Game Preview – CGY vs MH – 09.22.23
HITMEN HEADLINES: The Calgary Hitmen (0-0-0-0) open their 29th season in the Western Hockey League tonight at home vs the Medicine Hat Tigers (0-0-0-0). Game time is 7:00 p.m. at the Scotibabank Saddledome. The 2022-23 campaign features a 68-game regular season schedule which will be completed in just over six months consisting of 34 games at home and 34 on the road. After a two-season hiatus, the Hitmen will once again travel to the B.C. Division making a road tour of province in December. The regular season finale is Sunday, March 24 at home against the Broncos. Last season the Hitmen faced the Red Deer Rebels in the first round of playoffs after finished third in the Central Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-29-5-3.
MEDICINE HAT Tonight is the first of five regular season meetings between the two teams. Calgary went 4-2 against the Tigers last season while posting a 2-1 record in Medicine Hat. Sean Tschigerl (4g, 2a) led active Hitmen players in the season series with six points while Tiger forward Cayden Lindstrom (2g, 3a) led his team with five.
2022-23 SERIES RECAP
Nov. 4/22 at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex: Hitmen 5 Tigers 1…The Hitmen scored five answered goals.
Nov. 26/22 in MH: Hitmen 5 Tigers 2…Five different Hitmen scored in the victory.
Dec. 2/22 in CGY: Tigers 4 Hitmen 3…The Tigers pumped 47 shots on goal.
Jan. 21/23 in MH: Tigers 7 Hitmen 1…Cayden Lindstrom led the Tigers with a goal and two assists.
Mar. 18/23 in MH: Hitmen 2 Tigers 0…Brayden Peters made 23 saves for his seventh career shutout.
Mar. 19/23 in CGY: Hitmen 4 Tigers 3… Sean Tschigerl earned first star of the game with 1g, 1a
INSIDE THE SERIES
Shots on Goal: CGY 197 MH 185 Power Plays: CGY 8-33 (24%) MH 2-29 (6.9%)
OPENING NIGHT: In the previous 28 season openers, the Hitmen have compiled an all-time record of 14 wins, nine losses, four overtime losses and one tie. Last won the opener 2-1 in Swift Current.
LET’S GO CAMPING: Four Hitmen headed to NHL camps earlier this month: Tyson Galloway (Calgary), Oliver Tulk (Calgary), Grayden Siepmann (Boston) and Sean Tschigerl (Los Angeles). So far only Siepmann has returned.
WHL DEBUT: Only four Hitmen, who have made the opening night roster, have yet to play a regular season game in the WHL: Reese Hamilton, Wyatt Pisarczyk, Keets Fawcett and Aleksey Chichkin. Having said that, there are eight rookies on the club as Ben Kindel, Sawyer Mayes, Chase Valliant and Alex Garrett all made at least one regular season appearance.
FAMILIAR FACES: The Hitmen opening-night roster features 16 returning players from the 2022-23 season.
2023 PRE-SEASON RECAP: Calgary went 1-3 during their four-game exhibition schedule. Rookie forward Sawyer Mayes led the team in points with four, while Keets Fawcett (2g,1a) and Matteo Danis (2g, 1a) notched three points each.
TRANSACTIONS: On Wednesday, 20-year old defenceman Keagan Slaney cleared waivers and was picked up by the Regina Pats. The club also reassigned prospects Connor Bear, Brandon Gorzynski and Simon Bowland.
MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS INJURY REPORT: None.
UPCOMING GAMES: Calgary returns to action tomorrow, Saturday September 23 to finish the home-and-home set with the Tigers. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Co-op Place.
SUNDAY FUNDAY: This season’s Sunday Funday, presented by Brookfield Residential, is a must see for both the Calgary Hitmen and the Calgary Wranglers. Family friendly prices, family friendly food specials, and family friendly entertainment. Look out for lots of activities as the fun zone returns to the concourse. Be there Sunday, October 1st at 2pm when the Hitmen kick off Sunday Funday presented by Brookfield Residential against the Saskatoon Blades. Get your tickets now at hitmenhockey.com.
FOOD & BEV: Be sure to take advantage of the $6 Hitmen Happy Hour at tonight’s game from when doors open at 6:00 p.m. up until the opening faceoff. Items include pizza, burgers, hot dogs, 14-ounce beer, highballs and 5-ounce house wine all for $6 each.
Tickets for tonight’s game are still available for purchase here