Game Preview: CGY at RD- 11.18.23
HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (9-9-2-0) complete a weekend home-and-home with the Rebels (7-9-0-3) tonight looking to avoid the sweep in Red Deer. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Peavey Mart Centrium. The Rebels took the opener by a score of 3-0 last night at Scotiabank Saddledome thanks to a 40 save shutout performance from goaltender Rhett Stoesser. His best work came in the middle frame when Calgary outshot the visitors 15-5. Red Deer scored once in each period getting a power play deflection from Carter Latimer, a shorthanded tally from Latimer and an empty net marker from Talon Brigley.
RED DEER: Tonight is the third of nine regular season meetings between the two Central Division rivals but their first in Central Alberta which will be home to five of their games. Calgary is 1-1 against Red Deer this season and went 1-2-1-0 at Peavey Mart Centrium during the 2022-23 campaign. Oliver Tulk (1g, 2a) leads the Hitmen with three points while Carter Yakemchuk (1g, 1a), Ben Kindel (1g, 1a), Sean Tschigerl (2a), Carson Wetsch (2a) and Keets Fawcett (2a) all have two points each. Carson Latimer (3g, 1a) and Kai Uchacz (2g, 2a) are the top performing Rebels with four points each.
2023-24 SERIES RECAP
Oct. 28/23 in CGY: Hitmen 7 Rebels 4….The Hitmen received goals from seven different players.
Nov. 17/23 in CGY: Rebels 3 Hitmen 0…Red Deer goalie Rhett Stoesser made 40 saves in a first star performance.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CGY 80 RD 66 Power Plays: CGY 1-10 (10%) RD 3-8 (33.3%)
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Carter Yakemchuk led all Hitmen last night with six shots on goal. Carson Wetsch and Ben Kindel were next with five shots each. Carson Latimer paved the way for Red Deer with four shots on goal. In the face-off circle, David Adaszynski topped the Hitmen with 13 wins while Ollie Josephson and Kai Uchacz shared the Rebel lead, both winning 12 draws.
STREAKS: Goaltender Alex Garrett has won his last two starts…Sean Tschigerl (6g, 13a) saw his season high 10-game point streak end last night against Red Deer while a four-game streak for Ben Kindel was also snapped along with a three-game goal scoring streak for Carson Wetsch (4g) and a three-game point streak for Dax Williams (2g, 2a). Two-game goal scoring streaks for Oliver Tulk (3g, 5a) and Carter Yakemchuk (2g, 2a) were also halted against the Rebels along with two game point streaks for David Adaszynski (1g, 2a) and Aleksey Chichkin (2a).
DID YOU KNOW? Calgary is 7-2-2-0 in their last 11 games…Calgary has as many as four games in hand on every team above them in the Eastern Conference Standings except for Saskatoon as the Blades have also played 20 games…The Hitmen are 5-1-2-0 in one-goal games this season…Tonight starts a six game homestand for Red Deer while at the same time kicks off a stretch that will see Calgary play four of their next five games on the road…The Hitmen have added 15-year-old prospect Easton LaPlante to the roster for today’s game. The defenceman has one assist in one game this season with the Hitmen and is a member of the Calgary International Hockey Academy’s U18 Prep team in the CSSHL. In 12 games LaPlante has 22 points (5g, 17a).
WHL TOP-10: Carter Yakemchuk leads the league in goals among defencemen with nine while his 23 points are tied for fourth among blueliners…Oliver Tulk is tied for seventh in power play goals with six…Ben Kindel is fifth in rookie scoring with 20 points.
FAST FACTS: The Hitmen have outshot their opponents in four straight games and have recorded 30 or more shots in 18 consecutive games.…Calgary is one of the youngest teams in the WHL with an average age of 17.86…David Adaszynski (50) is the only Hitmen skater with at least one shot on goal in all 20 games this season…
WHL HONOURS: Hitmen forward Ben Kindel is the Kal Tire WHL Rookie of the Week, for the week ending Nov. 12. The 16-year-old winger recorded six points (2g, 4a) in two games and a +/- rating of +4.
CENTRAL DIVISION DIET: Tonight marks the fourth contest in a stretch that sees the Hitmen play eight games in a row against teams from their own division (EDM-3X), (RD-3X), (LET-1X), (MH-1X).
FRONT OFFICE NEWS: On Nov. 2 the Hitmen announced Garry Davidson as the sixth General Manager in franchise history. Davidson, now in his third year with the club, has held previous roles as Director of Player Personnel and Director of Hockey Operations.
SCOUTS EYE: NHL Central Scouting has released its ‘Preliminary Players to Watch’ list for the 2024 NHL Draft. Hitmen defenceman Carter Yakemchuk gained recognition as an ‘A’ ranked skater, projecting as a first-round candidate while forward Carson Wetsch is a ‘B’ ranked skater forecasting as a second or third-round candidate. A total of 63 WHLers are on the list including six potential first-round picks.
MAPLE LEAF MEMORIES: Hitmen defenceman Reese Hamilton and Team Canada Red finished fifth at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge earlier this month in Prince Edward Island. Hamilton tallied two assists in six games.
TEDDY BEAR TALLY: More than 14,750 seats have been sold for the Sunday, Dec. 3 ENMAX Teddy Bear Toss against the Prince Albert Raiders. Fans can secure their seat to one of the most anticipated games of the season at HitmenHockey.com. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS INJURY REPORT: Reese Hamilton (Lower Body, Day-to-Day), Tyson Galloway (Upper Body, Day-to-Day).
WHL MILESTONES: Oliver Tulk is one game shy of 150. Sean Tschigerl needs one assist to reach 100 while Maxim Muranov is three points away from 50…Tyson Galloway skated in his 200th career game last night against Red Deer.
HOME AND AWAY COMPARISION: The Hitmen are 3-6-1 on the road this season but have won two straight away from the ‘Dome. Red Deer is 2-5 on home ice with tonight’s game their first at Peavey Mart Centrium since Oct. 27.
UPCOMING GAMES: The Hitmen are off until next weekend when they play just once, hosting the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday, Nov. 25 in a 7:00 p.m. start at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary will then return to Red Deer to face the Rebels again on Tuesday, Nov. 28 before visiting the Hurricanes in Lethbridge on Wednesday, Nov. 29.