HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (8-3-1-1) play game two of three games in three nights as they visit the Red Deer Rebels (7-8-1-1) tonight at the Enmax Centrium. Calgary is looking to rebound after falling 10-1 to the Medicine Hat Tigers last night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Cody Sylvester scored the lone goal for Calgary, snapping the shutout of Tigers’ netminder Cam Lanigan with just over five minutes remaining in the contest. Curtis Valk led the Tigers scoring attack with four goals, while Hunter Shinkaruk tallied one marker and added four assists in the win. Ottawa Senators’ prospect Chris Driedger and rookie Mack Shields both stood between the pipes for the Hitmen as Medicine Hat outshot Calgary 33-25. The Hitmen remain tied with the Prince Albert Raiders for first in the Eastern Conference and sit one point ahead of the Edmonton Oil Kings for top spot in the Central Division.
VS. RED DEER: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings between the Hitmen and Rebels. Calgary has recorded five out of a possible six points in the series this season. Hitmen captain Cody Sylvester leads Calgary in scoring against the Rebels with six points (five goals, one assist) in three games, while Brooks Macek has one goal and three assists over the same span. Turner Elson tops the Rebels with one goal and two assists over two games played against Calgary. Last season, the Hitmen won five consecutive contests against the Rebels after dropping a 4-2 decision on Oct. 7, 2011 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The 2011-12 six-game series saw Calgary outscore Red Deer by a combined 25-13.
Sept. 21/12 in RD Hitmen 3 Rebels 2 C. Sylvester had a hand in all three Calgary goals scoring twice and setting up another.
Sept. 29/12 in CAL Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 OT Brady Brassart and Cody Sylvester each netted power play markers.
Oct. 13/12 in CAL Hitmen 4 Rebels 2 Cody Sylvester scored two goals including the game winner.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 112 RD 72 Power Plays: CAL 6-16 (37.5%) RD 1-10 (10.0%)
Next Meeting: Wed., Dec. 12 at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
HITMEN TEAM LEADERS:
Goals (12) Cody Sylvester Power Play Goals (7) Cody Sylvester PIM (41) Darian Henry
Assists (14) Brooks Macek Plus/Minus (+12) Brady Brassart, Alex Roach
Points (21) Brooks Macek Wins (6) Chris Driedger
IN THE BOOKS: On Saturday, Oct. 20, Cody Sylvester recorded his first career WHL hat trick in a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Giants at Pacific Coliseum. Now in his fifth campaign with Calgary, the overage forward has recorded 15 points, including 12 goals, in 12 games this season. Sylvester sits tied for first with Rebels’ forward Charles Inglis for most power play goals at seven.
ROSTER ADDITION: Brendan Hurley, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, has been added to the roster for the weekend. Last season, the 19-year-old forward recorded nine points (five goals, four assists) along with 62 penalty minutes over 49 games played with Kootenay and Medicine Hat. Now at 26 players, Calgary’s roster includes 16 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders.
TEAM WHL: Forward Brady Brassart has been named to Team WHL for the 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series. The 19-year-old forward is tied for second in team scoring with 15 points (six goals, nine assists). Team WHL will face Team Russia in games five and six of the series played Wednesday, November 14 in Vancouver, B.C., and on Thursday, November 15 in Victoria, B.C. The first two games of the series are hosted by the QMJHL with the OHL hosting games three and four.
U16 CHALLENGE CUP: Five of Calgary’s 10 prospects from the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft will compete in the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup from November 1-4 at the Father David Bauer Arena. Brennan Riddle, Terrell Draude and Lochlan Morrison will join Team Saskatchewan, while James Shearer and Jordan Stallard were named to Team Manitoba.
STREAKIN’: Cody Sylvester has five points (four goals, one assist) in back-to-back games.
MILESTONE WATCH: Brooks Macek is three points shy of his 200th career WHL point.
NHL PROSPECTS: Chris Driedger (Ottawa 2012); Kenton Helgesen (Anaheim 2012); Jaynen Rissling (Washington 2012); Alex Roach (Three-year, Entry-level Contract, Los Angeles 2011); Victor Rask (Three-year, Entry-level Contract, Carolina 2011).
HITMEN FIGHT CANCER: Over the month of October, the Hitmen in partnership with Delta West Academy, continue their support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Region as well as the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. During Sunday’s Hitmen Fight Cancer game, players will wear pink jerseys that will be featured in an online auction until Tues., Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. MT. Fans can bid on these game-worn jerseys by visiting www.elevateauctions.com/hitmenhockeycancer.
UPCOMING GAMES: Calgary returns to the Scotiabank Saddledome tomorrow afternoon to host the Kelowna Rockets. Puck drop is 4 p.m. for the Hitmen Fight Cancer game presented by Delta West Academy. Along with wearing pink jerseys, the ice will also be painted pink in support of the team’s October cancer initiatives.