Friday, 30 March 2012

Brandon 3 Calgary 2 OT

The 2012 Calgary Hitmen playoff run is over, ending at the hands of the Brandon Wheat Kings Thursday night in Winnipeg.

Paul Ciarelli scored his scored goal of the game at 8:26 of overtime giving the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory and lifting Brandon to a 4-1 series win.

After a scoreless first period Wheat Kings import Alessio Bertaggia scored the lone goal of the second period, tipping home a point shopping while jumping about a foot off the ice. 

Calgary bounced back with a strong start to the third period getting goals from Alex Gogolev and Chase Clayton 33 second apart to give the Hitmen their first lead of the night at 2-1. 

However the advantage was short lived as Ciarelli notched the tying goal less than three minutes later.

Sorry for the delay in posting this, but I didn't have any internet access until arriving back in Calgary this afternoon.  I'll add some more post series reaction in the days ahead.  But for now upon returning home I had a chance to catch up with the three graduating 20-year-olds, Collin Bowman, Jimmy Bubnick and Brock Sutherland.

Click here to listen to the interview

Calgary Hitmen 2 at Brandon Wheat Kings 3 (OT)Thursday, March 29, 2012 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB

Calgary 0 0 2 0 - 2
Brandon 0 1 1 1 - 3

1st Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period
1, Brandon, Bertaggia 3 (Roy, Sundher), 0:36.
Penalties-Kosterman Cal (tripping), 1:50; Cheek Cal (hooking), 11:39.

3rd Period
2, Calgary, Gogolev 3 (Bubnick, Bowman), 1:12.
3, Calgary, Clayton 1 (Macek, Cheek), 1:45.
4, Brandon, Ciarelli 1 (Dziurzynski, Meilleur), 4:14.
Penalties-No Penalties

OT Period
5, Brandon, Ciarelli 2 (Dziurzynski, Meilleur), 8:26.
Penalties-Kosterman Cal (tripping), 4:46.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 14-10-12-8-44. Brandon 9-15-17-2-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 0; Brandon 0 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 1-1-1-0 (43 shots-40 saves). Brandon, Boes 4-1-0-0 (44 shots-42 saves).
A-4,002
Referees-Brett Montsion (54), Reagan Vetter (79).
Linesmen-Bryden Hutlet (114), Darrell Surminski (37).

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Game 5: Calgary at Brandon

For the first time this season the Calgary Hitmen face a must win hockey game.  Sure there have been other big games but none bigger than tonight.  It's game 5 as the Hitmen meet the Brandon Wheat Kings trailing the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series 3-1.  Game time is 6:00 p.m. (MDT) at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan also begins at six o'clock.

                                              Photo Credit:  Bruce Fedyck

SERIES RECAP:  Brandon, leading the series 3-1, has outscored Calgary by a combined 13-8.
-Game 1: Brandon 6 Calgary 2.  After Mark Stone snapped a 2-2 tie with less than four minutes remaining in the second period the Wheat Kings never looked back scoring four straight.
-Game 2: Calgary 4 Brandon 0.  Trevor Cheek picked up his first career playoff hat-trick while Brandon Glover made 20 saves for hist first career post season shutout.
-Game 3: Brandon 4 Calgary 1.  Michael Ferland broke a 1-1 second period tie just past the eight minute mark.  Kevin Sundher 1g 1a.
-Game 4: Brandon 3 Calgary 1.  Mark Stone had 1g 1a while Corbin Boes made 32 saves.
                                                      INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 137 Bdn 123 Powerplays: Cal 2-11 (18.2%) Bdn 2-14 (14.3%)

SERIES TRENDS:  The team scoring first has won all four games....Neither team has given up the lead....Of the 240 minutes played, the Hitmen have only led for 58 minutes and 35 seconds....Brandon has outshot the Hitmen in seven of the 12 periods.  However Calgary has outshot the Wheat Kings by a per game average of 34.3 to 30.8

PERIOD SCORING:  Of Calgary's eight goals in the series they have scored three in the first period, two in the second and three in the third.  Of Brandon's 14 goals in the series they have scored five in the first period, four in the second and four in the third period. 

SCORING DEPTH:  17 Wheat Kings have at least one point in the series while Calgary has points from 11 different players.

IN NEED OF A STREAK:  The Hitmen need a three game winning streak to avoid elimination from the 2012 WHL Playoffs.  During the regular season seven times the Hitmen put together winning streaks of three games or more.

BOES BLOCKADE:  Brandon goaltender Corbin Boes, who finished the regular season with the third best save percentage in the WHL, has turned in a strong performance this series.  The 18-year-old from Saskatoon has stopped 129 of 137 shots for a .942 save percentage.

DID YOU REMEMBER?  The last time the Hitmen faced a 3-1 series deficit was in the opening round against Moose Jaw in the 2010 WHL post season.  The Hitmen rattled off three straight wins to take the series in seven.

PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 109-77.  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.

TOP SCORERS:

Calgary
Collin Bowman 0g 4a 4pts
Trevor Cheek 3g 0a 3pts
Alex Gogolev 2g 1a 3pts
Alex Roach 1g 2a 3pts

Brandon
Alessio Bertaggia 2g 3a 5pts
Mark Stone 2g 3a 5pts
Michael Ferland 2g 1a 3pts

REMAINING SCHEDULE:
* Game 6 Apr 1 Brandon at Calgary 4:00 PM MDT
* Game 7 Apr 3 Brandon at Calgary 7:00 PM MDT
*If necessary

HITMEN ALUMNUS:  Paul Postma who played parts of four seasons in Calgary (2007-08 to 2008-09) is in the AHL with the St. John's Ice Caps.  The 24-year-old is currently third among AHL defencemen in scoring with 13 goals and 31 assists for 44 points in 55 games.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Brandon 3 Calgary 1

A third period push fell short as the Calgary Hitmen dropped a 3-1 decision to the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday night at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

The loss pushes the Hitmen to the brink of elimination as they now trail the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series 3-1.

Ryan Pulock on the powerplay and Mark Stone even strength scored first period goals to give Brandon a 2-0 lead after the opening period.

Stone's goal was a thing of beauty and brought back memories of Mario Lemieux's playoff goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Minnesota North Stars in the 1991 Stanley Cup Final.  The only difference for Stone was he finished shooting high glove side instead of a deek.

Alessio Bertaggia extended the lead to 3-0 early in the second period spelling the end of the night for Hitmen starter Chris Driedger who stopped 13 of 16 shots.

Alex Gogolev scored the lone Hitmen goal in the third period, a frame where they out shot the Wheat Kings 13-3 and also got a goal post from Collin Bowman.

The series resumes Thursday night in Winnipeg with Game 5.

Click here to listen to the post game thoughts of Hitmen forward Danny Gayle

Calgary Hitmen 1 at Brandon Wheat Kings 3
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB

Calgary 0 0 1 - 1
Brandon 2 1 0 - 3

1st Period
1, Brandon, Pulock 1 (Walker, Stone), 10:53 (PP).
2, Brandon, Stone 2 (Pulock, Melnychuk), 15:25.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (hooking), 10:18; Virtanen Cal (roughing), 13:41; Seaman Bdn (roughing), 13:41.

2nd Period
3, Brandon, Bertaggia 2   1:53.
Penalties-Humphries Cal (cross checking), 3:58; Dziurzynski Bdn (boarding), 4:43; Meilleur Bdn (boarding), 10:48; Bowman Cal (hooking), 13:13; Miller Bdn (roughing), 18:02; Gayle Cal (high sticking), 19:13.

3rd Period
4, Calgary, Gogolev 2 (Gayle, Clayton), 8:22. Penalties-Miller Bdn (tripping), 12:35; Roach Cal (cross checking), 19:56.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 9-11-13-33. Brandon 13-13-3-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 4; Brandon 1 / 5.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 0-2-0-0 (16 shots-13 saves); Glover 1-1-0-0 (13 shots-13 saves). Brandon, Boes 3-1-0-0 (33 shots-32 saves).
A-3,563
Referees-Chris Crich (80), Jeff Ingram (82).
Linesmen-Kelsey Mahoney (138), Darrell Surminski (37).

Game 4: Calgary at Brandon

The Calgary Hitmen meet the Brandon Wheat Kings in Winnipeg tonight for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series.  The Wheat Kings lead the Best-of-Seven 2-1 after a 4-1 win in Game 3 Sunday evening. 

Radio Broadcast tonight on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 6:00 p.m.  (Mountain Daylight Time).

                                            Photo Credit:  Bruce Fedyck

SERIES RECAP:  Brandon, leading the series 2-1, has outscored Calgary by a combined 10-7.
-Game 1: Brandon 6 Calgary 2.  After Mark Stone snapped a 2-2 tie with less than four minutes remaining in the second period the Wheat Kings never looked back scoring four straight.
-Game 2: Calgary 4 Brandon 0.  Trevor Cheek picked up his first career playoff hat-trick while Brandon Glover made 20 saves for hist first career post season shutout.
-Game 3: Brandon 4 Calgary 1.  Michael Ferland broke a 1-1 second period tie just past the eight minute mark.  Kevin Sundher 1g 1a.
                                                      INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 104 Bdn 94 Powerplays: Cal 2-7 (28.6%) Bdn 1-9 (11.1%)

SERIES TRENDS:  The team scoring first has won all three games....Neither team has given up the lead....Of Calgary's seven goals in the series they have scored three in the first period, two in the second and two in the third.  Of Brandon's 11 goals in the series they have scored three in the first period, three in the second and four in the third period.

PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 109-76.  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.

QUOTEABLE: 
-Brandon forward Mark Stone on Game 4 - "We know that Calgary's going to have a huge push, they are going to be a desperate hockey team and we need to match that desperate play"
-Calgary defenceman Brock Sutherland on Game 4 - "It's a crucial game for us, we want to even up the series.  We feel that in the two games we lost we didn't play our best so we'll give our selves a better chance if we come out and play our best tonight."

TOP SCORERS:
Calgary:
Collin Bowman 0g 4a 4pts
Trevor Cheek 3g 0a 3pts
Alex Roach 1g 2a 3pts

Brandon:
Alessio Bertaggia 1g 3a 4pts
Michael Ferland 2g 1a 3pts
Mark Stone 1g 2a 3pts

REMAINING SCHEDULE:
Game 5 Mar 29 Calgary vs. Brandon at Winnipeg 7:00 PM CDT
* Game 6 Apr 1 Brandon at Calgary 4:00 PM MDT
* Game 7 Apr 3 Brandon at Calgary 7:00 PM MDT
*If necessary

Monday, 26 March 2012

Brandon 4 Calgary 1

Kevin Sundher scored once and set up another as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen Sunday evening at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

The win gives Brandon a 2-1 lead in their Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Final series.

Greg Chase, with his first career playoff goal, had the lone marker for the Hitmen who were tied 1-1 after one, but trailed 3-1 after forty minutes.

Brandon out shot the Hitmen 42-27.

                                            Photo Credit:  Bruce Fedyck

Click to listen to Brandon forward and Flames prospect Michael Ferland

Click to listen to Hitmen goaltending coach Darcy Wakaluk

Calgary Hitmen 1 at Brandon Wheat Kings 4
Sunday, March 25, 2012 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB

Calgary 1 0 0 - 1
Brandon 1 2 1 - 4

1st Period
1, Brandon, Mraz 1 (Bertaggia, Sundher), 4:32.
2, Calgary, Chase 1 (Kosterman), 19:09.
Penalties-Chase Cal (tripping), 7:51; served by Macek Cal (too many men), 13:03; Brassart Cal (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period
3, Brandon, Ferland 2 (Walker, Stone), 8:01 (PP).
4, Brandon, Roy 1 (Swyripa, Seaman), 19:41.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (tripping), 7:53.

3rd Period
5, Brandon, Sundher 1 (Bertaggia, Nikkel), 4:56.
Penalties-Ciarelli Bdn (tripping), 2:01; Chase Cal (holding), 6:41; Seaman Bdn (roughing), 6:41; Cheek Cal (slashing), 7:52; Cheek Cal (10-minute misconduct), 15:19; Roy Bdn (10-minute misconduct), 15:19; Trzonkowski Cal (roughing), 17:41; Melnychuk Bdn (roughing), 17:41.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 9-5-13-27. Brandon 12-15-15-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 1; Brandon 1 / 5.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 1-1-0-0 (42 shots-38 saves). Brandon, Boes 2-1-0-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
A-3,578
Referees-Trevor Hanson (19), Pat Smith (12).
Linesmen-Bryden Hutlet (114), Kelsey Mahoney (138).

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Game 3: Calgary at Brandon

The scene has shifted from Southern Alberta to Southern Manitoba as the Calgary Hitmen meet the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday for Game 3 of their Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series.  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 4:00 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) with a one hour pre-game show.

After a 6-2 win by Brandon in Game 1, Calgary responded with a 4-0 victory in Game 2 to essentially turn this into a best of five. 

Game 3 goes today in Winnipeg at the MTS Centre due to a building conflict in Brandon.  "The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair", one of Western Canada’s largest agricultural events and the largest annual event in Brandon has taken over the home of the Wheat Kings, Westman Place.  So all home games this series for Brandon will be played in the home of the NHL's Jets.

                                     The MST Centre (Photo by Tucker Photography)

SERIES RECAP:  Through two games the best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 while both teams have scored six goals each.
-Game 1: Brandon 6 Calgary 2.  After Mark Stone snapped a 2-2 tie with less than four minutes remaining in the second period the Wheat Kings never looked back scoring four straight.
-Game 2: Calgary 4 Brandon 0.  Trevor Cheek picked up his first career playoff hat-trick while Brandon Glover made 20 saves for hist first career post season shutout.
                                                      INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal: Cal 77 Bdn 52 Powerplays: Cal 2-6 (33.3%) Bdn 0-4 (0%)

SERIES TRENDS:  The team scoring first has won both games....Neither team has given up the lead....Brandon has dressed the same line-up in both games.

PUCKS TO THE NET:  Trevor Cheek led the Hitmen with eight shots on goal in Game 2.  He tops Calgary with 15 shots in the series.  Jimmy Bubnick and Alex Roach are next with seven.  Dominick Favreau had three shots for Brandon in Game 2 to lead all Wheat Kings.  In the series Alessio Bertaggia sits on top with eight.

AN INJECTION OF YOUTH:  Jake Virtanen has played both games for Calgary.  He's the first 15 year-old to appear in the playoffs for the Hitmen since Alex Plante patrolled the blueline in the 2005 post season.

BOWMAN'S IMPACT:  Collin Bowman leads all WHL defencemen in scoring with four points (4a) during the 2012 post season.  He's also tied for eighth overall in playoff scoring.  The 20-year-old was named Calgary's Top Defenceman during the regular season and was an October trade acquisition from the Moose Jaw Warriors.  Tonight's Game 3 will be Bowman's 50th career playoff game.

STREAKIN': Three Hitmen have points in back-to-back games to start the series: Collin Bowman (4a), Alex Roach (1g 2a) and Alex Gogolev (1g 1a).

PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has a lifetime playoff record of 109-75.  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.

PRE-GAME CEREMONIES:  There will be a special ceremonial puck drop prior to Game 3 tonight involving Jets captain and former Calgary Hitmen sniper Andrew Ladd along with former Wheat King and current Jets forward Eric Fehr.

REMAINING SCHEDULE:
Game 4 Mar 27 Calgary vs. Brandon at Winnipeg 7:00 PM CDT
Game 5 Mar 29 Calgary vs. Brandon at Winnipeg 7:00 PM CDT
* Game 6 Apr 1 Brandon at Calgary 4:00 PM MDT
* Game 7 Apr 3 Brandon at Calgary 7:00 PM MDT
*If necessary

Friday, 23 March 2012

Calgary 4 Brandon 0

It was a night of firsts for the Calgary Hitmen Friday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Trevor Cheek recorded his first career hat-trick, Brandon Glover made 20 saves for his first career WHL playoff shutout and the Calgary Hitmen picked up their first win of the series in a 4-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings to even their Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series 1-1.

                             Trevor Cheek fired a hat-trick (Photo Credit: Brad Watson)

Alex Roach opened the scoring for Calgary just 1:25 into the opening period as the Hitmen grabbed their first lead of the playoffs.

Trevor Cheek then started his natural hat-trick scoring in the final minute of the second period to send the home team to the dressing room with a 2-0 lead after forty minutes.

Cheek then completed his trio in the third period with a pair of goals as the Hitmen dominated the frame outshooting the Wheat Kings 20-3.

Both teams now begin the long journey to Winnipeg, Manitoba for Game 3 Sunday.

We'll have more on this series Saturday between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. during the Hitmen Hockey Hour on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

Brandon Wheat Kings 0 at Calgary Hitmen 4
Friday, March 23, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Brandon 0 0 0 - 0
Calgary 1 1 2 - 4

1st Period
1, Calgary, Roach 1 (Chase, Kornelsen), 1:25.
Penalties-Clayton Cal (slashing), 15:32.

2nd Period
2, Calgary, Cheek 1 (Bubnick, Bowman), 19:26.
Penalties-Miller Bdn (10-minute misconduct), 8:13; Roy Bdn (roughing), 8:13; Sundher Bdn (major-fighting), 8:13; Clayton Cal (major-fighting), 8:13; Virtanen Cal (roughing), 8:13; Dziurzynski Bdn (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:44; Chase Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:44; Kosterman Cal (tripping), 11:13; Ciarelli Bdn (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 14:29; Gogolev Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 14:29.

3rd Period
3, Calgary, Cheek 2 (Gogolev, Bubnick), 7:54.
4, Calgary, Cheek 3 (Roach, Bowman), 19:14 (PP).
Penalties-Dziurzynski Bdn (kneeing), 1:39; Ferland Bdn (roughing), 9:44; Melnychuk Bdn (cross checking), 11:30; Nikkel Bdn (tripping), 17:42; Stone Bdn (roughing), 17:48; Sundher Bdn (tripping), 18:48; Trzonkowski Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 18:48; Dziurzynski Bdn (roughing, roughing), 19:46; Roy Bdn (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting, game misconduct), 19:46; Bowman Cal (roughing), 19:46; Chase Cal (major-fighting), 19:46; Helgesen Cal (roughing), 19:46.

Shots on Goal-Brandon 10-7-3-20. Calgary 6-15-20-41.
Power Play Opportunities-Brandon 0 / 2; Calgary 1 / 4.
Goalies-Brandon, Boes 1-1-0-0 (41 shots-37 saves). Calgary, Glover 1-0-0-0 (20 shots-20 saves).
A-10,497
Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Derek Zalaski (8).
Linesmen-Michael Roberts (87), Scott Sharun (103).

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)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Brandon 6 Calgary 2

The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a 2-2 second period tie scoring four unanswered goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Calgary Hitmen Thursday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The win gives Brandon a 1-0 lead in the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series with Game 2 tomorrow night (Friday 7:00 p.m.) in Calgary.

                                             Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

Darian Dziurzynski scored twice for the visitors while Mark Stone, Michael Ferland and Alessio Bertaggia all chipped in a goal and an assist.  Corbin Boes was solid in the Wheat Kings net making 34 saves to pick up the win.

After falling behind 2-0 midway through the first period, the Hitmen bounced back to tie the game on goals from Brooks Macek and Alex Gogolev.

But any thoughts of a Calgary comeback were wiped out when Brandon scored twice 32 seconds apart in the third period to turn a 3-2 lead into 5-2.

The Hitmen played without the services of two of their top three scorers, Cody Sylvester and Victor Rask, who are both listed as game time decisions for tomorrow's Game 2.

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

Click here to listen to a post game interview with Wheat Kings forward Darian Dzuirzynski

Post Game Notes:  Trevor Cheek led all Hitmen with seven shots on goal, while Danny Gayle and Brooks Macek were next with four each.  Alessio Bertaggia topped the Wheat Kings with six shots while Darian Dzuirzynski had five.

Brandon Wheat Kings 6 at Calgary Hitmen 2
Thursday, March 22, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Brandon 2 1 3 - 6
Calgary 1 1 0 - 2

1st Period
1, Brandon, Swyripa 1 (Bertaggia, Miller), 8:41.
2, Brandon, Dziurzynski 1 (Mraz, Ciarelli), 9:27.
3, Calgary, Macek 1 (Bowman, Roach), 19:01.
Penalties-Bubnick Cal (roughing), 3:03; Swyripa Bdn (tripping), 13:44; Bubnick Cal (charging), 15:29.

2nd Period
4, Calgary, Gogolev 1 (Macek, Bowman), 1:16 (PP).
5, Brandon, Stone 1 (Ferland), 16:13.
Penalties-Ferland Bdn (tripping), 0:34.

3rd Period
6, Brandon, Ferland 1 (Stone), 6:22.
7, Brandon, Dziurzynski 2 (Roy, Ciarelli), 6:50.
8, Brandon, Bertaggia 1 (Meilleur, Waltz), 16:15.
Penalties-Dziurzynski Bdn (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 11:45; Brassart Cal (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 11:45.

Shots on Goal-Brandon 12-11-9-32. Calgary 11-13-12-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Brandon 0 / 2; Calgary 1 / 2.
Goalies-Brandon, Boes 1-0-0-0 (36 shots-34 saves). Calgary, Driedger 0-1-0-0 (32 shots-26 saves).
A-8,229
Referees-Chris Crich (80), Sean Raphael (28).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Jeff Jobson (52).

Game 1: Brandon at Calgary

The chase for the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL Champions begins tonight when the Calgary Hitmen (44-25-2-1) host the Brandon Wheat Kings (39-28-1-4) in Game 1 of their Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series.  Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.

This series features two of the hottest clubs to end the regular season.  Calgary went 27-9 in their last 36 games while Brandon rattled off a run of 15-4-0-2 in their last 21.

                                                 Photo Credit:  Brad Watson

HEAD-TO-HEAD:  Calgary and Brandon met four times in the regular season with the Hitmen posting a 3-1 record.  Victor Rask led all Hitmen with six points (2g 4a) against Brandon while Alessio Bertaggia (4g 2a) topped the Wheat Kings with six points against Calgary.
-Nov. 4 in Brandon:  Wheat Kings 5 Hitmen 2.   The Brandon line of Brendan Walker (2g 2a), Mark Stone (1g 2a) and Michael Ferlund (2g 3a) combined for 11 points.
-Nov. 22 in Brandon:  Hitmen 6 Wheat Kings 3.  Alex Gogolev scored twice for Calgary while Cody Sylvester had three points (1g 2a)
-Dec. 11 in Calgary:  Hitmen 4 Wheat Kings 3.  Trevor Cheek scored twice for Calgary.
-Jan. 25 in Calgary: Hitmen 7 Wheat Kings 2.  Brooks Macek had four points (3g 1a) to lead the Hitmen.
                                                             INSIDE THE SERIES
SHOTS ON GOAL: Cal 148  Bdn 103  POWERPLAYS: Cal 2-14 (14.3%)  Bdn 3-18 (16.7%)

DID YOU KNOW?  Brandon had three of the top 25 scorers in the WHL in Mark Stone (2nd with 123pts), Michael Ferland (9th with 96pts), Brendan Walker (Tied for 19th with 81pts) and Kevin Sundher (Tied for 25th with 75pts).  Calgary's top point producer, Jimmy Bubnick, tied for 23rd with 77 points.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary went 22-13-0-1 on home ice this season while Brandon was 20-16-0-0 on the road.

PLAYOFF HISTORY:  This is the sixth career playoff meeting between the Hitmen and Wheat Kings.  It's also the fifth time in eight years these two teams will square off.  After Brandon won the first two, Calgary has captured the last three series.  Including their 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup meetings, here is a look back at their post season encounters.

2010 Memorial Cup Lost in Semi-Final    
Date/Opponent/Hitmen Result/Series
05/19/10 Brandon 5-1 W Round Robin
05/21/10 Brandon 5-4 OTL Semi-Final

2010 WHL Eastern Conference Final
04/16/10 vs. Bdn 4-2 L Bdn leads 1-0
04/17/10 vs. Bdn 3-2 OTW Series tied 1-1
04/20/10 at Bdn 6-3 W Cgy leads 2-1
04/21/10 at Bdn 4-3 W Cgy leads 3-1
04/23/10 vs. Bdn 6-1 W Cgy wins 4-1

2009 WHL Eastern Conference Final
04/17/09 vs. Bran 9-3 W Cgy leads 1-0
04/19/09 vs. Bran 5-4 W Cgy leads 2-0
04/21/09 at Bran 4-3 W Cgy leads 3-0
04/22/09 at Bran 6-4 W Cgy wins 4-0

2007 WHL Eastern Conference Semi-Final
04/06/07 at Bran 4-3 OTL Bran leads 1-0
04/07/07 at Bran 3-2 L Bran leads 2-0
04/10/07 vs. Bran 8-1 W Bran leads 2-1
04/11/07 vs. Bran 5-1 W Series tied 2-2
04/13/07 at Bran 5-4 OTW Cgy leads 3-2
04/15/07 vs. Bran 4-1 W Cgy wins 4-2

2005 WHL Eastern Conference Semi-Final
4/8/2005 at Bran 10-1 W Cgy leads 1-0
4/9/2005 at Bran 5-1 L Series tied 1-1
4/12/2005 vs. Bran 3-1 W Cgy leads 2-1
4/13/2005 vs. Bran 4-2 W Cgy leads 3-1
04/15/05 at Bran 6-4 L Cgy leads 3-2
4/18/2005 vs. Bran 3-1 L Series tied 3-3
4/20/2005 at Bran 3-1 L Bran wins 4-3

1998 WHL Eastern Conference Final
04/11/98 vs. Brandon 5-4 OTL Bran leads 1-0
04/12/98 vs. Brandon 5-4 L Bran leads 2-0
04/14/98 at Brandon 3-2 OTW Bran leads 2-1
04/15/98 at Brandon 4-1 L Bran leads 3-1
04/17/98 vs. Brandon 4-1 L Bran wins 4-1

DID YOU KNOW:  This little nugget comes from the twitter account @WHLFacts.  7.4 - The average number of playoff games won per year by the Hitmen since the 1998 post season, their first ever trip to the WHL playoffs. (Overall record of 104-73, .587)

POST SEASON EXPERIENCE: Twelve Hitmen head into tonight having appeared in at least one post season game. 
Collin Bowman, who won a WHL Championship with Kelowna in 2009, leads the way with 47 games (1g 12a 13pts). 
Brock Sutherland is next with 39GP (1g 9a 10pts)
Cody Sylvester 35GP (11g 6a 17pts)
Brooks Macek 32GP (9g 11a 20pts)
Jimmy Bubnick 31GP (2g 13a 15pts)
Brady Brassart 16GP (1g 3a 4pts)
Jaynen Rissling 9GP (1g 2a 3pts)
Danny Gayle 7GP (0g 0a 0pts
Joey Kornelsen 6GP (1g 1a 2pts)
Peter Kosterman 5GP (1g 0a 1pt)
Brandon Glover 2GP (3.09GAA .900%)
Spencer Humphries 1GP (0g 0a 0pts)

For Brandon 17 players have at least one game of playoff experience.  Brodie Melnychuk leads the way with 39 games (4g 9a 13pts).  Mark Stone is next with 33GP (3g 15a 18pts) followed by Darian Dziurzynski with 24GP (6g 10a 16pts)

NHL PROSPECTS:
Calgary Hitmen:
F Victor Rask (Carolina, 2nd Round, 42nd overall in 2011 - SIGNED)
F Brooks Macek (Detroit, 6th round, 171st overall in 2010)
D Alex Roach (Los Angeles, SIGNED as a Free Agent in September, 2011)

Brandon Wheat Kings:
F Kevin Sundher (Buffalo, 3rd Round, 75th overall in 2010 – SIGNED)
F Michael Ferland (Calgary, 5th Round, 133rd overall in 2010 - SIGNED)
F Mark Stone (Ottawa, 6th Round, 178th overall in 2010 - SIGNED)
G Brandon Anderson (Washington, SIGNED as a Free Agent in September, 2010).

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.
Buffet Opens at 5:00 p.m.
Slow Roasted Alberta AAA Beef Sirloin with a Merlot Demi Glaze
Pork Piccata with a Housemade Tomato Sauce
Blackened Salmon with a Fresh Fruit Salsa
Roasted Potato Wedges Tossed with Fresh Herbs
Chef’s Selection of Seasonal Vegetables
Tender Butter Lettuce and Baby Arugula
Greek Salad with a Fresh Oregano and Lemon Vinaigrette
Mediterranean Salad
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Chef’s Selection of Desserts
$18.95 Adults
$10.95 (Children 11 and under)







Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Jimmy Bubnick up for WHL Award

Calgary Hitmen forward Jimmy Bubnick is the WHL's Eastern Conference nominee for Scholastic Player of the Year.  The winner captures the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy.

This caption is from Hitmen Education Advisor Bernie Bajnok:

"Jimmy, as a 20-year-old member of the Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club, made academics as well as hockey a focus during this season.  He was a definite influence on his teammates concerning the importance of education as seven other members of the team joined him at St. Mary’s University College in the fall semester.  To be successful with on line learning requires good self discipline.  Jimmy demonstrated diligence and perseverance both at home and on the road in order to complete two online math courses by the end of February with an honours standing."


Here is a summary about the award, including previous winners, as outlined in the WHL Media Guide.

The late Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman was a pioneer in promoting higher education and hockey. For many years Doc Seaman was a staunch supporter of the efforts of Hockey Canada and the Western Hockey League to ensure all players combine education with hockey. As well, he was a great promoter of the City of Calgary, as evidenced by his efforts to bring the Atlanta Flames to Calgary to become the beloved Calgary Flames of the NHL.  Due to Seaman’s support for programs that promote the combination of education and hockey, and the Western Hockey League’s education program in particular, the WHL named the Scholastic Player of the Year Award in honour of Doc Seaman in 1996.

Past winners:
2010-11 Colin Smith, Kamloops
2009-10 Adam Lowry, Swift Current
2008-09 Stefan Elliott, Saskatoon •
2007-08 Jordan Eberle, Regina
2006-07 Keith Aulie, Brandon
2005-06 Brennan Wray, Moose Jaw
2004-05 Gilbert Brule, Vancouver•
2003-04 Devan Dubnyk, Kamloops •
2002-03 Brett Dickie, Brandon
2001-02 Tyler Metcalfe, Seattle
2000-01 Dan Hulak, Portland •
1999-00 Chris Nielsen, Calgary
1998-99 Chris Nielsen, Calgary

1997-98 Kyle Rossiter, Spokane •
1996-97 Stefan Cherneski, Brandon •
1995-96 Bryce Salvador, Lethbridge
1994-95 Perry Johnson, Regina •
1993-94 Byron Penstock, Brandon
1992-93 David Trofimenkoff, Leth. •
1991-92 Ashley Buckberger, S.C.
1990-91 Scott Niedermayer, Kaml. •
1989-90 Jeff Nelson, Prince Albert •
1988-89 Jeff Nelson, Prince Albert •
1987-88 Kevin Cheveldayoff, Brandon
1986-87 Casey McMillan, Lethbridge
1985-86 Mark Janssens, Regina Pats
1984-85 Mark Janssens, Regina Pats
1983-84 Ken Baumgartner, P.A.
scholastic player of the year
Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy
• Also selected as the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year, an award first instituted at the CHL level in the 1988-89 Season

Calgary vs. Brandon Preview

This preview was released by the WHL office today.

(3) CALGARY HITMEN vs (6) BRANDON WHEAT KINGS
2011-12 regular-season record:
Calgary:                44-25-2-1, 91pts (L10: 8-2-0-0)
Brandon:               39-28-1-4, 83pts (L10: 7-2-0-1)

2011-12 head-to-head record:
Calgary: 3-1-0-0, 6pts
Brandon: 1-3-0-0, 2pts

2011-12 head-to-head top scorers:
Calgary:
Victor Rask                          4gp-2g-4a-6pts
Trevor Cheek                       4gp-4g-1a-5pts

Brandon:
Alessio Bertaggia                 4gp-4g-2a-6pts
Mark Stone                          3gp-2g-3a-5pts

The Calgary Hitmen and Brandon Wheat Kings meet up for their second playoff series in the last three seasons.  Brandon Kozun and the Calgary Hitmen defeated Brayden Schenn and the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-1 in the 2010 WHL Eastern Conference championship series.

The Hitmen are back in the post-season after missing the playoffs last year for the first time in 13 years.  After a slow start to the 2011-12 season, the Hitmen found their game and were among the WHL’s most consistent clubs from the midway point in November.  Calgary’s offense tied Brandon’s for the second-best in the Eastern Conference, having scored 273 goals.  A balanced attack was the key to the Hitmen’s offense this season, with six players who topped the 20-goal mark and another three players with at least 14 goals on the season.  Veterans Jimmy Bubnick and Cody Sylvester, along with defensemen Jaynen Rissling and Peter Kosterman, are holdovers from Calgary’s 2010 WHL championship side, giving them some valuable playoff experience.  Defensively, the Hitmen owned the WHL’s fourth-best penalty killing unit this season.  They will need a strong PK to shut down the Wheat Kings’ lethal power play.  Sophomore Chris Driedger and veteran Brandon Glover give Calgary two solid options in goal.  Both played very well this season, and both could be go-to guys in the playoffs.

The Wheat Kings charged their way to a sixth-place finish with a very strong stretch run, and come into the playoffs playing some of their best hockey of the season.  Offense is the key for the Wheat Kings, who boast six players with at least 20 goals this season.  Mark Stone, the WHL’s second-leading scorer, and Michael Ferland propel Brandon’s third-ranked power play, while Kevin Sundher, Brenden Walker, Alessio Bertaggia and Darian Dziurzynski add terrific offensive depth.  The Wheat Kings also boast two of the WHL’s best puck-moving, offensive defensemen in 17-year-olds Ryan Pulock and Eric Roy.  Defensively, the Wheat Kings will need to be vigilant to stop Calgary’s attack.  The Wheat Kings allowed 17 goals to the Hitmen over their last three meetings.  They will need to improve on that stat if they are to beat the Hitmen in the opening round.  Goaltender Corbin Boes has been outstanding down the stretch for the Wheat Kings, posting an 11-4-0-1 mark with a 2.48 GAA and a .928 save percentage over his last 16 games.  He could be a difference-maker in the series. 

Series Schedule
#1 – Brandon @ Calgary; Thursday, March 22 (7:00pm)
#2 – Brandon @ Calgary; Friday, March 23 (7:00pm)
#3 – Calgary @ Brandon; Sunday, March 25 (6:00pm) In Winnipeg
#4 – Calgary @ Brandon; Tuesday, March 27 (7:00pm) In Winnipeg
#5 – Calgary @ Brandon; Thursday, April 29 (7:00pm)** In Winnipeg
#6 – Brandon @ Calgary; Sunday, April 1 (4:00pm)**
#7 – Brandon @ Calgary; Tuesday, April 3 (7:00pm)**

Monday, 19 March 2012

Hitmen honour 2011-12 best

On Sunday the Calgary Hitmen honoured their best at the 2011-12 Awards Banquet at The Fairmont Palliser.  The afternoon featured special addresses from Bret “Hitman” Hart, one of the team’s founding owners, and Charlie Simmer, National Hockey League great and colour analyst for the Calgary Flames Sportsnet broadcasts.

Playing in his final Western Hockey League season, assistant captain Jimmy Bubnick earned four awards, including the Petro-Canada Player of the Year award.  Past recipients of this prestigious honour include Brad Moran and Ryan Getzlaf.  This season the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native, received Ed Williams Player of the Month recognition in November and February and has set career highs in goals (36), assists (41) and points (77), including posting a career-high five-point performance (2g, 3a) last month.

“Jimmy has been a vital part of our hockey club’s success this season,” said Calgary Hitmen Executive VP, Alternate Governor and General Manager Kelly Kisio.  “He worked incredibly hard to improve his skills on and off the ice, and is a respected mentor in the dressing room.  It has been a privilege to have Jimmy in our organization for three seasons and we wish him all the best in his post-WHL endeavors.”

2011-12 Calgary Hitmen Team Awards
Ed Williams Player of the Month for March Victor Rask
Calgary Hitmen Leading Scorer Award Jimmy Bubnick
Calgary Hitmen Booster Club Fan Favourite Award Trevor Cheek
National Sports Development Players Choice Award Peter Kosterman
ENMAX Humanitarian Award Cody Sylvester and Chase Clayton
Chrysler Canada Inc. Scholastic Player Award Jimmy Bubnick
Wendy’s Restaurant Rookie of the Year Award Victor Rask
Husky Energy Top Defenceman Award Collin Bowman
RE/MAX Three Star Award Jimmy Bubnick
TELUS Coaches Award Cody Sylvester
Petro-Canada Player of the Year Award Jimmy Bubnick

                                              Trevor Cheek wins "Fan Favourite"

The Hitmen will open the 2012 playoffs against the Brandon Wheat Kings on March 22 and 23.  Both games are 7:00 p.m. starts at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Playoff tickets are available now at all Ticketmaster locations and online at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/.  For information on playoff packages and group tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

A buffet will be served in the Avison Young Club Dining Room before each playoff game, open two hours prior to puck drop.  For buffet reservations, call 403-571-9733.  The reservation line is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Calgary 3 Kootenay 0

Calgary, AB - The Calgary Hitmen beat Kootenay Ice 3-0 Saturday evening at the Scotiabank Saddledome in front of 14,982 fans, clinching third place in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 91 points. 
After a scoreless first period, Peter Kosterman netted a second period marker with Jimmy Bubnick scoring two in the third.  Greg Chase added three helpers in the win.

Chris Driedger made 25 saves to record his 24th win and third shutout of the season

The Hitmen will now open the 2012 playoffs against the Brandon Wheat Kings on March 22 and 23.  Both games are 7:00 p.m. starts at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Playoff tickets are available now at all ticketmaster locations and online at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/.  For information on playoff packages and group tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

A buffet will be served in the Avison Young Club Dining Room before each playoff game, open two hours prior to puck drop.  For buffet reservations, call 403-571-9733.  The reservation line is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The first round of playoffs will be a 2-3-2 series.  Calgary will travel to Winnipeg for Game 3 on Sunday, March 25 at the MTS Centre.  Game 4 of the series will take place on Tuesday, March 27 followed by Game 5, if necessary, on Thursday.  If necessary, Games 6 and 7 will be played at the Scotiabank Saddledome on April 1 and 3.

2012 Round 1 Playoff Schedule
Round 1 Date Time (MT) Venue
Game 1 Thursday, March 22 7:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome
Game 2 Friday, March 23 7:00 p.m.  Scotiabank Saddledome
Game 3 Sunday, March 25 5:00 p.m. MTS Centre (Winnipeg, MB)
Game 4 Tuesday, March 27 6:00 p.m. MTS Centre (Winnipeg, MB)
Game 5 Thursday, March 29 6:00 p.m. MTS Centre (Winnipeg, MB)
Game 6 Sunday, April 1 4:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome
Game 7 Tuesday, April 3 7:00 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome

Kootenay Ice 0 at Calgary Hitmen 3
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Kootenay 0 0 0 - 0
Calgary 0 1 2 - 3

1st Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-Simpson Ktn (major-fighting), 1:11; Rissling Cal (major-fighting), 1:11; McKinlay Ktn (major-fighting), 1:18; Sutherland Cal (major-fighting), 1:18; Antilla Ktn (tripping), 2:34; Rissling Cal (high sticking), 16:51; Trzonkowski Cal (hooking), 19:28.

2nd Period
1, Calgary, Kosterman 2 (Cheek, Chase), 16:13.
Penalties-Wand Ktn (10-minute misconduct), 20:00.

3rd Period
2, Calgary, Bubnick 35 (Chase), 0:20.
3, Calgary, Bubnick 36 (Chase, Virtanen), 9:24.
Penalties-Montgomery Ktn (delay of game), 2:41; Gayle Cal (cross checking), 4:04; Trzonkowski Cal (high sticking), 9:52; Ismond Ktn (10-minute misconduct), 11:59; Muth Ktn (10-minute misconduct), 11:59; Simpson Ktn (major-fighting), 11:59; Brassart Cal (10-minute misconduct), 11:59; Humphries Cal (major-fighting), 11:59; Dirk Ktn (cross checking), 12:35; Bubnick Cal (tripping), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Kootenay 8-7-10-25. Calgary 5-6-6-17.
Power Play Opportunities-Kootenay 0 / 4; Calgary 0 / 3.
Goalies-Kootenay, Lieuwen 27-20-6-2 (17 shots-14 saves). Calgary, Driedger 24-12-2-1 (25 shots-25 saves).
A-14,982
Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Reagan Vetter (79).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Aidan Henderson (78).

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Kootenay at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (43-25-2-1) host the Kootenay Ice (36-25-6-4) tonight in the regular season finale for both clubs.  Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome. 

VS. KOOTENAY: Tonight is the eighth and final regular season meeting.  Kootenay leads the season series having won five of the seven meetings, outscoring Calgary by a combined 24-15.  Brooks Macek (2g 3a), Victor Rask (2g, 3a) and Alex Gogolev (1g 4a) all have five points each to lead the Hitmen in the season series.  Brock Montgomery tops all Ice with 10 points (1g, 9a) against Calgary while goaltender Nathan Lieuwen sports a 2.00 goals against average and a .928 save percentage stopping 180 of 194 shots.  Lieuwen is also third in the WHL with a 2.49 goals against average. 
-Sept. 24 in KTN: Ice 5 Hitmen 1.  Calgary out shot 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.
-Feb. 12 in CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 0.  Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season.
-March 3 in KTN: Ice 2 Hitmen 1.  Nathan Lieuwen made 24 saves.
-March 17 in KTN: Hitmen 6 Ice 5 OT.  Hitmen overcame a 4-0 first period deficit.
                                                  INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 194  KTN 164   Powerplays: CAL 5-33 (15.2%)  KTN 5-26 (19.2%)

TOP SCORERS:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 34g 40a 74pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 45a 68pts
Victor Rask 33g 30a 63pts

Kootenay:
Max Reinhart 28g 50a 78pts
Sam Reinhart 28g 34a 62pts
Jesse Ismond 16g 39a 55pts

Friday, 16 March 2012

Calgary 6 Kootenay 5 OT

Cranbrook, BC – Spencer Humphries scored a powerplay goal 59 seconds into overtime lifting the Calgary Hitmen to a 6-5 win over the Kootenay Ice Saturday night at the Cranbrook Recplex.

The win completed a massive comeback for the visitors who fell behind 4-0 less than nine minutes into the first period.

Jimmy Bubnick, with his second goal of the game, and Greg Chase, with 42 seconds remaining, both scored in the final minute to force sudden death.

Victor Rask and Jaynen Rissling provided the other Calgary goals while Alex Gogolev and Brooks Macek both had three assists each.

The win moves Calgary into a tied for third place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference with the Medicine Hat Tigers.  Both teams have 89 points with one game remaining.

Calgary closes out the 2011-12 regular season tomorrow night at home against the Kootenay Ice.  Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Hitmen will then open the 2012 Western Hockey League playoffs at home with Games 1 on Thursday, March 22nd and Game 2 on Friday, March 23rd.  Both are 7:00 p.m. starts at Scotiabank Saddledome against a yet to be determined opponent. 

Playoff tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations and online at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/

For information on playoff packages and group tickets, call Customer Service at 403-777-4646.

Calgary Hitmen 6 at Kootenay Ice 5 OTFriday, March 16, 2012 - Cranbrook Rec. Complex - Cranbrook, BC

Calgary 1 2 2 1 - 6
Kootenay 4 0 1 0 - 5

1st Period
1, Kootenay, Reinhart 28 (Leach), 4:51.
2, Kootenay, Ismond 16 (McKinlay, Dirk), 7:24 (PP).
3, Kootenay, Benoit 14 (Leach, Cable), 7:54.
4, Kootenay, Pearce 21 (Antilla, Montgomery), 8:24.
5, Calgary, Rask 33 (Macek, Gogolev), 11:00 (PP).
Penalties-Humphries Cal (roughing), 5:00; Ismond Ktn (roughing), 5:00; Bowman Cal (interference), 6:03; Dirk Ktn (slashing), 9:52; Bubnick Cal (roughing), 11:59; Antilla Ktn (tripping), 13:38.

2nd Period
6, Calgary, Bubnick 33 (Brassart, Macek), 6:50 (PP).
7, Calgary, Rissling 5 (Gogolev, Humphries), 11:03.
Penalties-Wand Ktn (roughing, roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 5:08; Dirk Ktn (high sticking), 6:20; Sylvester Cal (interference), 11:23; Antilla Ktn (tripping), 16:46.

3rd Period
8, Kootenay, Leach 12 (Ismond, Reinhart), 3:25.
9, Calgary, Bubnick 34 (Gogolev, Rask), 19:03.
10, Calgary, Chase 6 (Sylvester, Cheek), 19:18.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (roughing), 11:33; Ismond Ktn (roughing), 11:33; Muth Ktn (checking from behind), 19:47.

OT Period
11, Calgary, Humphries 8 (Macek), 0:59 (PP).
Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Calgary 6-15-13-1-35. Kootenay 14-3-9-0-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 3 / 7; Kootenay 1 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 20-12-0-0 (9 shots-6 saves); Driedger 23-12-2-1 (17 shots-15 saves). Kootenay, Lieuwen 27-19-6-2 (35 shots-29 saves).
A-2,840
Referees-Colin Watt (72), Derek Zalaski (8).
Linesmen-Michael Roberts (87), Ian Shaver (74).

Calgary at Kootenay

The Calgary Hitmen (42-25-2-1) are on the road in Cranbrook tonight against the Kootenay Ice (36-25-5-4).  Internet Broadcast on sportsnet960.ca starts at 7:00 p.m.

VS. KOOTENAY: Tonight is the seventh of eight meetings.  Kootenay leads the season series 5-1 having outscored Calgary by a combined 19-9.  Brooks Macek (2g), Danny Gayle (1g, 1a), Victor Rask (1g, 1a), Alex Gogolev (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 eight points (1g, 7a) against Calgary while goaltender Nathan Lieuwen sports a 1.34 goals against average and a .950 save percentage stopping 151 of 159 shots.  Lieuwen also leads the WHL with a 2.42 goals against average. 
-Sept. 24 in KTN: Ice 5 Hitmen 1.  Calgary out shot 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.
-Feb. 12 in CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 0.  Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season.
-March 3 in KTN: Ice 2 Hitmen 1.  Nathan Lieuwen made 24 saves.
                                                  INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 159  KTN 138   Powerplays: CAL 2-26 (7.7%)  KTN 4-23 (17.4%)

Lethbridge 4 Calgary 2

Calgary, AB - The Calgary Hitmen fell 5-2 to the Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday evening at Scotiabank Saddledome.  

Victor Rask and Trevor Cheek scored for Calgary while Jaimen Yakubowski, Russell Maxwell, Graham Hood, Sam Mckechnie and Jamal Watson each netted one for the visitors. 

The Hitmen outshot the Hurricanes 39-30 in the loss.

Brandon Glover replaced Chris Driedger in the middle frame. Driedger made 12 saves for Calgary while Glover stopped 13-of-14 shots.

Calgary remains fourth in the Eastern Conference with 87 points, trailing third place Medicine Hat by two points while leading fifth place Regina by five.

The Hitmen wrap up the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Kootenay Ice starting

Friday, March 16 in Cranbrook and concluding Saturday, March 17 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Puck drop is 7:00 p.m. for the Fan Appreciation Game.  Radio broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The FAN begins at 7:00 p.m.

Lethbridge Hurricanes 5 at Calgary Hitmen 2 Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Lethbridge 3 1 1 - 5
Calgary 1 1 0 - 2

1st Period
1, Lethbridge, Yakubowski 16 (Bezuch), 2:10.
2, Lethbridge, Maxwell 12 (Yakubowski, Johnston), 5:19 (PP).
3, Calgary, Rask 32 (Brassart, Chase), 12:46.
4, Lethbridge, Hood 15 (Bezuch, Henry), 17:51.
Penalties-Rissling Cal (interference), 4:15; Rissling Cal (high sticking), 6:23; Humphries Cal (tripping), 18:29.

2nd Period
5, Calgary, Cheek 23 (Sylvester, Bubnick), 0:49.
6, Lethbridge, Mckechnie 13 (Sutter, Oslanski), 7:43.
Penalties-Watson Let (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 2:27; Brooks Cal (major-fighting), 2:27; Maxwell Let (roughing), 7:51; Sylvester Cal (roughing), 7:51; Tot Let (hooking), 8:48; Duke Let (hooking), 14:05; Galbraith Let (high sticking), 18:09.

3rd Period
7, Lethbridge, Watson 5   4:15.
Penalties-Roach Cal (roughing), 0:57; Kornelsen Cal (too many men), 18:17.

Shots on Goal-Lethbridge 10-9-11-30. Calgary 13-13-13-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Lethbridge 1 / 5; Calgary 0 / 3.
Goalies-Lethbridge, Ketlo 19-24-0-0 (39 shots-37 saves). Calgary, Driedger 22-12-2-1 (16 shots-12 saves); Glover 20-12-0-0 (14 shots-13 saves).
A-9,082
Referees-Ryan Bonnett (39), Andy Thiessen (11).
Linesmen-Michael Roberts (87), Scott Sharun (103).

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Lethbridge at Calgary

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.

TOP SCORERS:

Calgary:
Jimmy Bubnick 32g 39a 71pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 43a 66pts
Victor Rask 31g 28a 59pts

Lethbridge
Brody Sutter 29g 28a 57pts
Nick Buonassisi 16g 32a 48pts
Philip Tot 14g 30a 44pts




Sunday, 11 March 2012

Calgary 5 Red Deer 2

Calgary, AB - Brady Brassart scored twice giving him 25 goals on the season as the Calgary Hitmen beat the Red Deer Rebels 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The win clinches home ice advantage for Calgary with the club to host Game 1 and Game 2 of their best-of-seven opening round series at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday, March 22nd and Friday, March 23rd.  Both will be 7pm starts.  Right now their opponent is one of four possible teams: Kootenay, Regina, Saskatoon or Brandon.

                                             Photo Credit: Brad Watson

Collin Bowman, Jake Virtanen and Jimmy Bubnick, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary who jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead.

Victor Rask chipped in a pair of assists for Calgary who won five of six meetings with the Rebels this season.

Adam Kambeitz and John Persson replied for a Red Deer team that was outshot 30-15 and playing their third game in as many days.

Brandon Glover made 13 saves in the Hitmen net to record his 20th win of the season.  The victory was a franchise first, two goalies with 20 win seasons as Chris Driedger has 22 victories.

Calgary improves to 42-24-2-1.  At 87 points, they sit two points back of Medicine Hat for third in the WHL's Eastern Conference.  Both teams have three games remaining.

The Hitmen return to action Wednesday night to host the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.

Red Deer Rebels 2 at Calgary Hitmen 5
Sunday, March 11, 2012 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Red Deer 1 0 1 - 2
Calgary 2 1 2 - 5

1st Period
1, Calgary, Bowman 15 (Bubnick, Cheek), 6:26.
2, Calgary, Virtanen 3 (Clayton, Sutherland), 12:11 (PP).
3, Red Deer, Kambeitz 16 (Persson, Petrovic), 14:08 (PP).
Penalties-Fafard R.d (slashing), 2:48; Persson R.d (roughing), 10:24; Kosterman Cal (tripping), 13:49; Fafard R.d (major-fighting), 19:24; Clayton Cal (roughing, major-fighting), 19:24.

2nd Period
4, Calgary, Brassart 24 (Rask, Humphries), 11:48.
Penalties-Kornelsen Cal (tripping), 3:47; Kambeitz R.d (slashing), 11:48; Sutherland Cal (roughing), 11:48; Kambeitz R.d (holding opp. stick), 16:30.

3rd Period
5, Red Deer, Persson 23 (Kambeitz, Dumba), 3:39.
6, Calgary, Brassart 25 (Kosterman, Rask), 4:10.
7, Calgary, Bubnick 32 (Brooks, Rissling), 19:20.
Penalties-Bricker R.d (charging), 4:53; Ness R.d (high sticking), 12:01.

Shots on Goal-Red Deer 8-4-3-15. Calgary 11-8-11-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Red Deer 1 / 3; Calgary 1 / 5.
Goalies-Red Deer, Pouliot 2-5-0-2 (30 shots-25 saves). Calgary, Glover 20-12-0-0 (15 shots-13 saves).
A-13,100
Referees-Sean Raphael (28), Reagan Vetter (79).
Linesmen-Sean Donnelly (109), Mark MacIsaac (22).

Red Deer at Calgary

The Calgary Hitmen (41-24-2-1), with just seven days left in the regular season, host the Red Deer Rebels (30-32-1-5) today in a late Sunday matinee.  Game time is 4:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Internet Broadcast on Sportsnet960.ca also starts at 4 o'clock.  Calgary is coming off Friday's 6-3 win Lethbridge while Red Deer will play their third game in as many days.  They dropped a 5-2 home ice decision Friday against Edmonton before falling 7-4 last night in the provincial capital. 

Today's game is a fundraiser for ConnecTeen Calgary with a special $10 ticket offer.  Click here to see the ticket offer

With four games left in the regular season, the Hitmen are currently fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 85 points, four back of third place Medicine Hat and five points up on fifth place Kootenay, however the Hitmen have a game in hand on both teams.  Red Deer meanwhile is ninth in the conference with 66 points and were mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase last night.
Today is the sixth and final meeting between the two clubs.  Calgary leads the season series 4-1 having outscored the Rebels by a combined 20-11.  Jimmy Bubnick (4g 6a) leads all Hitmen with 10 points against Red Deer.  Chase Clayton (4g 1a), Greg Chase (1g 4a) and Cody Sylvester (1g 4a) are all next with five.  Matthew Dumba (3g 2a) and John Persson (2g 3a) tops the Rebels with five points each against Calgary. 
-Oct. 7 in CAL: Rebels 4 Hitmen 2.  Colton Mayor and John Persson each had a goal and an assist for the Rebels.
-Jan. 17 in RD: Hitmen 5 Rebels 1.  Alex Gogolev scored twice, while Greg Chase had a career high three points (1g 2a).
-Jan. 22 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Rebels 2.  Chase Clayton scored twice while Brooks Macek had two assists.
-Feb. 4 in RD: Hitmen 6 Rebels 2.  Jimmy Bubnick had a career high five points (2g 3a).
-March 6 in RD: Hitmen 3 Rebels 2.  Brandon Glover made 33 saves.
                                                         INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal:  CAL 169  RD 159  Powerplays: CAL 1-16 (6.3%) RD 4-22 (18.2%)
MAGIC NUMBER:  Calgary needs just a single point or to have Kootenay drop just a single point to clinch home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.  A points tie in the overall standings would go to Calgary as the WHL imposed tie breaker goes to the team with the most wins.

WHAT'S LEFT:  Following today's game the Hitmen host Lethbridge on Wednesday before closing out the regular season with a home and home against the Kootenay Ice Friday (in Cranbrook) and Saturday (in Calgary). 
TOP SCORERS:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 31g 37a 68pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 43a 66pts
Victor Rask 31g 26a 57pts

Red Deer
John Persson 22g 32a 54pts
Matthew Dumba 20g 33a 53pts
Turner Elson 21g 25a 46pts

Friday, 9 March 2012

Calgary 6 Lethbridge 3

Lethbridge, AB – Trevor Cheek had a pair of goals leading the Calgary Hitmen to a 6-3 win on the road Friday night over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Collin Bowman scored the game winner for Calgary snapping a 3-3 third period tie with just under nine minutes remaining.

                                      Photo Credit: Lethbridge Hurricanes

Victor Rask, Brady Brassart and Jaynen Rissling also scored in the win while Danny Gayle and Chase Clayton both chipped in a pair of assists.

Max Moline, Jaimen Yakubowski and Sam Mckechnie replied for Lethbridge who outshot the Hitmen 42-40.

The win improves Calgary’s record to 41-24-2-1 and lowers their magic number to clinch home ice advantage in the first round of the WHL playoffs to two.  Any combination of Calgary wins and Kootenay losses over the final four games of the regular season totaling two and the Hitmen will open the post season at Scotiabank Saddledome. 

At 85 points Calgary is fourth in the Eastern Conference, two points back of third place Medicine Hat and five points up on fifth place Kootenay.

The Hitmen return to action at home on Sunday against the Red Deer Rebels.  Game time is 4:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome.

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

Calgary Hitmen 6 at Lethbridge Hurricanes 3
Friday, March 9, 2012 - Enmax Centre - Lethbridge, AB

Calgary 2 1 3 - 6
Lethbridge 1 1 1 - 3

1st Period
1, Calgary, Cheek 21 (Clayton, Bubnick), 9:49.
2, Calgary, Rask 31 (Gayle, Humphries), 12:47.
3, Lethbridge, Yakubowski 15 (Johnston), 17:20.
Penalties-Brassart Cal (high sticking), 1:34; Sylvester Cal (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 5:43; Erkamps Let (major-fighting), 5:43; Sutherland Cal (major-fighting), 12:49; Galbraith Let (major-fighting), 12:49.

2nd Period
4, Calgary, Brassart 23 (Clayton), 6:15.
5, Lethbridge, Mckechnie 12 (Hood, Buonassisi), 8:06.
Penalties-Erkamps Let (holding), 16:15.

3rd Period
6, Lethbridge, Moline 2 (Duke), 3:01.
7, Calgary, Bowman 14 (Rask), 11:25.
8, Calgary, Cheek 22 (Sylvester), 12:47.
9, Calgary, Rissling 4 (Gogolev, Gayle), 19:12 (EN).
Penalties-Rissling Cal (major-fighting), 4:24; Hood Let (major-fighting), 4:24; Gogolev Cal (hooking), 17:05; Merkley Let (inter. on goaltender), 17:05; Sutter Let (10-minute misconduct), 19:12.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 8-19-13-40. Lethbridge 16-10-16-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 1; Lethbridge 0 / 2.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 22-11-2-1 (42 shots-39 saves). Lethbridge, Ketlo 18-23-0-0 (39 shots-34 saves).
A-4,085
Referees-Ryan Bonnett (39), Jonathan Spurgeon (7).
Linesmen-Matthew Barker (118), Steve Cochrane (125).

Calgary at Lethbridge

The Calgary Hitmen (40-24-2-1) wrap up a three game road trip tonight against the Lethbridge Hurricanes (27-39-0-1).  Internet Broadcast on Sportsnet960.ca begins at 7:00 p.m.  The Hitmen are coming off Tuesday’s 3-2 win in Red Deer.  Jimmy Bubnick, Brady Brassart and Chase Clayton all scored for Calgary who built period leads of 1-0 and 2-1.  Brandon Glover made 33 saves in a third star performance while Victor Rask, Brock Sutherland and Collin Bowman were all +2.  Lethbridge meanwhile opened a three game home stand Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Moose Jaw.  The Hurricanes were out shot 38-17 but Damien Ketlo made 37 saves in a first star performance. 

At 83 points, Calgary is fourth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, trailing third place Medicine Hat by two points while leading fifth place Kootenay by three.  All three teams have five games remaining on their regular season schedule.  Lethbridge has 55 points to sit 11th in the conference.  They will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row.

                                                Photo Credit: Brad Watson

VS. LETHBRIDGE:  Tonight is the fifth of six meetings with the Hurricanes.  Calgary is 2-1-1-0 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 three of the four meetings.  Over the last five seasons Calgary is 7-5-2-0 in their last 14 visits to the Enmax Centre.  This season they are winless (0-1-1-0) in two visits.  Alex Gogolev tops the Hitmen with eight points (3g 5a) in the season series while Brady Brassart (4g 2a) and Victor Rask (3g 3a) have six points each.  The recently traded Cam Braes leads Lethbridge in scoring against the Hitmen with eight points (5g 3a) while Brody Sutter is 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.
                                                               INSIDE THE SERIES
SHOTS ON GOAL: Cal 170 Leth 120  POWERPLAYS: Cal 7-20 (35%) Leth 5-16 (31.3%)
They will close out their season series Wednesday, March 14th in Calgary.

ROAD WARRIORS:  Calgary holds a record of 10-3-0-0 in their last 13 road contests.  Following tonight the Hitmen have just one road game left in the regular season, next Friday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 20-12-2-0 on the road this season while Lethbridge is 17-17-0-0 at home.

DID YOU KNOW?  11 Hitmen have at least 10 or more goals this season, including five players with more than 20.  A year ago only seven Hitmen hit the double digit goals total. 

PLAYOFF BOUND:  After missing the playoffs last season, Calgary his heading back to the post season for the 14th time in their 17 year history.  Calgary’s magic number to clinch home ice advantage in the opening round is four.  Any combination of Calgary wins combined with Kootenay losses totalling four means the Hitmen will open the playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

STREAKS:  None.  Alex Gogolev (2g, 4a) had his six-game point streak snapped Tuesday in Red Deer.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT:  The Hitmen have added their first round pick from the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft to the roster for the remainder of the season.  15-year-old Jake Virtanen had 39 points (17g 22a) in 39 games this season with the Fraser Valley Bruins.

FINAL PUSH:  Since returning from the Christmas break, the Hitmen are 23-9-0-0.  Following tonight’s campaign, four games remain in the 2011-12 regular season.  Calgary returns to Scotiabank Saddledome to host the Rebels on Sunday at 4pm before welcoming the Hurricanes next Wednesday. The Hitmen will then wrap up the regular season with a home-and-home series against Kootenay, starting Friday, March 16 in Cranbrook and concluding Saturday, March 17 on home ice.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Calgary 3 Red Deer 2

Red Deer, AB – Brandon Glover made 33 saves as the Calgary Hitmen beat the Red Deer Rebels 3-2 Tuesday night at Enmax Centrium.

Jimmy Bubnick in the first period, Brady Brassart in the second and Chase Clayton in the third all scored for Calgary who built period leads of 1-0 and 2-1.

Tyson Ness and Matthew Dumba replied for the Rebels.

Calgary outshot Red Deer 43-35.

The win is Calgary’s 40th of the season improving their record to 40-24-2-1.

At 83 points and with five games remaining in the regular season, Calgary moves five points ahead of Kootenay in the battle for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and home ice advantage in the opening round of the WHL playoffs.  The Hitmen also pull within two points of Medicine Hat for third place, however both the Tigers and Ice have a game in hand.

Calgary returns to action Friday night in Lethbridge for a date with the Hurricanes before returning home Sunday to host the Rebels in a rematch.  Sunday’s game is a 4:00 p.m. start at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Calgary Hitmen 3 at Red Deer Rebels 2
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - Enmax Centrium - Red Deer, AB

Calgary 1 1 1 - 3
Red Deer 0 1 1 - 2

1st Period
1, Calgary, Bubnick 31 (Cheek), 5:28.
Penalties-Sylvester Cal (major-fighting), 2:33; Bricker R.d (major-fighting), 2:33; Petrovic R.d (roughing), 6:56; Dumba R.d (clipping), 9:07; Fafard R.d (delay of game), 10:28; Gogolev Cal (high sticking, high sticking), 11:16; Bowman Cal (roughing), 20:00; Persson R.d (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period
2, Red Deer, Ness 18 (Robinson, Dumba), 1:29.
3, Calgary, Brassart 22   9:53.
Penalties-Bowman Cal (roughing), 15:32; Bricker R.d (hooking), 15:32.

3rd Period
4, Calgary, Clayton 12 (Chase, Brooks), 17:32.
5, Red Deer, Dumba 19 (Kambeitz), 19:55.
Penalties-Kambeitz R.d (10-minute misconduct), 19:55; Rissling Cal (major-fighting), 20:00; Petrovic R.d (major-fighting), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Calgary 13-16-14-43. Red Deer 11-8-16-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 3; Red Deer 0 / 2.
Goalies-Calgary, Glover 19-12-0-0 (35 shots-33 saves). Red Deer, Dubyk 16-16-1-2 (43 shots-40 saves).
A-3,981
Referees-Ryan Bonnett (39), Trevor Hanson (19).
Linesmen-Sean Donnelly (109), Aidan Henderson (78).

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Calgary at Red Deer

The Calgary Hitmen (39-24-2-1) are on the road tonight to face the Red Deer Rebels (30-29-1-5).  Internet Broadcast on Sportsnet960.ca starts at 7:00 p.m. from Enmax Centrium.  Calgary is coming off Saturday's 2-1 loss in Cranbrook to the Kootenay Ice while Red Deer also last played Saturday beating Saskatoon 4-1. 

With six games left in the regular season, the Hitmen are currently fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 81 points, four back of third place Medicine Hat and three points up on fifth place Kootenay, however the Ice have a game in hand.  Red Deer meanwhile is ninth in the conference with 66 points, sitting eight points back of Brandon for the final playoff spot.  I'm sure many Rebels fans are thinking if only we played in the Western Conference.  Red Deer would be sixth in the west, having already clinched a post season berth.

                                                  Photo Credit: Brad Watson

Tonight is the fifth of six meetings between the two clubs.  Calgary leads the season series 3-1 having outscored the Rebels by a combined 17-9.  Jimmy Bubnick (3g 6a) leads all Hitmen with nine points against Red Deer.  Cody Sylvester (1g 4a) is next with five.  John Persson (2g 3a) tops the Rebels with five points against Calgary while Matthew Dumba (2g 1a), Colton Mayor (1g 2a) and Flames prospect Turner Elson (3a) all have three points each. 
-Oct. 7 in CAL: Rebels 4 Hitmen 2.  Colton Mayor and John Persson each had a goal and an assist for the Rebels.
-Jan. 17 in RD: Hitmen 5 Rebels 1.  Alex Gogolev scored twice, while Greg Chase had a career high three points (1g 2a).
-Jan. 22 in CAL: Hitmen 4 Rebels 2.  Chase Clayton scored twice while Brooks Macek had two assists.
-Feb. 4 in RD: Hitmen 6 Rebels 2.  Jimmy Bubnick had a career high five points (2g 3a).
                                                         INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on goal:  CAL 126  RD 124  Powerplays: CAL 1-13 (7.7%) RD 4-20 (20%)

STREAKIN': Alex Gogolev (2g 4a) has tied his career high with points in six straight games.  Cody Sylvester (3g) has scored in back-to-back games.  Victor Rask (7g 4a) had his career high eight game point scoring streak snapped Saturday against Kootenay.  On the Red Deer side there are no current point streaks.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 19-12-2-0 on the road this season while Red Deer is 15-14-1-2 at home.

WHAT'S LEFT:  Following tonight's game the Hitmen visit Lethbridge Friday.  They then return home to host Red Deer Sunday at 4pm and Lethbridge next Wednesday before closing out the regular season with a home and home against the Kootenay Ice next Friday (in Cranbrook) and Saturday (in Calgary). 

SPOTLIGHT:  Hitmen defenceman Collin Bowman currently leads all Hitmen defencemen with 43 points (13g 30).  He's also 16th among defenceman scoring leaders in the WHL.  Tonight will be the 341st career regular season game for the 20-year-old who has also played for Kelowna and Moose Jaw.

TOP SCORERS:

Calgary
Jimmy Bubnick 30g 36a 66pts
Cody Sylvester 23g 42a 65pts
Victor Rask 30g 25a 55pts

Red Deer
John Persson 22g 32a 54pts
Matthew Dumba 18g 30a 48pts
Turner Elson 21g 25a 46pts

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Kootenay 2 Calgary 1

Cranbrook, BC – Brock Montgomery scored the game winning goal at 2:22 of the third period on a two-on-one rush lifting the Kootenay Ice to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen Saturday night at the Cranbrook Rec-Plex.

After a scoreless first period, Calgary opened the scoring early in the second when Cody Sylvester potted his 23rd goal of the season on a partial break off the left wing.


The Ice pulled even just past the midway mark of the frame as Sam Reinhart converted on a rebound chance for his 27th goal of his rookie campaign.

Chris Driedger made 23 saves in the Hitmen net and took the loss while Nathan Lieuwen stopped 22 for the Ice who improve to 5-1 against Calgary in the season series. 

The Hitmen are now 39-24-2-1.  At 81 points they remain fourth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference three points up on the fifth place Ice who have a game in hand.

Calgary returns to action Tuesday night in Red Deer against the Rebels. 

Next Hitmen home game is Sunday, March 11th when Calgary hosts Red Deer at 4:00 p.m.

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

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

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

1st Period
No Scoring.
Penalties-Bowman Cal (delay of game), 0:15; Cheek Cal (hooking), 1:13; Rissling Cal (tripping), 10:23; Martin Ktn (holding), 13:57.

2nd Period
1, Calgary, Sylvester 23 (Gogolev), 4:00.
2, Kootenay, Reinhart 27 (Ismond), 12:59.
Penalties-Ismond Ktn (roughing), 14:53; served by Ktn (too many men), 18:13.

3rd Period
3, Kootenay, Montgomery 20 (Reinhart, Antilla), 2:23.
Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Calgary 7-7-11-25. Kootenay 10-5-8-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Calgary 0 / 3; Kootenay 0 / 3.
Goalies-Calgary, Driedger 21-11-2-1 (23 shots-21 saves). Kootenay, Lieuwen 26-16-4-2 (25 shots-24 saves).
A-3,708
Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Reid Anderson (53), Scott Sharun (103).

Calgary at Kootenay

One night after clinching a playoff spot for the 14th time in their 17 year history, the Calgary Hitmen (39-23-2-1) go for their 40th win of the season on the road in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice (34-22-4-4).  Radio Broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan starts at 7:00 p.m. The Hitmen wrapped up a five game homestand last night with a 4-3 OT win over Saskatoon while Kootenay hasn't played since Wednesday's 3-1 home ice loss to Edmonton.

Calgary enters the game fourth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with 81 points, four back of third place Medicine Hat and five points ahead of fifth place Kootenay.  If the playoffs started today the Hitmen would face the Ice in the opening round and have home ice advantage.

                                         Photo Credit: Chris Pullen, cranbrookphoto.com

VS. KOOTENAY: Tonight is the sixth of eight meetings.  Kootenay leads the season series 4-1 having outscored Calgary by a combined 17-8.  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 seven points (7a) against Calgary while goaltender Nathan Lieuwen sports a 1.40 goals against average and a .948 save percentage stopping 127 of 134 shots.  Lieuwen also leads the WHL with a 2.39 goals against average.  The Hitmen and Ice will close out the regular season with a home and home series March 16th and 17th.
-Sept. 24 in KTN: Ice 5 Hitmen 1.  Calgary out shot 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.
-Feb. 12 in CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 0.  Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season.
                                                  INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 135  KTN 115   Powerplays: CAL 2-23 (8.7%)  KTN 4-20 (20%)

STREAKIN': Victor Rask (7g 4a) is on a career high eight game point scoring streak.  Alex Gogolev (2g 3a) has points in five straight.  Jimmy Bubnick (2g 2a) is on a three game run.  Spencer Humphries (1g 3a) and Collin Bowman (2a) both have points in back-to-back games.  On the Kootenay side Max Reinhart (3g 2a) and Sam Reinhart (1g 1a) both have points in back-to-back games. 

ICE DOMINANCE:  Dating back to last season Kootenay is 11-2 in their last 13 meetings with Calgary.

HOME AND AWAY:  Calgary is 19-11-2-0 on the road this season while Kootenay is 18-11-1-2 at home.