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PREVIEW: PATS AT HITMEN

Feb 17, 2013 - 06:36 MST

HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (38-17-1-3) play their second game in as many nights when they host the Regina Pats (20-32-3-3) today at the Scotiabank Saddledome. After a season-high nine-game road trip, Calgary extended their home-winning streak to six games following last night’s 3-1 win over the Victoria Royals. Cody Sylvester led the Hitmen with two power play markers, while Brady Brassart completed the scoring tally. Steven Hodges was the lone Royal to put one past Hitmen netminder Chris Driedger who made 31 saves to record his 29th win of the season. Calgary remains third in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the conference-leading Edmonton Oil Kings and 11 points ahead of the fourth place Prince Albert Raiders.

VS. REGINA: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs. Calgary, who leads the season series 3-0, has outscored Regina by a combined 12-2. Last time the Hitmen and Pats faced off, Calgary’s Brooks Macek set the tone early by opening the scoring just 13 seconds into the first period. Cody Sylvester tops the Hitmen with seven points (1g, 6a) in the series, while Brooks Macek has tallied three goals and one assist against the Pats. Over the last five seasons, Calgary is 15-2-0-2 against Regina, including a 6-2-0-1 record when playing at the ‘Dome.

SERIES RECAP

Nov. 2/12 at REG: Hitmen 4 Pats 1 ... Brooks Macek (2g, 1a) and Cody Sylvester (3a) each registered three points in the road win.
Dec. 15/12 at CAL: Hitmen 2 Pats 0 ... Mack Shields made 18 saves for his first career WHL shutout.
Jan. 11/13 at REG: Hitmen 6 Pats 1 ... Brooks Macek and Jake Virtanen each netted a pair of goals in the victory.

INSIDE THE SERIES

Shots on Goal: CAL 94 REG 82
Power Plays: CAL 2-10 (20.0%) REG 1-20 (5.0%)

HITMEN TEAM LEADERS:
Goals (33) Cody Sylvester 
Assists (40) Brooks Macek 
Points (70) Cody Sylvester
Power Play Goals (13) Cody Sylvester 
Plus/Minus (+39) Alex Roach
PIM (118) Jaynen Rissling

Wins (29) Chris Driedger

EAST FEAST: Calgary has of a record of 12-5-0-1 against teams from the East Division, including a 3-1-0-0 mark during a previous road trip out east from Jan. 8-12 where the Hitmen outscored their opponents by a combined 22-11. Calgary will play five more games against East Division teams following today’s match-up.

HOME AND AWAY: The Hitmen, who are 17-8-1-2 when playing at home, extended their home-winning streak to six games with last night’s 3-1 victory over Victoria. Of their 13 remaining regular season contests, Calgary will only play five more games on the road. Regina, who is 8-16-1-2 on the road, enters today’s match-up following two home ice losses.

FAMILIAR FACES: Colten Mayor, Darian Henry and Carson Samoridny will face their former teams today at the ‘Dome. Henry, acquired by Calgary in the off-season, was sent to Regina in December in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. Before the WHL Trade Deadline, the Hitmen picked up Mayor from the Pats in return for Samoridny and a fourth round selection in 2013. In 14 games with Calgary, Mayor has recorded three assists, including one helper against his former team when the Hitmen defeated the Pats 6-1 in January.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Forwards Brady Brassart and Cody Sylvester were named co-winners of the Ed Williams Player of the Month for January. Brassart recorded 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points over 13 games last month, while Sylvester, who is playing in his fifth WHL season, also tallied 21 points (5g, 16a) over the same span.

STREAKIN’: Cody Sylvester (7g, 5a) has 12 points in six straight games, while Swedish import Victor Rask (5g, 3a) has eight points in his last five contests. Brooks Macek (2g, 6a) and Brady Brassart (3g, 1a) both have points in four consecutive games. Kenton Helgesen has recorded an assist in three straight matches as well as in five of his last six games. Greg Chase (3a) has three points in back-to-back games.

DID YOU KNOW?: Brady Brassart leads the league in game-winning goals at nine, followed by Malte Strömwall (T.C), Justin Feser (T.C) and Curtis Lazar (EDM) who each have scored seven game-winning tallies for their respective clubs. The single season franchise record for most game-winning goals is held by Pavel Brendl, who scored 14 game-winning markers in 1999-00.

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 Brooks Macek at the Booster Club table located by section 212 after the game.

UPCOMING GAMES: Calgary wraps up a three-game homestand on Friday, Feb. 22 when they welcome the Prince Albert Raiders, with a 7 p.m. puck drop. The Hitmen will then travel to Kootenay the following night, before returning to the ‘Dome to host the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Single game day tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations as well as the Scotiabank Saddledome box office. Order online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 1-855-985-5000.

Fri., Feb. 22 vs. Prince Albert Raiders, 7 p.m., SN960 (960 AM)
Sat., Feb. 23 at Kootenay Ice, 7 p.m., SN960 (Online Broadcast)