The hockey world is always better when a team from Edmonton and a team from Calgary square off in the postseason. On Friday night, we get just that in the WHL playoffs.
The second round of the WHL Playoffs will see the Calgary Hitmen come to Rogers Place for Game 1 and 2 of their series vs the Oil Kings. The two squads advanced to the second round thanks to Edmonton knocking off Medicine Hat in six games and Calgary dispatching Lethbridge in seven games.
The regular season series between these two did heavily go in the direction of the Oil Kings who didn’t lose in regulation to their Alberta rivals (7-0-1) but the Hitmen are a team you can’t sleep on.
Calgary has been lead by Mark Kastelic who had 47 goals in the regular season and 77 points in his fourth season. The Hitmen also come with a couple of talented NHL prospects in the lineup in the form of Egor Zamula and Vladislav Yeryomenko. Zamula a Philadephia Flyers prospect in his second season in Calgary put up 56 points on the backend while Yeryomenko a Nashville Predators prospect put up 33 points.
This series also marks the first time Steve Hamilton is on the opposite bench from the Oil Kings as an assistant coach for the Hitmen. In 2014, Hamilton led the Oil Kings to the WHL and Memorial Cup title, the first title for an Edmonton based CHL team since 1966.
The Oil Kings in their first-round series vs Medicine Hat were led by Vince Loschiavo and Trey Fix-Wolansky who both had seven points in the series. Loschiavo would also be the one to send Edmonton to the 2nd round with his OT winner in Game 6 vs the Tigers.
Game 1 puck drop is at 7PM on Friday while Game 2 goes down at 5PM Mountain.
One Alberta a team will move forward and be the last Alberta team standing in the WHL playoffs, the question now only is will it be the one out of Edmonton or Calgary?