It’s a frigid February night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and while the temperature is cold, the crowd is heated up and ready for the Calgary Hitmen to face off against the Regina Pats.
From old fans to new, families and young adults, 5,116 people fill the dome for the first puck drop.
After a couple of tough games in a row, the Hitmen fans and the team stay hopeful for another season in the playoffs. But the Feb. 8 loss to the Regina Pats, full of avoidable penalties and being outplayed in their own zone, brought the team one point back from the last wild-card spot in the playoffs.
The loss doesn’t come as a surprise as this is their third game against the Pats this season, with each game resulting in a loss for the Hitmen.
Hitmen defenseman Jake Bean hopes that learning and moving on from the loss will help keep the team’s confidence high.
“[We’ll] get a quick practice in tomorrow then we’ll be right back at it so it shouldn’t be hard for guys to forget this one pretty quick,” Bean says.
Head coach Mark French is staying hopeful of obtaining that last spot, and doesn’t see a loss like this as a huge turning point in their season.
“The reality of playing at this level and playing as many games as we do, is that we have to turn the page really quick, you have to learn from it, and then move on,” says French.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season, hopes of making the playoffs are slowly dwindling. They currently sit tied with the Saskatoon Blades for the last wild-card spot, but in these last few weeks anything can happen.
The editor responsible for this article is Brandon Tucker and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org