Photo Credit: courtesy Calgary Hitmen

Hitmen Report: a tough weekend

The Calgary Hitmen have been, in many ways, a mirror image of their National Hockey League counterparts in 2019-20. Hoping to build on a successful 2018-19 campaign, they’ve experienced a good deal of inconsistency recently.

While they’re firmly in a playoff spot, the Hitmen continued a bit of a slide this week.

The week that was

The Hitmen played twice and lost twice. They gained a point from a comeback, and in the other game they chased the entire time.

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On Friday they lost 4-3 in a shootout at home against the Tri-City Americans. The Hitmen trailed for much of the game, but they rallied back with a pair of third period goals to tie the game and force overtime. They received goals from Flyers prospect Egor Zamula, Senators prospect Mark Kastelic and Canucks prospect Carson Focht. 2020 NHL Draft prospect Jack McNaughton made 35 saves in the loss. The big star of the game was Tri-City goalie Beck Warm, who made 46 saves (plus three stops in the shootout) for the win.

The next night, the Hitmen lost 4-2 to the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place. They never led in the game. They got goals from Kastelic and Jonas Peterek, but they mustered just 15 shots in the entire game. 2020 NHL Draft prospect Brayden Peters made 35 saves in the loss.

The week ahead

The Hitmen are 9-6-1-1, sitting in fourth place in the Central Division behind Edmonton, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. They’re currently firmly in a wildcard playoff spot, albeit with roughly 50 games left.

The Hitmen are on a lengthy eastern road trip that begins this week. On Saturday they’re in Saskatoon to play the Blades, on Sunday they’re in Prince Albert to play the Raiders, and on Wednesday they’re in Regina to play the Pats.

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Jett Woo, Carson Focht and Egor Zamula played in the Canada Russia Series this week. Team WHL and Russia split the two game set. Woo had zero points and was minus-2 for the WHL, while Focht had zero points and was even. Zamula had zero points and was even for Russia.