The Calgary Hitmen played three games in three days over the past week. They captured three of a possible six points and stayed firmly in the thick of the Western Hockey League playoff race. Oh, and over 25,000 teddy bears were hurled towards the ice on Sunday.
The week that was
The Hitmen had a three games in three days type of weekend.
On Friday, the Hitmen beat the Regina Pats 4-1 in Calgary. The Hitmen trailed after the first period, but scored four unanswered goals – from Hunter Campbell, Riley Stotts, Jonas Peterek and Carson Focht – to power themselves to a win. Captain Mark Kastelic had three assists and netminder Jack McNaughton made 24 saves for the win.
The Hitmen were less good on Saturday in Edmonton, losing 5-4 to the Oil Kings. The Hitmen led 2-0 and 3-2, but couldn’t hold onto the lead. The Hitmen got goals from Orca Wiesblatt, Stotts, Adam Kydd and Focht, but it wasn’t enough. Goalie Brayden Peters made 28 saves but couldn’t grab the win.
In front of the biggest crowd of the season for the Teddy Bear Toss, the Hitmen got out to a 2-0 lead but lost 3-2 in overtime. They got goals from Focht and Stotts, and 25,025 bears flew down after Focht’s goal, but they couldn’t hold on. McNaughton made 22 saves in the loss.
The week ahead
The Hitmen are 14-7-3-1 with 32 points, good for fourth in the Central Division. They’re currently in the first wild card playoff spot and sit six points behind Lethbridge for the last divisional spot, but with five games in hand.
The locals have another three in three weekend: they have a home-and-home against Edmonton Friday (in Calgary) and Saturday (in Edmonton). Then they host Dustin Wolf and the Everett Silvertips on Sunday.
Two Hitmen are headed to World Junior camps. Egor Zamula is headed to Russia’s camp while Jonas Peterek will vie for a spot on the Czech Republic roster. Both leave for camp on Sunday, so expect some roster shuffling as the Hitmen balance these departures and some recent injuries.