Candice Ward

Weekly Preview: Calgary Hitmen

The Calgary Hitmen have returned home for a rather lengthy stretch after a two game Saskatchewan road trip that included the Outdoor WHL Prairie Classic. The Hitmen picked up all four possible points with a Friday night win in Moose Jaw with big contributions from the power play as the man advantage went 2-for-3. Regina native Carson Focht was the hero Sunday at the Prairie Classic in a 5-4 overtime win. After a tough 2-1 loss to Seattle Monday, the Hitmen will likely look to regain momentum and the high scoring offence the team is used to. With four days off before their next contest, Calgary will certainly have time to work on mistakes displayed in Monday night’s game.

Carson Focht (Photo-Candice Ward)

Firstly, Calgary will be faced with the challenge of beating the Saskatoon Blades. Despite a fairly mediocre season from the blades thus far, the Hitmen took a 9-3 beating from the Blades earlier this month. It has been the veteran leadership group of Chase Wouters(10g,6a), Riley McKay(8g,9a) and Scott Walford(4g,9a) that have been heavily relied upon. However, the goaltending duo of Nolan Maier and Koen MacInnes has also been rather consistent in helping the Blades pick up points. The last time these two clubs met the Saskatoon power play was a lethal aspect of the teams offence which went 3-for-6 while seven Blades had multi-point games and Eric Florchuk recorded a natural hat trick. 

Eric Florchuk (photo-Andy Devlin)

In this meeting against the Blades the Hitmen will likely look to obviously improve penalty kill and power play. The Hitmen will also be playing a short bench as Sean Tschigerl was named to Team Canada Black for the under 17 World Hockey Championship and will be at the tournament from November 2nd through November 9th. Tye Carriere and Riley Fiddler-Schultz both also continue to heal from upper and lower body injuries and are both currently listed as week to week.

Sean Tschigerl (Photo-Candice Ward)

The second game of the weekend for the Hitmen will feature a Sunday matinee puck drop against the Edmonton Oil Kings. After two prior games played between these teams this season, both teams have been victorious on home ice. The Oil Kings, however, sit atop the central division in standings with 23 points and just a single regulation loss despite having two games in hand of Calgary.  The Oil Kings continue to receive top end production from their top nine forward group as well as very steady defense. Sebastian Cossa, however, has been the major difference maker for the Oil Kings having played three of the last four games posting a 0.952 save percentage while facing 84 shots along the way. The recent performance of the 2021 draft eligible goaltender will surely make for a great game if he gets the nod against the Hitmen on Sunday.

Sebastian Cossa (Photo by Codie McLachlan)

The Hitlist: 

  • Earlier last week Carson Focht and Jett Woo were named to team WHL for the CHL Canada vs. Russia series. The two Hitmen will play in back to back games against teammate Egor Zamula and the Russian squad in Saskatoon on November 13th and Prince Albert the following evening.
  • Sean Tschigerl heads into U-17 tournament with two goals and three assists in 11 games with an even plus/minus rating.
  • Hitmen prospects Ethan Buenaventura(2w, 0.897SV%) and Grayden Siepmann(4a) both medal at WHL cup as Buenaventura and team Manitoba fall in final to Sasktchewan. Siepmann’s team B.C beat fellow Hitmen prospect Billal Noori(4g,1a) and team Alberta in the Bronze medal game in overtime.

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    Fred Mayer
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    The Calgary Hitmen have returned home for a rather lengthy stretch after a two game Saskatchewan road trip that included the Outdoor WHL Prairie Class
    [See the full post at: Weekly Preview: Calgary Hitmen]

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