The Calgary Hitmen won two out of three games this past week, gaining some ground in the divisional playoff race. But they lost a game against a team chasing them, which tightened the wildcard race.
The week that was
Friday: beat Medicine Hat 3-1
In a tight-checking game, the Hitmen were really elevated by the goaltending of Carl Stankowski (who made 29 saves). Mark Kastelic, Egor Zamula and Carson Focht (with an empty netter) scored the Calgary goals, while Elijah Brown scored for the Tigers.
Saturday: beat Medicine Hat 5-3
The second half of the home-and-home was a bit looser offensively, but the Hitmen managed to stay a step ahead of their provincial rivals. Kastelic had a hat trick, while Luke Coleman and Vladislav Yeryomenko also scored. The Tigers were paced by a multi-point game by Tyler Preziuso and 34 saves from netminder Jordan Hollett. Stankowski had 27 saves for his second win in as many nights.
Wednesday: lost 5-1 in Brandon
Facing a desperate Wheat Kings club that really needed the points, the Hitmen weren’t at their best on Wednesday. Stankowski allowed goals on the first three shots he faced and was chased from the game. Stelio Matheos and Cole Reinhardt each had a pair of goals for Brandon, while Yeryomenko had the lone Hitmen marker.
The week ahead
The Hitmen enter the weekend in the first wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re two points back of Medicine Hat for a divisional playoff spot, two points up on Red Deer for the second wildcard spot, and two points up on the Wheat Kings (who are outside of the playoffs). It’s safe to say that the playoff race is very tight.
Calgary has three games this week, all against non-divisional foes. They finish off their road trip with games Friday in Regina and Saturday in Swift Current. They’re back home on Wednesday when they host Swift Current.