Great expectations

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:21 AM ET

Calgary Hitmen GM-coach Kelly Kisio isn't sure what to make of the CHL rankings. The seedings, which haven't been officially released, will show the Hitmen as the No. 1 team in the WHL and third in the nation.

"It puts pressure on the kids to perform every night because every team is going to be waiting for them," Kisio said.

On the other hand, they haven't played a game yet and there's only one direction to go.

"That's the bad thing," Kisio laughed.

"It's where you end up, it's not where you start.

"On paper, that's the way it goes but who cares what's on paper. It's what happens on the ice."

The Hitmen will take their 1-1-1 pre-season record to the ice in Sylvan Lake tonight against the Red Deer Rebels.

Due to the small rink, the game will be played using a four-on-four format.

"I played on it for years and, at 5-on-5, there's not a lot of room," Kisio said.

"It's one of the smaller ones around that I've been on.

"It'll be interesting, that's for sure. We've been going over different scenarios.

"It's going to be a bit of a rodeo on the bench because sometimes we might have three forwards out with a defencemen and other times we'll have two and two.

"We'll need a lot of communication between Dean (Evason) and myself to see who's up next."

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HIT PARADE: Rookie forward Keegan Dansereau (flu), Andrew Ladd (shoulder) and d-man Darryl Yacboski will not dress tonight ... The pre-season schedule wraps up Friday night in Lacombe, also against the Rebels.


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