HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (8-4-1-2) will look to rebound tonight as they face-off against the Regina Pats (6-10-1-0) at the Brandt Centre. Last weekend Calgary picked up one out of a possible six points as they fell in three straight contests following a 10-1 setback to Medicine Hat on Friday, Oct. 26 and a 4-3 shootout loss in Red Deer the next night. On Sunday, Oct. 28, the Kelowna Rockets posted a 4-1 win over Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Defenceman Alex Roach had a strong weekend with four assists, including three on Saturday against the Rebels. Calgary now is tied for third with Medicine Hat in the Eastern Conference, three points behind first place Prince Albert and two points back of Edmonton.
VS. REGINA: This evening’s contest is the first of four between the Hitmen and Pats. Last season, Calgary was 2-1-0-1 against Regina, including winning both road games over the season series. Victor Rask (3g, 2a) led the team in scoring against the Pats with five points, while Brooks Macek (1g, 3a) also brought solid contributions with four points. Jordan Weal (3g, 3a) was the top scorer for Regina with six points during the series.
Oct. 12/11 in CAL: Pats 4 Hitmen 3 (SO) … The Pats rallied from two goals down in the final 2:50 to force OT.
Oct. 20/11 in REG: Hitmen 3 Pats 1 … Calgary opened with a 3-0 first period advantage led by D. Gayle (1g, 1a).
Nov. 5/11 in REG: Hitmen 3 Pats 2 … V. Rask scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in the third period.
Dec. 16/11 in CAL: Pats 3 Hitmen 2 … Matt Hewitt made 32 saves against Calgary who outshot Regina 34-16.
INSIDE THE 2011-12 SERIES
Shots on Goal: CAL 111 REG 92 Power Plays: CAL 5-23 (21.7%) REG 3-21 (14.3%)
Next Meeting: Sat., Dec. 15 at Calgary, 7 p.m.
HITMEN TEAM LEADERS:
Goals (13) Cody Sylvester Power Play Goals (8) Cody Sylvester PIM (43) Darian Henry
Assists (14) Brooks Macek Plus/Minus (+14) Alex Roach
Points (21) Brooks Macek Wins (6) Chris Driedger
EAST FEAST: During the 2011-12 season, Calgary held a 17-5-1-1 record against teams from the East Division. The East Division was one of two divisions where Calgary had huge success against, the other being the B.C. Division where the Hitmen went 10-1 last season. Prior to tonight, Calgary has only played one game against the East Division this season resulting in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Prince Albert Raiders on Oct. 5 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
U16 CHALLENGE CUP: Five of Calgary’s 10 prospects from the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft will compete this weekend in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup from November 1-4 at the Father David Bauer Arena. Lochlan Morrison, Terrell Draude and Brennan Riddle will join Team Saskatchewan, while James Shearer and Jordan Stallard were named to Team Manitoba. In the opening game on Thursday afternoon, Team Saskatchewan defeated Team Manitoba 6-3. Sheared recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in the loss.
BETTER WITH AGE: Calgary’s overage players continue to make the best of their final year in the WHL. Brooks Macek, who is three points away from recording his 200th career WHL point, sits tied for 11th in league scoring with 21 points. Macek started the year on a 10-game point streak, matching his career-high set during the 2009-10 campaign with the Tri-City Americans. Captain Cody Sylvester leads the league with eight power play goals and has 13 overall, along with 3 helpers over 14 games. Spencer Humphries set career-highs in goals (8), assists (30) and points (38) last season and is on pace to put up similar numbers this year. The overage defenceman has five points (one goal, four assists), including posting a two-performance on October 12 in a 5-6 overtime win in Edmonton where he netted one marker and setup another.
TEAM WHL: Forward Brady Brassart has been named to Team WHL for the 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series. The 19-year-old forward is third 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. Tonight’s opponent, the Pats, will send forward Trent Ouellette to the series for game five in Vancouver.
ROSTER ADDITION: Brendan Hurley, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, has been added to the roster. The 19-year-old forward recorded his first point in Hitmen silks on Oct. 28, netting Calgary’s lone marker in a 4-1 setback to the Kelowna Rockets. Now at 26 players, Calgary’s roster includes 16 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders.
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).
UPCOMING GAMES: Calgary continues their three-game East Division road swing tomorrow night as they visit the Brandon Wheat Kings, followed by a stop in Moose Jaw on Sunday. The Hitmen return to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, Nov. 7 to host the Moose Jaw Warriors, with a 7 p.m. puck drop.