The Calgary Hitmen continued their five-game road trip this past week with a pair of both victories and losses. Calgary collected six of a possible eight points on the road trip during which the Hitmen played four games in just five nights. Although they were outscored 13-10, major contributions from Carson Focht (3g,2a) helped ensure that Calgary finished the week off with a couple of wins. The team will return home for the week before meeting its Central Division rivals Red Deer Rebels for a home-and-home beginning in the Westerner Park Centrium on Saturday.
The Hitmen and Rebels have faced each other just twice so far this season with Calgary picking up three points in the two contests. In the latest meeting, Josh Tarzwell was the overtime hero as he beat Jack McNaughton on a 2-on-1 rush in the extra frame. In the last 10 games, the Rebels have struggled, putting up a 3-5-2-0 record and scoring just nine times in their last five. The loss of defensive juggernaut and former team captain Dawson Barteaux has also caused the team to struggle on the defensive side of things. Since the trade deadline when the blockbuster deal took place, Red Deer has allowed at least four goals in all three games.
In terms of Calgary’s play, It has been Brayden Peters backstopping the Hitmen for six of the last ten games. Riley Stotts has continued to lead the way offensively with 44 points in 43 games. Peters has posted a 0.929 while winning four of those six games and has also shown that he can be considered a serious competitor for the starting role alongside McNaughton. While McNaughton was the lone Hitmen goaltender receiving recognition for the upcoming draft, Peters’ performance as of late certainly warrants significant consideration. Offensively, Mark Kastelic has been in a slump production-wise lately. Kastelic has assisted on just one goal in the past five games. Despite captain Kastelic’s offensive rut, the overage forward reached the 300 game plateau on Sunday in Winnipeg. He and his Hitmen will look to get back on track with a pair of wins this weekend against the Red Deer Rebels.
After this weekend’s series with Red Deer, the Hitmen will continue a five-game homestand with games against Winnipeg, Brandon and another meeting against the Rebels.
Jack McNaughton has moved into the 10th spot on the Calgary Hitmen all-time saves list after his 27-save loss to the Winnipeg Ice.
Luke Prokop had a shot on goal and a +1 rating in the Kubota Top Prospects game where his team (Team White) won 5-3.