The Calgary Hitmen are back from the holiday break! The Hitmen began the second half of the season firmly in a wildcard spot and had a busy return to action with four games.
The week that was
The week began on Friday in Lethbridge, where the Hitmen battled though a back-and-forth game before losing 5-4 in overtime. They trailed 1-0 and 3-1, briefly led 4-3 but allowed the tying goal with just 3:59 left and lost in extra time. James Malm, Orca Wiesblatt, Jett Woo and Riley Stotts scored for Calgary. Starting netminder Jack McNaughton was chased after first three Lethbridge goals, and rookie Brayden Peters came in and finished the game.
On Saturday the Hitmen headed to Medicine Hat where they lost 3-1. They were down 3-0 after the first period and Josh Prokop scored the only goal. Peters made 27 saves, but was out-dueled by Mads Sogaard who made 33 saves for the victory.
Things turned around on Monday as the Hitmen beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-3 on a national Sportsnet broadcast. The Hitmen got goals from Carson Focht, Sean Tschigerl, Evan Toth (his first WHL goal), Wiesblatt and Woo. Two power play goals swung the game. McNaughton made 29 saves for the win.
On Wednesday, the Hitmen beat Medicine Hat 4-2. They allowed the first goal just 10 seconds in, but then took over the game. Jonas Peterek, Hunter Campbell, Mark Kastelic and Tschigerl scoered for Calgary. McNaughton made 32 saves for the win.
Of note: Edmonton and Medicine Hat were both listed in the Canadian Hockey League’s top 10 rankings and the Hitmen posted a 2-1-0 week against them.
The week ahead
The Hitmen have a three games in three nights weekend ahead of them, continuing a supremely busy 10 days. They’re in Medicine Hat Friday, in Lethbridge on Saturday, and come home to host the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sunday.
They head into the weekend firmly in the first wildcard playoff spot. They’re seven points back of Medicine Hat for the last divisional playoff spot, but four points up on Brandon in the second wildcard and 12 up on Red Deer on the outside looking in.
Lots of things are happening!
- Defenseman Layne Toder has left the team to be closer to his family.
- Forward Cael Zimmerman returned from off-season hip surgery on Wednesday.
- In advance of next Friday’s trade deadline, the Hitmen traded James Malm, a 2020 second round bantam pick and a conditional pick to Tri-City for Calgary-born forward Kyle Olson.