October 22nd, 2020

Canes return after the break to host Hitmen tonight

By Yoos, Cam on December 27, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Hurricanes and Calgary Hitmen will continue to get acquainted tonight.

The Hurricanes and Hitmen meet for the third game in a row in Western Hockey League play tonight at the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.

The two teams met for the first time this season to wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of the season Dec. 14 and 15, the Canes winning the first game 3-0 at the Enmax Centre before the Hitmen scored some payback in a 5-2 win at the Saddledome.

The Hurricanes head into the post-Christmas portion of their regular-season schedule at 20-10-0-5 and tied with the 22-10-1-0 Medicine Hat Tigers for second in the Central Division and six points back of the 22-6-5-2 Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Hitmen are 16-10-3-1 and hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, nine points back of the Hurricanes and Tigers.

The Hitmen are 5-4-1-0 in their past 10 games, while the Canes are 5-3-0-2.

Lethbridge will be without forwards Dylan Cozens and Oliver Okuliar and defenceman Calen Addison.

Cozens and Addison are suiting up with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic, while Okuliar – from Trencin, Slovakia – plays with the Slovakian team.

Hitmen defenceman Egor Zamula is playing for Team Russia.

The absence of Cozens, Okuliar and Addison takes 117 points out of the Hurricanes’ lineup.

That leaves defenceman Alex Cotton as the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals and 37 points in 35 games. Prior to the loss in Calgary, the native of Langley, B.C. had a six-game point streak.

Twenty-year-old defenceman D-Jay Jerome has 14 goals and 27 points in 35 games and Logan Barlage has scored 10 goals and 26 points in 33 games.

The Hitmen are led by Riley Stotts’ 15 goals and 32 points in 30 games.

Mark Kastelic leads Calgary in goals with 18 and has 30 points in 24 games.

The Hurricanes power play is ranked fifth in the WHL at 23 per cent. The Hitmen are in 12th at 20.4 per cent.

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