7-1 victory in Kelowna.  Alex Gogolev had a goal and two assists to lead the scoring attack.  The Blazers also played last night but fell 3-2 on home ice to Red Deer, snapping their five game winning streak.  Charles Inglis scored the game winner with 2:23 remaining breaking a 2-2 tie.

Calgary is tied for fifth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with the Saskatoon Blades at 71 points, one back of fourth place Kootenay and five points ahead of seventh place Regina.  Kamloops meanwhile leads the WHL Standings with 86 points and is ranked #3 in all of the Canadian Hockey League this week.  The Blazers have a five point lead over both Tri-City and Portland atop the Western Conference and a three point bulge over Edmonton for number one overall.

                                                  Photo Credit: Tricia Mercuri

VS. KAMLOOPS: Tonight is the second and final regular season meeting with the Blazers.  Calgary leads the season series 1-0 following a 6-3 win in Kamloops on December 30th.  Collin Bowman and Calder Brooks both had three point nights with a goal and two assists each.  The Hitmen scored five unanswered goals after Kamloops opened the scoring just past the five minute mark.  Jake Virtanen, Brooks Macek, Jimmy Bubnick and Alex Gogolev also scored for Calgary.  Calgary is 3-1-1-0 over the last five seasons at Interior Savings Centre.
                                              INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: KAM 32  CAL 29  Power Plays: CAL 3-8 (37.5%)  KAM 2-9 (22.2%)

100 CLUB LOOMING: Jimmy Bubnick has scored 99 goals in his WHL career.  Bubnick netted his first goal on October 26, 2007 in a 5-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets as a member of the Kamloops Blazers.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 18-11-2-0 on the road this season while Kamloops is 22-7-0-0 at home.

STREAKIN’:  The line of Alex Gogolev (1g 3a), Victor Rask (2g 2a) and Brady Brassart (2g 1a) has combined for 11 points on this BC road trip.  Danny Gayle has also had a strong trip with three goals.

Top Scorers

Calgary:
Jimmy Bubnick 26g 32a 58pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 39a 57pts
Brady Brassart 20g 27a 47pts

Kamloops:
Brendan Ranford 33g 41a 74pts
Colin Smith 29g 38a 67pts
Tim Bozon 28g 29a 57pts

NHL CALL:  Hitmen Alumnus Michael Stone (2006-2010) is headed to the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.  The defenceman was called up from their AHL affiliate in Portland on Friday.  Fellow Hitmen grad Kris Foucault played his first NHL game this past week for the Minnesota Wild.

Calgary 7 Kelowna 1

Kelowna, BC – The Calgary Hitmen are now 2-0 on their three game BC road trip following a 7-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets Friday night at Prospera Place.

Alex Gogolev led the scoring attack with a goal and two assists while Danny Gayle scored twice.
Brady Brassart, Victor Rask, Greg Chase and Alex Roach also scored for the Hitmen who built period leads of 1-0 and 5-0.

Kenton Helgesen chipped in a pair of assists as 11 different Hitmen had at least a point.

                                                Photo Credit: shootthebreeze.ca

Madison Bowey broke Chris Driedger’s shutout attempt scoring the lone Rockets goal with 36 seconds remaining.  Driedger finished with 22 saves.

The Hitmen won the special teams battle going 3-5 on the powerplay while killing all three Rockets chances.

Calgary, now 34-22-2-1, remains tied with Saskatoon for fifth in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference with 71 points.

The Hitmen wrap up their road trip tomorrow night in Kamloops against the WHL leading Blazers.

Click here to listen to an interview with Danny Gayle

Calgary Hitmen 7 at Kelowna Rockets 1
Friday, February 17, 2012 - Prospera Place - Kelowna, BC

Calgary 1 4 2 - 7
Kelowna 0 0 1 - 1

1st Period
1, Calgary, Brassart 20 (Humphries), 16:29.
Penalties-Bowman Cal (inter. on goaltender), 12:32; Rigby Kel (cross checking), 12:32.

2nd Period
2, Calgary, Rask 25 (Cheek, Gogolev), 5:59 (PP).
3, Calgary, Gogolev 23 (Rask, Helgesen), 7:32.
4, Calgary, Chase 4 (Kornelsen), 8:20.
5, Calgary, Roach 4 (Bowman, Gogolev), 18:31 (PP).
Penalties-Brassart Cal (holding), 2:11; Heffley Kel (slashing), 4:52; Severson Kel (hooking), 12:37; Bubnick Cal (hooking), 14:23; Astles Kel (charging), 17:15.

3rd Period
6, Calgary, Gayle 13 (Helgesen), 12:49.
7, Calgary, Gayle 14 (Chase, Roach), 15:20 (PP).
8, Kelowna, Bowey 6 (Baillie, Lyon), 19:24 (SH).
Penalties-Goulbourne Kel (10-minute misconduct), 6:51; Brassart Cal (10-minute misconduct), 9:10; Astles Kel (10-minute misconduct), 9:10; Clayton Cal (roughing), 9:52; Bulmer Kel (slashing), 9:52; Chikie Kel (tripping), 14:36; Clayton Cal (roughing, slashing), 17:21; Heffley Kel (roughing), 17:21; Lyon Kel (10-minute misconduct), 17:21; Chikie Kel (inter. on goaltender), 17:54.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 13-14-11-38. Kelowna 2-9-12-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 3 / 5; Kelowna 0 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 17-9-2-1 (23 shots-22 saves). Kelowna, Brown 18-21-1-2 (19 shots-16 saves); Cooke 6-6-2-3 (19 shots-15 saves).
A-6,102
Referees-Pat Smith (12).
Linesmen-Mike Langin (67), Kris Hartley (81).

Friday, 17 February 2012

Calgary at Kelowna

The Calgary Hitmen (33-22-2-1) play game two of a BC Division road trip tonight in Kelowna against the Rockets (24-26-3-5).  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 8:00 p.m. MST.  Both teams are coming off games on Wednesday night.  The Hitmen posted a 5-3 win in Victoria to snap a four game losing streak while the Rockets lost 6-3 at home to Edmonton to fall to 0-3-1-1 over their last five games.

Calgary enters play tied with Saskatoon for fifth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 69 points, just a point behind Kootenay for fourth and three ahead of Regina for seventh.  Kelowna meanwhile is sixth in the Western Conference with 56 points.  The Rockets are in an unique spot unlikely to move up or down, 13 points back of Spokane for fifth yet 14 points ahead of seventh place Seattle.

                                                 Photo Credit: Marissa Baecker

Tonight is the second of three regular season meetings.  Calgary leads the season series 1-0.  On January 1st, the Hitmen rang in 2012 with a 2-0 victory at Prospera Place.  Chris Driedger made 27 saves for his first career WHL shutout.  Brooks Macek and Alex Gogolev scored the goals while Jimmy Bubnick and Brock Sutherland both had a pair of assists.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 17-11-2-0 on the road this season while Kelowna is 12-15-0-1 at home.

PROSPERA PLACE:  Over their last five seasons the Hitmen have gone 3-4 in Kelowna including a 1-2 mark during the 2009 WHL Championship series.

SCORING DEPTH:  Joey Kornelsen netted his 10th goal of the season Wednesday in Victoria becoming 11th Hitmen to reach the double digit mark in goals this season.

Click here to listen to a game day interview with Head Coach Mike Williamson

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 26g 32a 58pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 39a 57pts
Brady Brassart 19g 27a 46pts

Kelowna
Shane McColgan 15g 41a 56pts
Brett Bulmer 22g 21a 43pts
Colton Sissons 26g 15a 41pts

The Kelowna Rockets head into tonight with a lengthy injury list

#5, Mitchell Chapman, Upper Body, 1-2 weeks
#10, Filip Vasko, Lower body, 3 weeks
#14, Cody Chikie, Upper body, day to day
#15, Colton Sissons, Upper body, 1 month+
#16, Spencer Main, Upper body, 1 month+
#27, Jessey Astles, Upper body, day to day
Suspensions #21, Brett Lyon, 1 games remaining

HITMEN ALUMNUS:  Martin Jones is in his his second season of pro hockey with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs.  The 21-year-old 13-13-1 with a 2.88 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Calgary 5 Victoria 3

Victoria, BC – Brady Brassart, Joey Kornelsen and Victor Rask all had a goal and an assist to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-3 win over the Victoria Royals Wednesday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

The hometown Royals started quick grabbing a 2-0 lead just 1:57 into the opening period. 

However the Hitmen rallied with five unanswered goals as Trevor Cheek and Danny Gayle also scored for Calgary who snapped a four game losing streak.

Brandon Glover made 22 saves to pick up the win.

                                                   Photo Credit: Jon Howe

Jimmy Bubnick had an assist to improve his point total to 58 setting a new career high.

Calgary, now 33-22-2-1, pulls into a tie with Saskatoon for fifth in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference with 69 points.

They return to action with a pair of games on the road this weekend, Friday in Kelowna before heading to Kamloops on Saturday.

Calgary Hitmen 5 at Victoria Royals 3
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Calgary 2 3 0 - 5
Victoria 2 1 0 - 3

1st Period
1, Victoria, Traber 3 (Zgraggen, Soudek), 1:41.
2, Victoria, Forsyth 2 (Traber), 1:57.
3, Calgary, Brassart 19 (Rask, Gogolev), 7:06.
4, Calgary, Rask 24 (Brassart, Humphries), 13:40.
Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period
5, Calgary, Cheek 20 (Sylvester), 3:37.
6, Calgary, Gayle 12 (Trzonkowski, Kornelsen), 5:17.
7, Victoria, Rintoul 13 (Nelson, Crooks), 14:26.
8, Calgary, Kornelsen 10   15:55.
Penalties-Helgesen Cal (major-fighting), 20:00; Soudek Vic (major-fighting), 20:00.

3rd Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-Sutherland Cal (major-fighting), 8:48; Traber Vic (major-fighting), 8:48; Roach Cal (tripping), 15:42.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 8-6-7-21. Victoria 7-9-9-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 0; Victoria 0 / 1.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 17-12-0-0 (25 shots-22 saves). Victoria, Hamilton 16-29-1-4 (21 shots-16 saves).
A-4,593
Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Brett Montsion (54).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Calgary at Victoria

The Calgary Hitmen (32-22-2-1) open a three game BC Division road trip tonight on Vancouver Island against the Victoria Royals (17-33-2-4).  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. 

Heading in, the Hitmen have dropped four in a row and five of their last six after an impressive 14-1 run.  Calgary is coming off Sunday's 4-0 home ice loss to Kootenay.  Victoria meanwhile has also had trouble of late having lost three in a row.  The Royals haven't played since a February 8th 3-2 home ice loss to Everett.

Calgary sits sixth in the highly competitive Eastern Conference with 67 points, two back of Saskatoon for fifth and three points ahead of seventh place Regina.  Victoria meanwhile holds the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with 40 points.  It should be noted that 11 of the 12 Eastern Conference teams have more points than the Royals.

                                                    Photo Credit:  Jon Howe

Tonight is the second and final regular season meeting between the two clubs.  Calgary won the first 9-4 in Victoria on January 3rd.  Chase Clayton scored his first career WHL hat-trick while fellow Hitmen Cody Sylvester (1g 2a) and Jimmy Bubnick (2g 2a) both had four point games.  The Hitmen out shot the Royals 27-26 while going 3-4 on the powerplay and killing 2 of 3 Victoria chances.

INSIDE THE SLIDE:  During Calgary's recent 1-5 run they have been outscored by a combined 26-17, giving up an average of 4.3 goals per game.  The special teams battle has also been lopsided with Calgary going just 1-20 (5%) on the powerplay.   During that same stretch the opposition powerplay has gone 9-28 (32.1%).

BUBNICK'S BEST:  Jimmy Bubnick has tied his WHL career high in points with 57, matching his season totals from the 2008/09 season when he starred for the Kamloops Blazers. 

DID YOU KNOW?  Victoria has given up a WHL high 270 goals, compared to 179 by the Hitmen.

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 26g 31a 57pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Brady Brassart 18g 26a 44pts

Victoria
Jamie Crooks 30g 28a 58pts
Logan Nelson 20g 31a 51pts
Robin Soudek 22g 26a 48pts

NHL WATCH:  At 108th among North American skaters, Logan Nelson is the highest ranked Royal by Central Scouting for the 2012 NHL entry draft.

CALGARY INJURY NOTES: 
#9, Jaynen Rissling, Lower body, 2 weeks
#19, Calder Brooks, Upper body, 1 week

VICTORIA INJURY NOTES:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+
#18, Brandon Magee, Lower body, day to day
Suspension
#7, Tyler Stahl, 1 game remaining



Foucault makes NHL debut

Kris Foucault has become the 36th Calgary Hitmen grad to play at least one game in the National Hockey League.  The 21-year-old was called up this week by the Minnesota Wild from their AHL affiliate in Houston.  Wearing number 72, Foucault made his NHL debut last night in the Wild's 2-1 home ice loss to the Anaheim Ducks.  He played 8 minutes and 50 seconds, including 25 seconds on the powerplay and was held off the score sheet.

In 47 games with the Houston Aeros this season, Foucault had 23 points (10g 13a) in his first season of pro hockey.

Foucault played parts of three seasons with the Hitmen joining the club after the 2009 WHL trade deadline from the Kootenay Ice.  He was also a member of the 2010 WHL Champion Hitmen.

Today the Wild returned Foucault to Houston while also placing Hitmen Alumnus Carson McMillan on injured reserve with a lower body injury.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Williamson fined

Calgary Hitmen Head Coach Mike Williamson has been fined $750 by the Western Hockey League for tossing two water bottles on the ice in the third period of Sunday's game against the Kootenay Ice.

Here is the posting from the league office

Mike Williamson, Calgary: $750.00 for game misconduct versus Kootenay on February 12

Former Hitmen get NHL call

News came Sunday that three former Calgary Hitmen are headed to the National Hockey League.  For Ryan White it's a trip back to a place where he has already played 43 career games, but for Ian Schultz and Kris Foucault it's their first taste of the big leagues. 

Montreal has summoned both Schultz and White from their AHL affiliate in Hamilton.  It's not known yet if either will be in the line-up tonight when the Habs host Carolina.

Click here to see an interview with Ian Schultz

Meanwhile for Foucault, he hopped on a plane yesterday from Minnesota's AHL affiliate Houston to join the Wild who host Anaheim on Wednesday.

                                                  Photo Credit:  Minnesota Wild

Kootenay 4 Calgary 0

The Calgary Hitmen wrapped up a three game home stand Sunday evening with a 4-0 loss to the Kootenay Ice.

Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season.  The 20-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect now has nine career shutouts and has stopped a combined 127 of 134 shots in the season series against the Hitmen for an astonishing .948 save percentage.

Jagger Dirk opened the scoring for the visiting Ice with a first period powerplay goal.

Jaeden Descheneau extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second period on another powerplay goal before Max Reinhart scored on a wrap around late in the frame to make it 3-0 Ice.

The third period saw the ejection of Hitmen Head Coach Mike Williamson for tossing a pair of water bottles onto the ice with the lone goal of the frame coming off the stick of Kootenay defenceman Joey Leach into an empty net.

                                                     Photo Credit: Brad Watson                 

Kootenay Ice 4 at Calgary Hitmen 0
Sunday, February 12, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Kootenay 1 2 1 - 4
Calgary 0 0 0 - 0

1st Period
1, Kootenay, Dirk 6 (Ismond, Reinhart), 11:14 (PP).
Penalties-Bowman Cal (tripping), 10:18; Humphries Cal (slashing), 16:31; Antilla Ktn (cross checking), 19:35.

2nd Period
2, Kootenay, Descheneau 3 (Czerwonka, Leach), 4:59 (PP).
3, Kootenay, Reinhart 21 (Montgomery, Czerwonka), 17:55.
Penalties-Glover Cal (delay of game), 3:28; Descheneau Ktn (roughing), 7:06; Kornelsen Cal (slashing), 7:06; Leach Ktn (roughing), 9:30; Benoit Ktn (major-fighting), 12:44; Trzonkowski Cal (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 12:44; Reinhart Ktn (10-minute misconduct), 18:54; Wand Ktn (major-fighting), 18:54; Gayle Cal (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 18:54; Czerwonka Ktn (roughing), 19:55; Montgomery Ktn (10-minute misconduct), 19:55; Chase Cal (10-minute misconduct), 19:55; Cheek Cal (10-minute misconduct), 19:55; Sutherland Cal (roughing), 19:55.

3rd Period
4, Kootenay, Leach 9   19:25 (EN).
Penalties-Descheneau Ktn (tripping), 1:02; served by Macek Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd., game - coach), 4:34; Neibrandt Ktn (major-fighting), 10:38; Cheek Cal (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 10:38.

Shots on Goal-Kootenay 9-9-7-25. Calgary 7-11-8-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Kootenay 2 / 7; Calgary 0 / 3.
Goalies-Kootenay, Lieuwen 24-12-4-2 (26 shots-26 saves). Calgary, Glover 16-12-0-0 (16 shots-13
saves); Driedger 16-9-2-1 (8 shots-8 saves).
A-8,948
Referees-Steve Papp (17), Colin Watt (72).
Linesmen-Michael Roberts (87), Scott Sharun (103).

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Kootenay at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (32-21-2-1) host Central Division rival Kootenay Ice (30-17-4-4) in a 4:00 p.m. start today at Scotiabank Saddledome.  The Hitmen are coming off Friday's 4-2 home ice loss to Moose Jaw while the Ice beat Saskatoon 5-2 in Cranbrook last night. 

The Hitmen sit sixth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 67 points, just a point behind Kootenay for fifth, but five points ahead of seventh place Regina. 

HEADING IN:  Both teams enter play hungry for a victory.  After a stretch that saw the Hitmen win 14 of 15 games, Calgary is just 1-4 since.  Kootenay meanwhile snapped a two game losing streak with last night's home ice win over Saskatoon.  The Ice are just 3-4-1-1 in their last nine.

                                              Photo Credit:  cranbrookphoto.com

VS. KOOTENAY: Today is the fifth of eight meetings.  Kootenay leads the season series 3-1 having outscored Calgary by a combined 13-8.  Brooks Macek (2g), Danny Gayle (1g, 1a), Victor Rask (1g, 1a), Brady Brassart (2a) and Jaynen Rissling (2a) all have two points each to lead the Hitmen in the season series.  Brock Montgomery tops all Ice with six points (6a) against Calgary while goaltender Nathan Lieuwen sports a 1.76 goals against average and a .935 save percentage stopping 101 of 108 shots.  Lieuwen also leads the WHL with a 2.30 goals against average.  The Hitmen and Ice will meet again on March 3rd in Cranbrook.
-Sept. 24 in KTN: Ice 5 Hitmen 1.  Calgary outshot Kootenay 30-18 in the loss.
-Oct. 2 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Ice 2. Calgary erased a 2-1 third period deficit.  Victor Rask and Danny  Gayle led the Hitmen scoring attack with two points (1g, 1a) each.
-Oct. 23 in CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 2.  Kootenay jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead.
-Feb. 3 in KTN:  Ice 2 Hitmen 1.  Sam Reinhart scored the game winner, his second of the game, with just one second left in regulation.
                                                  INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 109  KTN 90   Powerplays: CAL 2-20 (10%)  KTN 2-13 (15.3%)

POWER OUTAGE:  Part of the recent Hitmen struggles of late can be blamed on their lack of special teams production.  Calgary is a combined 1-17 (5.9%) on the powerplay in their last five games.  During that same stretch the opposition powerplay has gone 7-21 (33.3%).

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 16-10-0-1 on home ice this season while Kootenay is 13-9-3-2 on the road.

BUSY DAYS:  Today is Calgary's four game in six days.  For Kootenay it's their third game in as many days and also their fourth in six days.

STREAKIN':  Trevor Cheek (3g 2a) and Brock Sutherland (1g 4a) are both on four game point streaks.  Brady Brassart (2g 2a) is on a three game streak.  Jimmy Bubnick (2g 2a) has points in back-to-back games. 

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 26g 31a 56pts
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Brady Brassart 18g 26a 44pts

Kootenay
Max Reinhart 20g 39a 59pts
Sam Reinhart 23g 28a 51pts
Jesse Ismond 14g 34a 48pts

WHL NOTEBOOK:  Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers has one more shot at reaching 50 goals in 50 games.  The Tigers host Brandon tonight.  Etem enters the contest with 49 goals in 49 games.  As an FYI Etem has scored three goals against the Hitmen this season in five games.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Moose Jaw 4 Calgary 2

Calgary, AB - The Moose Jaw Warriors scored four unanswered goals, including one into an empty net, to edge the Calgary Hitmen 4-2 Friday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Jimmy Bubnick, with his team-leading 26th goal opened the scoring for Calgary on a first period break-away.  Brady Brassart then extended the Hitmen lead to 2-0 with his 18th goal just 14 seconds into the second period.

From that point on it was all Moose Jaw with the turning point coming just past the midway mark of the second period when the Warriors scored twice on a 5-on-3 powerplay to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead.

Former Hitmen Kenton Miller led the Warriors scoring attack with a goal and two assists.

Calgary, now 32-21-2-1, drop to fifth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 67 points. 

They return to action Sunday to host the sixth place Kootenay Ice.  Game time is 4:00 p.m. for the Fairmont Palliser Valentine’s Day game.

                                                   Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 at Calgary Hitmen 2
Friday, February 10, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Moose Jaw 0 3 1 - 4
Calgary 1 1 0 - 2

1st Period
1, Calgary, Bubnick 26 (Bowman, Cheek), 4:44.
Penalties-Rask Cal (interference), 1:27; Chase Cal (hooking), 7:49; Fioretti M.j (roughing), 11:42; Bowman Cal (roughing), 11:42; Miller M.j (interference), 16:16; Braes M.j (roughing), 16:42; Cheek Cal (roughing), 16:42; Henry M.j (major-fighting), 20:00; Cheek Cal (major-fighting), 20:00.

2nd Period
2, Calgary, Brassart 18 (Bubnick, Sutherland), 0:16.
3, Moose Jaw, Arnold 10 (White, Ehrhardt), 6:17.
4, Moose Jaw, Braes 31 (Kirsch, Miller), 13:37 (PP).
5, Moose Jaw, Henry 11 (Miller, Kirsch), 14:20 (PP).
Penalties-Roach Cal (hooking), 3:29; Eberle M.j (roughing), 7:59; Humphries Cal (high sticking), 7:59; McIlrath M.j (10-minute misconduct), 9:12; Brassart Cal (10-minute misconduct), 9:12; Gogolev Cal (hooking), 13:25; Humphries Cal (roughing), 13:25; Ehrhardt M.j (elbowing), 17:37.

3rd Period
6, Moose Jaw, Miller 22 (Siemens), 19:36 (EN).
Penalties-Sutherland Cal (charging), 4:13; Humphries Cal (tripping), 14:49.

Shots on Goal-Moose Jaw 6-9-10-25. Calgary 11-8-4-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Moose Jaw 2 / 7; Calgary 0 / 2.
Goalies-Moose Jaw, Siemens 27-10-3-2 (23 shots-21 saves). Calgary, Driedger 16-9-2-1 (24 shots-21 saves).
A-9,026
Referees-Cole Hamm (51), Matt Thurston (64).
Linesmen-Justin Hull (49), Ian Shaver (74).

Moose Jaw at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (32-20-2-1) host Canadian World Junior Quinton Howden and the Moose Jaw Warriors (33-15-5-1) tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.  It's Student Night.  Show your student I.D. to receive a special ticket rate of $8.  Fans are invited to "Get Your Head in the Game" with Great Clips.  Visit Great Clips on the concourse and make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to receive a haircut or Hitmen hockey hair colouring.  If you can't make the game, Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m.

Calgary is coming off Wednesday's humbling 9-5 home ice loss to the CHL's #7 ranked Edmonton Oil Kings while Moose Jaw faired much better on Wednesday posting a 5-3 win in Lethbridge.

HISTORY LESSON:  The last time the Hitmen surrendered nine goals in a single game happened on the road in Brandon on January 7th, 2011 in a 9-2 loss to the Wheat Kings.  However you have to go all the way back to October 14th, 2002 for the last time the Hitmen gave up nine or more on home ice.  That night they were beaten 10-4 by the visiting Prince George Cougars.  Brady Block was left in net for all 10 goals against on a night where the Hitmen actually outshot the Cougars 40-30.  A combined five players from both teams in the line-up that day went on to play in the NHL: Dan Hamhuis and Derek Boogaard for PG, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Getzlaf and Fredrik Sjostrom for Calgary.

Calgary is currently tied with Saskatoon for fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 67 points just a point ahead of Kootenay and three back of Medicine Hat.  Moose Jaw is the number two seed with 72 points, two ahead of Medicine Hat and six points behind Edmonton.

                                               Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

Calgary and Moose Jaw have met three times this season with Calgary grabbing five of a possible six points. Trevor Cheek leads the Hitmen with five points (1g 4a) while Cody Sylvester (3g 1a), Brady Brassart (2g 2a) and Jimmy Bubnick (4a) have four points each.  Cam Braes leads all Warriors with eight points (5g 3a) against the Hitmen, but all eight came as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  Quinton Howden is next with four points (2g 2a).  Tonight is their final regular season clash.
-Nov. 6 in MJ: Warriors 3 Hitmen 2 OT.  The Warriors overcame a 2-0 first period deficit with Quinton Howden scoring the winner 1:22 into sudden death.
-Nov. 23 in MJ: Hitmen 5 Warriors 2.  Cody Sylvester led the way for Calgary with 2g 1a.
-Jan. 13 in CAL: Hitmen 5 Warriors 2.  Trevor Cheek had three points in the win (1g 2a).
                                                    INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Calgary 95 Moose Jaw 90  Powerplays: Calgary 1-12 Moose Jaw 3-16

FORMER TEAMMATES SQUARE OFF:  The Calgary roster features four former Moose Jaw Warriors: Collin Bowman, Danny Gayle, Brandon Glover and Joey Kornelsen.  Meanwhile Moose Jaw has three former Hitmen: Cody Beach, Justin Kirsch and Kenton Miller.

DID YOU KNOW?  Former Hitmen Kenton Miller has scored the game winning goal in the last five Warrior wins.

HEADING IN:  Calgary has dropped three of their last four, but is 16-9-0-1 on home ice this season.  Moose Jaw has won two straight going 8-1-1-0 in their last 10.  However the Warriors are two games under .500 on the road this season at 10-12-3-0.

OFF SUSPENSION:  Warriors defenceman and New York Rangers first round pick Dylan McIlrath returns to the line-up tonight following an eight game suspension for a checking to the head major against Victoria on January 18th.

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Jimmy Bubnick 25g 30a 55pts
Brady Brassart 17g 26a 43pts

Moose Jaw
Cam Braes 30g 31a 61pts
James Henry 10g 42a 52pts
Quinton Howden 23g 25a 48pts

HITMEN ALUMNI:  Former Hitmen Alex Plante and Dylan Yeo returned to Scotiabank Saddledome last night as their Oklahoma City Barons beat the Abbotsford Heat 4-0 in a battle between the Flames and Oilers AHL affiliates.  Yeo was +2 in the victory while Plante was +1.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Edmonton 9 Calgary 5

One day after a full moon, the effects may have still lingered as the Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings combined for 14 goals in a 9-5 win by the Oil Kings Wednesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The games turning point came just past the midway point of the second period when Edmonton scored four times in a span of 4:26 turning a 3-3 tie into a 7-3 lead.

Just prior the Hitmen had roared back from a 3-1 deficit scoring twice in 64 seconds to pull even on goals from Victor Rask and Jimmy Bubnick. 

T.J. Foster and Tyler Maxwell both recorded hat-tricks for the WHL's Eastern Conference leaders who improve to 4-1 in the season series against Calgary.

At 78 points, Edmonton tops the conference by six points over Moose Jaw, while Calgary remains at 67 points, but is now tied for fourth with Saskatoon who grabbed an 4-3 shootout win over Swift Current to pull even.

                                                  Photo Credit: Brad Watson


Edmonton Oil Kings 9 at Calgary Hitmen 5
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB
Edmonton 2 5 2 - 9
Calgary 1 2 2 - 5
1st Period
1, Calgary, Brassart 17 (Bubnick, Cheek), 11:59.
2, Edmonton, Foster 20   15:32 (PP).
3, Edmonton, Legault 12 (Samuelsson), 17:56.
Penalties-Lowe Edm (major-fighting), 5:16; Bowman Cal (major-fighting), 5:16; Samuelsson Edm (tripping), 6:14; Reinhart Edm (cross checking), 19:54.

2nd Period
4, Edmonton, Sieben 2 (Moroz), 2:18.
5, Calgary, Rask 23 (Gogolev), 9:53.
6, Calgary, Bubnick 25 (Gayle, Brassart), 10:57.
7, Edmonton, Maxwell 30 (Pysyk, St. Croix), 13:29.
8, Edmonton, Maxwell 31   15:50.
9, Edmonton, Rachinski 18 (Gernat, Wilson), 16:59.
10, Edmonton, Foster 21 (Wruck, Gernat), 17:55.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (hooking), 7:48; Trzonkowski Cal (hooking), 13:55.

3rd Period
11, Calgary, Sutherland 1 (Trzonkowski, Clayton), 3:08.
12, Edmonton, Foster 22   3:45.
13, Calgary, Kornelsen 9 (Sutherland, Brooks), 4:01.
14, Edmonton, Maxwell 32 (Wruck, St. Croix), 19:34.
Penalties-Maxwell Edm (tripping), 0:36; Lowe Edm (roughing), 19:50; Sieben Edm (roughing), 19:50; Bubnick Cal (roughing), 19:50; Gayle Cal (high sticking, roughing), 19:50; Rachinski Edm (cross checking), 20:00; Roach Cal (cross checking), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Edmonton 12-13-7-32. Calgary 8-10-7-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Edmonton 1 / 2; Calgary 0 / 3.
Goalies-Edmonton, Brossoit 31-10-2-3 (25 shots-20 saves). Calgary, Driedger 16-8-2-1 (24 shots-17 saves); Glover 16-11-0-0 (8 shots-6 saves).
A-7,440
Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Ryan Bonnett (39).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Sean Donnelly (109).

Edmonton at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (32-19-2-1) open a three game home stand tonight when they welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings (35-12-2-4) to Scotiabank Saddledome.  The Hitmen are coming off last night's 5-3 loss in Medicine Hat, a game where they out shot the Tigers 43-24.  The Oil Kings meanwhile were 3-1 winners at home yesterday afternoon over the Kootenay Ice.  Griffin Reinhart had a goal and an assist to lead the Edmonton scoring attack.

Calgary enters play with 67 points, good for third in the WHL's Eastern Conference, three points back of both Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw who sit tied for second and just a point ahead of Kootenay who occupies fifth.  Edmonton meanwhile leads the Eastern Conference with 76 points.  They are also ranked #7 in the Canadian Hockey League Top 10 Rankings this week.

VS. EDMONTON:  Tonight is the fifth of six meetings with the Oil Kings.  Edmonton leads the season series 3-1 with the home team victorious in all four games.  Cody Sylvester (2g, 4a) leads the Hitmen in the series with six points Tyler Maxwell (3g 2a) and Cody Corbett (5a) both top the Oil Kings with five points.  Last season Edmonton won five of six meetings with Calgary. 
- Dec. 1 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 1.  Mark Pysyk led the Oil Kings with three assists.
- Dec. 6 in EDM: Oil Kings 6 Hitmen 2.  Griffen Reinhart had 1g 2a for Edmonton.
 -Dec. 17 in EDM: Oil Kings 2 Hitmen 1.  Cody Corbett had two assists for the Oil Kings who out shot Calgary 33-22.
-Jan. 15 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Oil Kings 3.  Jimmy Bubnick scored twice.
                                                         INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 110  EDM 110     Power Plays: CAL 3-20  (15%)  EDM 6-21 (28.6%) 

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Jimmy Bubnick 24g 29a 53pts
Victor Rask 22g 19a 41pts
Brady Brassart 16g 25a 41pts

Edmonton
Michael St. Croix 34g 48a 82pts
Dylan Wruck 18g 48a 66pts
Tyler Maxwell 29g 26a 55pts

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Medicine Hat 5 Calgary 3

Medicine Hat, AB – Edmonton Oilers prospect Tyler Bunz made 40 saves as the Medicine Hat Tigers beat the visiting Calgary Hitmen 5-3 Tuesday night at The Arena.

Tigers forward Cole Grbavac (Gur-ba-vack) broke a 3-3 third period tie just over eight minutes into the final frame before Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem scored his Western Hockey League leading 49th goal with under three minutes remaining to add an insurance marker.

Victor Rask and Alex Gogolev both scored their 22nd goals of the season while Trevor Cheek added his 19th for the Hitmen.

The win moves Medicine Hat into a tie with Moose Jaw for second place in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the fourth place Hitmen.

Calgary, 32-19-2-1, returns to the Scotiabank Saddledome tomorrow night to open a three game home stand against the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings.  Puck drop is 7:00 p.m.  The Hitmen will also host Moose Jaw Friday and the Kootenay Ice on Sunday.

For information on ticket packages including Flex Packs or Group Tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

Calgary Hitmen 3 at Medicine Hat Tigers 5
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Medicine Hat Arena

Calgary 2 1 0 - 3
Medicine Hat 2 1 2 - 5

1st Period
1, Medicine Hat, Cox 8 (Dieno, Grbavac), 3:21.
2, Calgary, Rask 22 (Gogolev, Roach), 9:07 (PP).
3, Calgary, Gogolev 22 (Bowman, Brassart), 11:26.
4, Medicine Hat, Theriau 1 (Leier, Parkkonen), 17:08 (PP).
Penalties-Parkkonen M.h (delay of game), 1:06; Theriau M.h (cross checking), 8:26; Brassart Cal (hooking), 15:11.

2nd Period
5, Calgary, Cheek 19 (Sutherland), 6:08 (SH).
6, Medicine Hat, Dieno 2 (Bredo), 6:50 (PP).
Penalties-Gayle Cal (hooking), 4:57.

3rd Period
7, Medicine Hat, Grbavac 9 (Valk), 8:10.
8, Medicine Hat, Etem 49 (Shinkaruk, Valk), 17:49 (PP).
Penalties-Kosterman Cal (delay of game), 15:50.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 17-18-8-43. Medicine Hat 13-4-7-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 1 / 2; Medicine Hat 3 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 16-11-0-0 (24 shots-19 saves). Medicine Hat, Bunz 32-14-2-2 (43 shots-40 saves).
A-4,006
Referees-Trevor Hanson (19), Kevin Webinger (6).
Linesmen-Darren Holeha (47), Greg Sarauer (68).

Calgary at Medicine Hat

Sorry this blog has ran quiet for the last several days, but my hard drive died.  I am happy to report that it's all systems go once again.  HUGE thanks to the IT Department for the fix!!

The Calgary Hitmen (32-18-2-1) wrap up a three game road trip tonight in Medicine Hat against the Tigers (32-18-2-2).   Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m.  The Hitmen are 1-1 on the roadie so far, falling 2-1 to the Kootenay Ice before beating Red Deer 6-2 on Saturday.  The Tigers are back home after a 2-0 road trip posting wins of 3-2 in Prince Albert on Friday and 7-2 in Medicine Hat on Saturday.

                                          Photo Credit:  Medicine Hat Tigers

The Hitmen have 67 points, trailing Medicine Hat by just a single point in the race for third in the WHL's Eastern Conference.  Calgary also has company on their tail with Kootenay sitting just a point back of the Hitmen in the battle for fourth.

Tonight is the fifth of six meetings between the two teams.  Medicine Hat leads the season series 3-1 having outscored Calgary by a combined 14-7.  Jimmy Bubnick (1g 2a) and Spencer Humphries (3a) lead the Hitmen with three points each against Medicine Hat while Anaheim Ducks first round pick Emerson Etem tops the Tigers with 10 points (2g 8a) in four games. 
-Oct. 15 in MH: Tigers 5 Hitmen 0.  Tyler Bunz 36 save shutout.  Emerson Etem four assists.
-Dec. 4 in CAL: Tigers 2 Hitmen 1.  Tyler Bunz 37 saves.  Curtis Valk two goals, Emerson Etem two assists.
-Jan. 18 in CAL: Tigers 5 Hitmen 1.  Emerson Etem led the Tigers with a pair of goals.
-Jan. 28 in MH: Hitmen 5 Tigers 2.  Calgary scored three unanswered third period goals to break a 2-2 tie.

DID YOU KNOW?  Victor Rask returns to the Hitmen line-up tonight after serving a two game suspension.

NEAR RECORD:  Jimmy's Bubnick's five points against Red Deer on Saturday was just shy of the franchise record of six points in a single game which has happened on four previous occasions.
-Brad Moran Jan 11/1998 PA (3g 3a),
-Brad Moran March 15/1998 RD (4g 2a)
-Pavel Brendl Nov 21/1999 vs Portland (4g 2a)
-Kris Beech Jan 29/2000 at Portland (3g 3a)

Calgary is 16-10-2-0 on the road this season while Medicine Hat is 14-10-1-1 at home.

Top Scorers:

Calgary
Cody Sylvester 18g 38a 56pts
Jimmy Bubnick 24g 29a 53pts
Victor Rask 21g 19a 40pts
Brady Brassart 16g 24a 40pts

Medicine Hat
Emerson Etem 48g 37a 85pts
Hunter Shinkaruk 40g 30a 70pts
James Bettauer 18g 26a 44pts

Friday, 3 February 2012

Kootenay 2 Calgary 1

Cranbrook, BC – The Kootenay Ice got a buzzer beater to defeat the Calgary Hitmen 2-1 Friday night at the Cranbrook RecPlex.

Sam Reinhart scored his second goal of the game with just one second left in the third period to produce the game winning goal.

Reinhart’s first goal of the night just over four minutes into the first period gave Kootenay a 1-0 lead they would hold until the third period.

Jimmy Bubnick, with his 22nd of the season, pulled Calgary even with 4:27 left in regulation.
Both goaltenders made several big saves with Nathan Lieuwen making 28 stops in the win for Kootenay while Brandon Glover recorded 23 saves in the Hitmen net.

Calgary, now 31-18-2-1, returns to action tomorrow night in Red Deer against the Rebels.  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m. with a 30 minute pre-game show.

Calgary Hitmen 1 at Kootenay Ice 2
Friday, February 3, 2012 - Cranbrook Rec. Complex - Cranbrook, BC

Calgary 0 0 1 - 1
Kootenay 1 0 1 - 2

1st Period
1, Kootenay, Reinhart 21 (McKinlay), 4:05.
Penalties-Roach Cal (roughing), 6:36; Trzonkowski Cal (major-fighting), 10:27; Simpson Ktn (major-fighting), 10:27; Montgomery Ktn (kneeing), 11:47.

2nd Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (interference), 10:28; Pearce Ktn (slashing), 10:28; Leach Ktn (tripping), 10:47; Antilla Ktn (tripping), 16:10; Sylvester Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd., unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:35; Czerwonka Ktn (unsportsmanlike cnd., unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:35.

3rd Period
2, Calgary, Bubnick 22 (Kosterman, Helgesen), 15:33.
3, Kootenay, Reinhart 22 (Dirk, McKinlay), 19:59.
Penalties-Czerwonka Ktn (hooking), 5:42; served by Ktn (too many men), 10:13; Gayle Cal (slashing), 13:46; Pearce Ktn (tripping), 15:05; Leach Ktn (checking to the head), 18:45; Bubnick Cal (holding), 19:06.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 6-9-14-29. Kootenay 11-5-9-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 7; Kootenay 0 / 2.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 16-10-0-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Kootenay, Lieuwen 21-11-4-2 (29 shots-28 saves).
A-2,720
Referees-Sean Raphael (28), Pat Smith (12).
Linesmen-Jeff Jobson (52), Ian Shaver (74).

Driedger named WHL Goalie of the Month

This from the WHL Office today.  It's also worthy to note it's the second time this award has gone to a Hitmen goalie this season.  Brandon Glover was the November winner.

CALGARY, AB. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Chris Driedger, of the Calgary Hitmen, has been named the VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month for January.

The 17-year-old top NHL prospect posted a 6-0 record through January with two shut-outs.  Driedger’s 1.29 goals-against average and 0.954 save percentage led all WHL goaltenders in January, allowing just eight goals on 173 shots-against in 371 minutes played.  His efforts also earned him 1st Star selection three times through the month.

                                                   Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

Driedger’s consistent play helped the Hitmen to a 13-1-0-0 record in January and now found themselves in third spot in the WHL Eastern Conference standings with a 31-17-2-1 record for 65 points.  A Winnipeg, MB native, Driedger was originally a 4th round WHL Draft pick of the Tri-City Americans before the joining the Hitmen at the start of the season.  A late roster addition for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past week, he stopped all 14 shots faced in his 30 minutes of play in the showcase event.

His accomplishments make Chris Driedger a deserving choice as the VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month for January.

Calgary at Kootenay

The Calgary Hitmen (31-17-2-1) open a three game road trip tonight in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice (27-15-4-4).  The Hitmen have won six in a row and 14 of their last 15 games.  However tonight is their first game since last Sunday's 4-1 home ice win over the Tri-City Americans.  Kootenay meanwhile is winless in their last four going 0-2-1-1 including a 5-4 overtime loss in Spokane in their last outing Saturday night. 

At 65 points the Hitmen enter play third in the WHL's Eastern Conference, three points back of Moose Jaw for second and a point ahead of Medicine Hat.  Kootenay has 62 points to sit sixth in the conference, one point back of Saskatoon and four up on Regina.

                       Justin Kirsch was still a Hitmen the last time these two teams met

VS. KOOTENAY: Tonight is the fourth of eight meetings with the Ice.  Kootenay leads the season series 2-1.  Brooks Macek (2g), Danny Gayle (1g, 1a), Victor Rask (1g, 1a) and Jaynen Rissling (2a) have two points each to lead the Hitmen in the season series.  Brock Montgomery leads all Ice with six points (6a) against Calgary while goaltender Nathan Lieuwen sports a .924 save percentage.
    - Sept. 24 in KTN: Ice 5 Hitmen 1.  Calgary outshot Kootenay 30-18 in the loss.
    - Oct. 2 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Ice 2. Calgary erased a 2-1 third period deficit to beat Kootenay 4-2.  Victor Rask and Danny  Gayle led the Hitmen scoring attack with two points (1g, 1a) each.
    - Oct. 23 in CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 2.  Kootenay jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead.
                                                  INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 80  KTN 65   Power Plays: CAL 2-13 (15.3%)  KTN 2-11 (18.1%)   Next Meeting: Sun., Feb. 12 in Calgary

BC BATTLES:  Calgary has fared well this season when taking on teams based out of British Columbia. In 10 contests, the Hitmen have a record of 7-3-0-0 against BC squads, which includes a 4-1-0-0 mark during their road trip out west in December.  Calgary will play eight more games against BC teams this season following today’s matchup.

TOP PROSPECT: Winnipeg, MB, native Chris Driedger returns to the Hitmen lineup after attending the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on February 1.  Driedger was ranked 12th among North American Goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings.  Driedger suited up for Team Orr, coached by former NHL head coach Pat Quinn and pitched a 14 save shutout in his 30 minutes of work.  The last Hitmen player to suit up in the Top Prospects Game was Matt MacKenzie in 2010.

SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS:  Special teams have played a large role in Calgary’s success this season. In games which Calgary scores a power play goal, they hold a record of 23-8-0-1.  In contests which the Hitmen allow a goal on the man advantage, they are 15-14-0-1.

STREAKIN’:  Collin Bowman (1g, 5a) is currently riding a three-game point streak and is +3 in as many outings.  Alex Gogolev has three points (2g, 1a) in back-to-back contests.  Jimmy Bubnick has 17 points (7g, 10a) in his last 14 games while Cody Sylvester has 16 (3g, 13a), Brady Brassart has 14 (5g, 9a) and Chase Clayton has 12 (9g, 3a) over the same span.  Chris Driedger has won his last six starts while Brandon Glover has won his last two.

CAREER WATCH:  Jimmy Bubnick needs six more goals to reach 100 in his WHL career. 

WHL LEADERS:  Victor Rask is tied for fifth in WHL rookie scoring with 40 points (21g, 19a) while Alex Gogolev is eighth with 38 points (21g, 17a).  Rask and Gogolev’s 21 goals place them in a tie for second among WHL rookie snipers in that category.  Collin Bowman is 15th among WHL defencemen with 35 points (12g, 23a).  His 12 goals are tied for the fourth most among WHL rearguards.  Netminder Chris Driedger is tenth among WHL goaltenders with a 2.68 goals against average and 0.900 save percentage.  Calgary has the fourth ranked penalty kill in the WHL at 82.6%.  The penalty killing unit’s 11 shorthanded goals also places them fourth in the WHL.

UP NEXT:  The Hitmen are in Red Deer tomorrow.  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m. with a 30 minute pre-game show.  Calgary then heads to Medicine Hat on Tuesday before returning to Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, February 8th for a 7:00 p.m. home ice contest against the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Driedger perfect at CHL Top Prospects Game

Calgary Hitmen goaltender Chris Driedger was named a last week injury replacement to the CHL Top Prospects Game, but the 17-year-old proved Wednesday night maybe he should have been invited from the get go. 

Driedger got the start for Team Orr and pitched a shutout in his 30 minutes of work making 14 saves.  Team Orr went on to win the game played in Kelowna, BC by a score of 2-1.

As an FYI the last Hitmen player to suit up in the CHL Top Prospects Game was Matt Mackenzie in 2010.