Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tigers Take 2-0 Series Lead

Full Lineup
Both Hockey games were very physical, grind it out, bump and grind, defensive hockey.
For the first time all year the Tigers had a full complete lineup that lasted more than one period.  The Tigers had Tyler Lewington out for game one serving a 1 game suspension.
He was back for game 2, and the Tigers had three regulars as healthy scratches.

First Game
Tigers 2-1



Second Game
Tigers 1-0 OT

The Rebels made a lot of adjustments and sent in a very strong 2 forecheckers, trying to cut off the D to D passes that the Tigers used in game 1 to break out under pressure.  It wasn't until the rebels started tiring out and couldn't maintain that strong forecheck pressure when the Tigers offense started getting more chances.

Overall both teams offensive chances were very limited. A lot of blocked shots and not very many prime chances on either side.

In Game 2 I thought the rebels came out really hard, and were debatable the better team after two periods in game two. In the third period both teams looked like they were starting to tire out. In overtime the Tigers were getting chance after chance, and had all the momentum.

In overtime the Rebels came within inches of winning the game. A bit ironic that in the post-game during game 1 Langhamer mentioned that He liked Ty Stanton blocking shots, but not so much from Ty Schultz.  Well Schultz managed to get a partial stick on a puck that beat langhamer and as a result the puck hit in the post instead of going in the net.

The Tigers jaunted up the other way, and Trevor Cox managed to slide a bad angle shot in past Rylan Toth for the game winner.

Overall
Two extremely tough games, half and inch separated a even series. The Tigers haven't given up a goal yet, and are playing pretty stingy defensively and getting great goal-tending from Marek Langhamer. It looks like Connor Bleackley the Rebels star forward has some kind of shoulder/arm injury, he wasn't as effective in game two, as he was in game one.  He took a 4 minute spearing penalty late in the third period that the Tigers failed to take advantage of.




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tigers Vs Red Deer In Round One

Round One opponent decided. The Hitman scored with 5 minutes remaining in their game against Kootenay to win the central division penant.

As a result the Tigers finish 2nd in the division, 3rd overall in the conference, and will faceoff against the Red Deer Rebels in round one.

The Winner of the Tigers Vs Red Deer series will face the Winner of the Calgary Vs Kootenay series.

Tyler Lewington
One game for game misconduct versus Saskatoon on March 21
So the Tigers captain will miss the first game of the series.

Tigers Say Goobye To "The Arena"

Tigers Vs Saskatoon
The Game had an olden days type of feel to it, as the blades have long been ousted from the playoffs and were playing for pride. I thought it was classy of them wearing their old blades jerseys.

 The Tigers were still in the running to capture a Central Division Banner so they still had something to prove. The game turned out to be a pretty physical affair, with a lot of rough stuff after the whistle. The Tigers were hoping to come out unscathed with 2 points, but the victory tonight proved to be very costly.

Dryden Hunt was involved in an after whistle scrum and it looked like a few players fell on top of him. When he emerged from the scrum he was holding his arm/shoulder and skated gingerly back to the bench and didn't return. Chad Butcher also took a hit to the head and missed a couple shifts, but returned to the game.

Tyler Lewington Suspended
Tyler Lewington was very angry at the blades players after Linden Penner was pushed into the blades goaltender on a scoring chance. Lewington was involved in a fight at the goalmouth but the refs broke it up after a couple punches were thrown, he then managed to shake off a ref and then engage another blades player in a small tussle.  As a result he was handed 2 fighting majors, an instigator, a 10 minute misconduct, and a game misconduct. The Game misconduct is his 3rd of the season and warrants an automatic 1 game suspension. It is possible he picks up another game due to his actions in the game.

He had a crazy night. 1 Goal, 2 assists, +4 rating, and 32 PM's.

Marek Langhamer played the first 2 periods and Nick Schneider played the 3rd period. The Tigers ended the game on a 7 minutes penalty Kill.

Game Giveaways
The Game featured some beach-balls getting tossed around when the Tigers scored. The Tiger Girls were giving away lots of hats and shirts.

Their was a chance to shoot for $45,000 draw. The fan had to put the puck through a small opening, but didn't manage to pull it off.

The 50-50 was at a record $9491 dollars, which wasn't the season high. The season high was 10,515 but that was only after the previous game prize of $2700 went unclaimed.

Post-Game Ceremony
Their were some 67 alumni at the game and the Tigers honored them one by one, after a small slideshow of pictures.  (I think half of them play for the Calgary dinos)

Bob Ridley was the MC, and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison also spoke and made a great impression calling Tiger Fans the greatest fans in the WHL, and spoke about some of the records that are held by Tigers Players.

Brennan Bosch the Game 7 WHL championship  double overtime hero also spoke on behalf of the alumni.

Their were some videos of some historical and memorable moments from the past 45 years from the Tigers franchise. Also included were small snippets from current NHL'ers as well as Willie Desjardins, and Trevor Linden on what playing/coaching here meant to them!

At the end a new banner was raised. A banner commemorating the past 45 years of tiger hockey at The Arena. It was a very fun night and hopefully their are at least a couple more months of hockey left in the old barn!

Playoff Opponent
After a 72 game season it is still unknown. The Tigers await the fate of the Hitman vs Kootenay game sunday. If the Hitman fail to get 2 points the Tigers will play Kootenay. If the Hitman beat Kootenay, they will play Kootenay in the playoffs, and the Tigers will face Red Deer.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Scoreboard Watching

Updated March 18th
Tigers Games Left
 SASK(A), SASK(H)
Hitmen Games Left
KTN(A) KTN(H)
Red Deer Games Left
EDM(A) EDM(H)
Kootenay games Left
CGY(H), CGY(A)


8th Place
The Combination of Edmonton losing and Kootenay winning, put Edmonton 3 points back of Kootenay with Edmonton only having 2 games left.  So This means that Edmonton falls into the unlikely category of being first round opponents of the Tigers. Kootenay needs just 1 point gained, or 1 Edmonton loss of points to clinch at least 7th. This means Edmonton moves to the likely category of finishing in the 8th place wildcard spot which would mean a first round Matchup against Brandon.

The Red Deer loss also puts them 3 points back of the Tigers and Calgary.

First Round Potential Matchup
Kootenay -  55%
Red Deer -  45%

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stretch Run

WHL SITE 
So Once again while compiling the stats, part of the WHL site doesn't show up(This time the Scheduling system). This has happened quite frequently during the season clicking on player names, or schedule links.  I have long since changed all my bookmarks to http://media.whl.ca/   as their "backup" or old site is much more reliable. Frustrating to use.

Playoff Picture



Tigers Games Left
Ktn(A), EDM(H), PA(H), PA(A), SASK(A), SASK(H)
Hitmen Games Left
RD(A), Leth(A), Leth(H), RD(H), KTN(A) KTN(H)
Red Deer Games Left
SASK(H), CGY(H), KTN(H), CGY(A), EDM(A) EDM(H)
Kootenay games Left
MH(H), RD(A), Leth(A), CGY(H), CGY(A)
Edmonton Games Left
Leth(A), MH(A), RD(H), RD(A)

First Round Opponent?
It is almost guaranteed that the Tigers won't know their first round playoff opponent until the last game of the season. Calgary and Kootenay play a home and home, Red Deer and Edmonton play a home and home. Those points will effect the standings by a huge degree.

At this point it is still up to the Tigers control on where they will finish. 4/6 games against non-playoff teams.  If they finish 2nd it will likely Red Deer, If they finish 1st it will be either Kootenay or Edmonton. At This point I'd say its Even Stevens on all 3 teams on possible opponents.

Kootenay holds the Tiebreaker over Edmonton. The Tigers currently hold the Tiebreaker over Calgary. Both calgary and the Tigers play 3 games in 3 nights this weekend.

New playoff Format
This system benefits a high seed team in a lower calibre division. If we look at the other division Brandon is licking their chops @ their position. They will play the 7th (conference seed) in round one, then either the 8th/5th (conference seed) in round two if they make it that far. If they play like they can, they will be well rested for whoever pops out of the central division.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

TONIGHT'S GAME DELAYED

ATTENTION FANS!!!
Tonight's game vs. Kootenay is delayed by 1 hour due to mechanical difficulties with the Ice's bus.
NEW START TIME IS APPROXIMATELY 8:30PM.

VIA Medicine Hat Tigers Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/whltigers?fref=nf

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tyler Lewington Inks NHL Contract

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Tyler Lewington to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning the 2015-16 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

http://www.whl.ca/article/tigers-lewington-signs-entry-level-deal-with-capitals

With the Tigers
Tyler Lewington was a "late bloomer" as an undrafted free agent that the Tigers listed and invited to camp as a 17 yr old where he only appeared in 44 games during his first season.

Lewington benefited from having a "late birthday".   NHL prospects born from September 15th to December 31st, their first year of NHL draft eligibility falls into their "18 yr old season".  Everyone else has their draft year in their 17 yr old season.

In his 18 yr old season he made a big jump only missing 3 games and put up 26 points, a +14 rating as well as 131 PM's.

NHL Scouting 
Lewington was the 66th overall ranked North American skater in 2013 by NHL Central Scouting,

In the NHL Combine he blew away all other prospects destroying the competition and finishing first in the Bench Press, Push-ups, push strength, and pull-strength categories


NHL Draft


The Washington Capitals Came calling and with their 7th round pick they selected Lewington going #204 overall in the 2013 draft.


This Season
Lewington had an amazing camp with the capitals prior to the season starting. He was noted as being very physical and a standout among their blue-line prospects.

Washington was noted as making a "bona fida" offer over last summer to retain his rights. Washington had strong depth on the back-end and their was no room for him in their system this season. Whether it was a mutual decision or good advice from his agent Lewinton did not sign on their "bona fida" offer and went back to the Tigers for his overage season.

He has been one of the Tigers most consistent defenceman this season proving a solid physical 2 way game.

Congratulations Tyler Lewington on signing an NHL Contract!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Back In Black, Tigers Blank Rebels 4-0

Looks like the Tigers found their form tonight blanking the Rebels 4-0.

The Rebels had Key Forward Conner Bleackley out with an injury, while the Tigers had Vannelli, and Stanton out with injuries. Looks like Stanton may be out for a week or so, I hear Vannelli has near the same time frame.

Rebels Early Penalty Troubles
The Rebels got into penalty troubles early in the first period and the Tigers jumped out on the board first with an early power-play goal.

Trevor Cox found himself in the slot a little off-balance but managed to get solid wood on a puck that beat February's Goalie of the Month Rylan Toth over the shoulder. 1-0 Tigers


Physical Play Ramps up
The game was getting pretty chippy in the first period and it continued into the second period. I thought this jump-started the Tigers to get back on their game. Multiple scrums and shots after the whistle.

Matt Bradley would get credited for the Tigers second goal, and I'm not quite sure how it bounced in, I didn't get a good look at the play. 2-0 Tigers

Minutes Later Trevor Cox would turn on the afterburners leaving rebel defenceman in his wake going in on a breakaway. He was hauled down, and awarded a penalty shot.
On the penalty shot he made a nice deke and slid a puck past Toth's pad's as he was going the other direction.  3-0 Tigers

Third Period
I thought their period was by far their best period prior to the Rebel goalie being pulled. The key to their offense is breaking out with speed, and everybody was in solid position making quick passes to get out of their own zone.  This enabled them to come out 3 strong, with defensive support instead of 1 or 2 strong,

The rebels pulled their goalie early and the Tigers spent a good minute in the rebel zone before Chad Labelle would eventually make a couple nice moves to get into some open space and fired the puck into the net. 4-0 Tigers

Thoughts
They are back on a winning streak, we can all exhale.  Langhamer played a phenomenal game in net picking up his first shutout of the season. He like the rest of the team got stronger as the game went on. I thought towards the second half of the game, their ability to do what they do best, breakout with a ton of speed to create chances was back in full force.

Next Up: Tomorrow Night in Moose Jaw.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tigers Slump Continues

One of the common themes during this slump is giving up the first goal of the game real early, and it continued this weekend.

PG worked up  a 3-0 lead just 7 minutes into the game. Tonight's game against Calgary the Hitmen took advantage of their powerplay and scored in the first 6 minutes.

Positive Road Ahead
All negativity aside tonight was the first game in a long time where I saw a very good effort through most of the game. They were taking care of their own end, and their forwards were supporting taking away the trailers entering the zone late. Langahmer made some big-time stops.

I saw a lot of good things with players without the puck getting into position for a good pass. Looking at the stats I didn't realize how much of an impact missing Steven Owre had in the lineup. I thought he played a very good game.

Tonight I also liked how the Tigers were finishing more of their checks, although that is usually not their game and probably more of a result of frustration.

I liked how the coaches kept Bradley up on the 2nd line, and put Butcher on the 3rd line. Bradley has been flying the last couple weeks.    

They miss Becker and Vanelli a ton back on the point. Coaches said pre-game that Becker might be good to go as soon as next weekend.

Next up: Monday afternoon in Swift Current a 2 oclock game. I'm hearing that the Tigers will have a good fan contingent following them up for the long weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tigers Defeat Giants 8-4

Tonight's game was pretty close through most of the it, but the Tigers managed to pull away in the third period. It was good to see them avenge their loss from a couple weeks ago in vancouver which Rogers Sportsnet had broadcast the game.

Thoughts

Trevor Cox
I liked Trevor Cox's game. I thought his one on one approach offensively looked real dangerous.

Dryden Hunt
I thought Hunt struggled through 2 periods. He seemed like he was having a tough time keeping his speed up, and the puck wasn't following him. All off a sudden in the third period he came within inches of a hat-trick. He sure has a good hard shot. Give him the puck and let him rip it.

Markus Eisenschmid
2 Powerplay goals. A couple quick shots from the high-slot.

Ty Stanton
A little rusty in his first game back. Looked a bit uncoordinated at times. Looked a bit shaken up on hard hits.

David Quenneville
First career whl fight.   5'8 179 lbs took on Alec Baer 5 '10 175 lb. Quenneville laid out a lickin on Baer, Was surprising to see that side of the game from Quenneville.

Nick Schneider
A bit of a surprise start. Langhamer had a nagging injury and wasn't ready to go quite yet. I thought he was just ok. Probably would have liked to have played a little better.

Overall
It felt like the Tigers finally got their groove back tonight. They were in a bit of a fade the last few games. Vancouver came out really hard in the first couple periods. The Tigers depth shown through and as the Giants started wearing down, the Tigers managed to step it up and put the game out of reach.