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PREVIEW: CALGARY VS. KOOTENAY

Dec 02, 2012 - 03:15 MST

HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (17-6-1-2) host the Kootenay Ice (8-16-1-0) this afternoon in the 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss. On Friday night, the Hitmen saw their four-game win streak come to an end following a 4-0 home ice setback to the Saskatoon Blades. Despite the loss, the Hitmen enter December after a successful November which saw Calgary win nine of 11 contests.  At 37 points, the Hitmen sit third in the Eastern Conference, three points behind first place Prince Albert and two points back of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Calgary has games in hand versus both clubs and is only two points away from the Central Division lead.

VS. KOOTENAY: Tonight is the third of eight meetings between the Hitmen and Ice. The series is currently knotted with each squad recording a win and a loss.  Zane Jones led the Hitmen scoring attack with a pair of goals, while Darian Henry, Cody Sylvester and Brooks Macek each netted one marker and added an assist in the 2012-13 Adrenalin Source For Sports Home Opener win. Ice forwards Brock Montgomery (3g) and Sam Reinhart (3a) lead the team in scoring against the Hitmen with three points each.  Over the last five seasons, Calgary is 15-18-1-0 against Kootenay, including a 10-8 record on home ice.

SERIES RECAP
Sept. 22/12 at CAL: Hitmen 5 Ice 1 ... Z. Jones scored twice while D. Henry, C. Sylvester and B. Macek all had a goal and an assist.
Nov. 12/12 at CAL: Ice 4 Hitmen 0 ... B. Montgomery recorded a hat trick, while M. Skapski made 17 saves in the win.

INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 48  KTN 59     
Power Plays: CAL 0-9 (0%)  KTN 2-13 (15.4%)     
Next Meeting: Tue., Dec. 4 at Kootenay, 7 p.m. MT

HITMEN TEAM LEADERS:     
Goals (16) Cody Sylvester                 
Assists (17) Brooks Macek              
Points (28) Brooks Macek  
Power Play Goals (9) Cody Sylvester 
Pus-Minus (+16) Alex Roach
PIM (73) Darian Henry
Wins (14) Chris Driedger

PETRO-CANADA TEDDY BEAR TOSS: Today marks the 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss. Over the past ten seasons, Calgary holds a 7-3-0-0 record in their annual teddy bear collection games. In 2007-08, the Hitmen set a world record for number of bears collected at 26,919.

LOOKING BACK: TEDDY BEAR TOSS EDITION
Dec. 2/07 vs. PG: Hitmen 6 Cougars 2 ... Teddy bear goal scored by Ian Duval from K. Alzner, M. Stone
Nov. 30/08 vs. BDN: Hitmen 4 Wheat Kings 1 ... Teddy bear goal scored by Brandon Kozun from K. Bortis
Dec. 13/09 vs. KTN: Hitmen 3 Ice 2 ... Teddy bear goal scored by Ian Schultz from M. Stone, J. Broda
Dec. 12/10 vs. RD: Hitmen 2 Rebels 0 ... Teddy bear goal scored by Cody Sylvester from N. MacMaster
Dec. 4/11 vs. MH: Tigers 2 Hitmen 1 ... Teddy bear goal scored by Calder Brooks from D. Gayle, R. Trzonkowski

FLYING FUR: This year more than 50 local agencies have requested teddy bears including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Club of Calgary, YWCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Calgary Food Bank.  Since 1999, the Hitmen have donated more than 192,000 bears to the Calgary community.

GAME-WORN JERSEY AUCTION:  During today’s game, players will wear teddy bear jerseys that will be featured in an online auction until Thursday, December 6 at 9 p.m.  Fans can bid on these game-worn jerseys by visiting www.elevateauctions.com/teddybeartoss2012.  Proceeds from the jersey auction will support the CBC Calgary Suncor Energy Food Bank Drive.  Winning bidders will be presented with game-worn jerseys following the home game on Saturday, December 8 versus the Edmonton Oil Kings (7 p.m., Sportsnet 960 The FAN).

HOME-AND-HOMES: Calgary plays the first half of a home-and-home set this afternoon against Kootenay, marking the fourth home-and-home series the Hitmen have played this year. Last season, Calgary only played two home-and-home sets, winning all four contests against Swift Current and Kootenay.  The Hitmen have won all six of their games involved in home-and-homes this season and will play three more sets with the next home-and-home series on Dec. 7-8 against the Edmonton Oil Kings.

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).

POST-GAME AUTOGRAPHS: Meet forward Greg Chase at the Booster Club table located by section 212 after the game.

UPCOMING GAMES: The Hitmen and Ice finish their home-and-home set on Tuesday night as the two clubs face-off in Cranbrook at the Western Financial Place.  Calgary will then play two contests against the Edmonton Oil Kings, starting in the Alberta capital on Friday, Dec. 7, before returning to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 8 for the rematch. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations and the Scotiabank Saddledome box office.  Order online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 1-855-985-5000.
 
Tue., Dec. 4 at Kootenay Ice, 7 p.m., SN 960 The FAN   
Fri., Dec. 7 at Edmonton Oil Kings, 7 p.m., SN 960 The FAN    
Sat., Dec. 8 vs. Edmonton Oil Kings, 7 p.m., SN 960 The FAN
Tues., Dec. 11 vs. Kamloops Blazers, 7 p.m., SN 960 The FAN