WHL's Battle of Alberta set

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

The WHL is wasting little time putting the flame to its newest rivalry.

The expansion Edmonton Oil Kings will play the Calgary Hitmen eight times during the 2007-08 campaign.

Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio said he was pleased with how his club's schedule, which was released yesterday, worked out.

"It'll be a natural rivalry," said Kisio, of the latest Calgary-Edmonton feud.

The Hitmen will also play the Kootenay Ice eight times. The Calgary squad beat its Central Division rivals in overtime of Game 7 in their first-round playoff matchup last spring.

The addition of the Oil Kings means two less games against the Red Deer Rebels, who face the Hitmen six times.

As well, the Hitmen will play each of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers six times.

"It's good to show the fans some different teams," Kisio said.

"We've played Red Deer an awful lot the last couple of years."

The Rebels will provide the opposition in two of Calgary's pre-season games as well.

The two teams kick off the exhibition schedule Sept. 4 in Airdrie and start the regular season with a home-and-home set, kicking off Friday, Sept. 21 in Calgary.

Of the team's 36 home games, 28 will be played on the weekend. The games break down to be 10 on Fridays, six on Saturdays, 12 on Sundays.

The Hitmen's longest homestand and road trip of the WHL season are each six games in length.


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