The Calgary Hitmen played three games this past week. More accurately, they played three games over four days with a pretty large amount of travel involved. All-told, as the immortal Meat Loaf once wrote: two out of three ain’t bad.
The week that was
The Hitmen played a trio of games this weekend, with two of the games taking place in the province of Saskatchewan.
On Friday, the Hitmen visited the Warriors in Moose Jaw and skated away with a 4-2 victory. In a game they never trailed, they received goals from Leafs prospect Riley Stotts, Canucks prospect Carson Focht, Josh Prokop and Jonas Peterek. Jett Woo (another Canucks pick) had two assists in his first game back in Moose Jaw following an off-season trade. Rookie Brayden Peters had 20 saves for the win.
On Sunday the Hitmen headed outdoors at Mosaic Stadium in Regina to face the Pats – though due to the sheer number of visitors for the NHL’s Heritage Classic the Hitmen had to stay in Moose Jaw and bus in for the game. In a contest punctuated by a ton of lead changes, the Hitmen rallied back from several deficits to win 5-4 in overtime. Mark Kastelic had a pair goals, while Peterek, Luke Prokop and Focht also scored, with Focht scoring the overtime winner 59 seconds into the extra frame. Jack McNaughton made 23 saves for the win.
After their game in Regina, the Hitmen headed west for a Monday game against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds – who had not spent three days navigating Saskatchewan. Whatever the reason, the Hitmen seemed flat and fatigued in a 2-1 home loss to Seattle. Layne Toder scored the lone Calgary goal, but it wasn’t enough to overcome two early Seattle goals.
The week ahead
The Hitmen carry a pretty impressive 8-3-1 record into this week. They’ve played fewer games that most other teams, but if you correct for that difference (e.g., focus on points percentage) they’re second in their division.
The Hitmen have another three games this week, but luckily for them they’re all home dates. They host the Saskatoon Blades (who just learned they won’t be getting Kirby Dach back from the Chicago Blackhawks) on Saturday, followed by a meeting with the red hot Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday, while the streaking Prince Albert Raiders visit the Saddledome on Wednesday evening.
The marquee attraction this week is Bret “The Hitman” Hart Night on Saturday. The game starts at 7 p.m. MT, but come down early to get a photo with the wrestling legend for a small fee (with proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Centre) and stay late for a special four match tribute card put on by the Prairie Wrestling Alliance.