Last week, the Calgary Hitmen lost both of their games. This week, they played four times and ran the table. Life comes at you fast.
The week that was
Friday: 4-1 win over Prince George
The Hitmen got goals from Luke Coleman, Mark Kastelic, James Malm and Cael Zimmerman in a game they never trailed. Jack McNaughton made 35 saves for the win, while Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier made 45 saves but took the loss.
Sunday: 4-1 win over Kootenay
It was another “scoring by committee” game for the Hitmen. Kaden Elder, Vladislav Yeryomenko, Tye Carriere and Hunter Campbell all scored in another game where they never trailed. McNaughton made 20 saves for the win, while Kootenay’s Curtis Meger made 24 saves for the loss. To sub salt in the wound, the ICE announced their move to Winnipeg a couple days after this loss.
Tuesday: 5-2 win in Regina
In another game the Hitmen never trailed, they got a pair of goals from Kastelic, a pair from Carson Focht, and another marker from Malm to pace them to a 5-2 win. McNaughton made 21 saves for another W, while Regina’s Max Paddock made 33 saves in the loss.
Wednesday: 6-2 win in Swift Current
In the first game in over two months that McNaughton watched from the bench, the Hitmen got six goals from five different goal-scorers to help rookie Brayden Peters get his first WHL win in his first start. Malm scored twice, while Zimmerman, Coleman, Layne Toder and Elder each added one apiece. Peters made 30 saves – including stopping a penalty shot – to get the W, while Broncos starter Riley Lamb was chased after allowing four goals in the opening period.
Looking ahead to next week
The Hitmen head into the weekend in possession of the second wildcard playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 25-19-4 record. They have 20 games remaining and have a five-point cushion on the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Wheaties come to town this week as part of a pretty busy seven days of hockey for the Hitmen. They host Brandon on Friday night in the first installment of the Corral Series – they’ll be wearing the old Calgary Centennials jerseys. They visit the Rebels in Red Deer on Saturday before returning home for another Corral Series game on Wednesday against the Regina Pats (where the Hitmen will be playing the part of the WHA’s Calgary Cowboys).