Hitmen get in on outdoor fun

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

The Flames found a way to add enough of a wrinkle to make an outdoor game in Calgary their own.

The day after the Flames are slated to play the Montreal Canadiens in the Heritage Classic, the WHL Calgary Hitmen and Regina Pats are slated to hit the ice at McMahon Stadium.

"It's going to be an exciting time for our young guys. You get a chance to play in a game like this, it's outstanding," said Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio.

The Flames are pegged to play their game Feb. 20, 2011.

The Hitmen and Pats are to face off on Family Day, Feb. 21.

"It seemed like an automatic to everyone involved," Kisio said. "We just had to wait to make sure the Flames were going to have this game, and the league was a go, for sure."

The decision to host Regina stems from the fact the Pats are one of the original teams in the junior loop.

"Regina really wanted to be a part of it, and we were more than happy to get them in the game," Kisio said.

The contest will be an opportunity for fans who can't get tickets to the NHL game to take part in the fun, so it should be a boon for the Hitmen and the WHL.

"They're thrilled, because this is once-in-a-lifetime exposure, both from a television audience and from a sitting audience, to be a part of a potential of a certain record-breaking crowd for a WHL game and a massive crowd for an NHL game," Flames president Ken King said.

Plus, the players have a chance to be part of something special.

"The few years I played in Saskatoon, we had some pretty lean crowds, but that was probably because of the product," Flames defenceman Cory Sarich said. "I have a hard time believing this place won't be right full to the roof to watch.

"It's going to be so exciting for them. You don't get to play on stages like this very often."


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