The Calgary Hitmen returned home from a long, long west coast road trip this weekend. They played three games in three nights and performed pretty well.
A week of Hitmen news
Hitmen starting goalie Carl Stankowski was injured last week. Before third-stringer Matthew Armitage could be summoned from the BCHL to back up Jack McNaughton, he was injured. So 16-year-old Brayden Peters was called up from the AMHL instead. In theory, that means McNaughton will see a lot of action until Armitage is healthy enough to join the Hitmen… or Stankowski returns.
The Hershey Bears had their Teddy Bear Toss over the weekend and they broke the Hitmen record for bears tossed with 34,798. The Hitmen have their event on Sunday, Dec. 9 and they’re hoping to reclaim their record. If you’re headed to the game, bring a couple bears.
The week that was
Friday: 6-2 loss in Red Deer
The Rebels continued their dominance of the Hitmen, beating them for the fifth time in five meetings this season. They got two goals each from Brandon Hagel, Chris Douglas and Jeff de Wit, and two assists from 2019 NHL Draft prospect Oleg Zaitsev. Luke Coleman and Mark Kastelic each scored for the Hitmen. Rebels goalie Ethan Anders, a 2019 NHL Draft prospect, had 43 saves for the win, while McNaughton had 17 saves for the loss.
Saturday: 4-3 overtime win against Edmonton
The Hitmen bounced back from their loss with a pretty strong performance back on home ice. Jake Kryski had two goals and assisted on the overtime game-winner by Kaden Elder. Rookie Bryce Bader scored his first WHL goal. Oil Kings captain Trey Fix-Wolansky had a goal for his 200th WHL point. McNaughton made 26 saves for the win, while Todd Scott made 27 saves for Edmonton in the loss.
Sunday: 5-1 win against Moose Jaw
The Hitmen had one of the better games of the season against the Warriors. Elder and James Malm each scored twice, with Egor Zamula adding the fifth Hitmen goal. Justin Almeida scored for Moose Jaw. McNaughton made 33 saves for the win, Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff made 29 saves for the loss.
Coming up this week
After their strong last few weeks, the Hitmen (12-14-3) enter the weekend four points behind Medicine Hat for the last wildcard spot – with two games in hand. They host the Swift Current Broncos on Friday night and then take on the Kamloops Blazers in the Teddy Bear Toss.