Saturday, April 7, 2018

Humboldt Broncos

#prayforhumboldt
#humboldtstrong

Tragic Accident
By now most of you are aware of the Terrible Accident that has forever changed the lives of the Humboldt Broncos SJHL hockey Team.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/nipawin-humboldt-bus-crash-1.4609835


Go Fund Me
There is a go fund me page setup. I have donated and for those that wish too as well, here is a link to their go fund me page
https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos/donate


Tiger Connections

Layne Matechuk
One of the members of the Humboldt Bronco team was a former Tiger Draft pick Layne Matechuk. Matechuck was a 2nd round and 40th overall selection in 2015. I'm not sure if the Tigers still have his rights or not. He is 18, but in his 17yr old hockey season with Humboldt.

Former Tiger Bretton Cameron
Former Tiger Bretton Camerons' brother was also on the Bus. Yesterday Bretton Tweeted out that his brother was doing ok.

Bretton Cameron is currently the Captain for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL.

A few former Humboldt Players who went on to play with the Tigers Include
Deven Dubyk - 2009-2011
Ryan Olynyk 2000-2002

My heart and condolences go out to their team, family members and the hockey community.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Game 6: Tigers 3 @ Brandon 4 - Tigers Season Comes To an End

Brandon Wins Series 4-2
Game 1: Brandon 2 Tigers 7
Game 2: Brandon 3 Tigers 7
Game 3: Tigers 3 Brandon 5
Game 4: Tigers 2 Brandon 5
Game 5: Brandon 5 Tigers 2
Game 6: Tigers 3 Brandon 4

Links
WHL Gamesheet
Rassell carries Tigers in season-ending overtime loss - MH News

Pre-Game

Tigers Scratches
James Hamblin
Mason Shaw
Elijah Brown
Trevor Longo
Dawson Heathcote - Healthy
Cole Clayton - I think he left the game in the first or second period.


Brandon Scratches
Baron Thompson
Ty Ettinger
Jonny Hooker


First Period

Tigers are double/triple shifting Mark Rassell to start the game and it paid off early.

David Quenneville under a heavy chorus of boo's from the Dauphin folks, made a beauty hail mary pass up to Mark Rassel, who split Brandon's top pairing Defenceman (Braden Schneider and Schael Higson). Rassell would put it past Dylan Miskiw (hard to see on the webcast if it was five-hole or glove side). 1-0 Tigers 

Rassell continued his strong game stripping Schael Higson off the puck and Higson was forced to hook Rasell which earned the Tigers a power play. With 9 seconds left in the powerplay, something strange happened that I didn't understand.

Hollet Interference

Jordan Hollett was playing the puck and backhanded it behind his net.  He got checked and knocked over by Ty Lewis. Hollett was given an interference penalty, while Jevne and Lewis were called on roughing penalties...




After that play, the intensity of Hollett reached another level.  He seemed to be moving extra quick after that one.  Let's hope that turns out to be a good thing for the Tigers.

During the powerplay, Gunnar Wegleitner would hit the post and David Quenneville would end up saving a shot off his groin after he tripped over Hollett's pads and ended up with his legs sticking out of the net. The Tigers would keep Brandon off the scoreboard.

Notes
The Tigers have played very well through the first ten minutes of the period. Brandon generated some momentum off those special teams plays...and it turned out to be a fairly even period.


Second Period

Some back and forth action, with both teams getting scoring chances. Tyler Preziuso made a really nice defensive play picking the pocket of Braden Schneider as he was all alone in the slot for a big chance.

Tigers Add to Lead Tigers would add to their lead early in the period. After a rush up the ice Brandon defender, Braden Schneider got a stick on the puck at the blueline. Jaeger White managed to scoop it up and skate in with a lot of room. He fired a shot on net, and Myskiw gave up a big rebound.

Hayden Ostir took the rebound shot from the top of the circle and the puck bounced off somebody in front and sat right at the feet of Mark Rassell. With the goalie down, Rassell swiped the puck into the net. 2-0 Tigers

First Fight of the Series
A few moments later the first fight of the series would take place between depth player Zach Wytnick and Baxter Anderson. Anderson got a couple punches in early and Wytnick nailed Anderson in the top of the helmet and they tumbled to the ice. They both seemed to be favoring their hands in the box.

Brandon Sparked That fight seemed to spark Brandon as they would get their first goal of the night 23 seconds later.

Kristians Rubins threw a pass out of the zone, which hit a Tigers' skate, and bounced backward. It gave Ty Lewis and Stellio Matteos a mini 2 on 1, where Stelio buried a one-time pass, past the blocker of Jordan Hollett. 2-1 Brandon

The teams would trade some highlight real chance with both teams having sustained offensive chances.

Brandon Ties It Up
Brandon would tie the game off some advantageous puck bounces. In Brandon's zone, a Mark Rassell shot would deflect off the feet of a Brandon player and then hop over the stick David Quenneville at the point. Brandon raced away on a 2 on 1, where Evan Weinger placed a shot over the top of Jordan Hollet's Blocker. 2-2 TIE

Dylan Myskiw would come up Huge late in the second period. He stopped Mark Rassel and Gary Haden on point blank 2 on 1's.

Notes:
The Tigers didn't play bad, Brandon was able to capitalize on more chances than the Tigers could.
The goals that were scored in this period were off some puck-luck bounces.

This game is even stevens so far. The third period should be a doozy. Almost seems like a perfect script for an overtime game. I don't remember seeing much of Cole Clayton in the period. 16 yr old Dan Baker has now drawn in for a lot more ice-time. Clayton didn't look that great in the early going so that must be why the Tigers dressed 7 defenceman tonight.


Third Period

The Tigers would respond quickly in the third period. 23 Seconds into the period, David Quenneville would put a hard snapshot on the net and Mark Rassell would find the rebound in the slot and put it through Myskiw's five-hole for the Hat-Trick! 3-2 Tigers

The teams would continue to trade highlight-reel chances. Brandon had a 2-0 and Hollett came up huge. Haden would have a prime chance after he was tripped up at the net. He still managed to get a stick on the puck and beat Myskiw but rolled the puck through the crease.

Tigers Momentum
Daniel Bukac fired the puck out of bounds in his own zone and that would mean a Tigers power play.
On the powerplay. While the Tigers didn't score they generated a lot of momentum off it.

Mid-way through the period Brandon would turn the momentum.

Brandon Ties the Game
From behind the net, Quenneville let out a poor outlet pass from his back-hand which was intercepted. To recover 4 Tigers were down deep in the corner which left the front of the net open.

Evan Weinger would block a clearing attempt from Kristians Rubins walked around the net and find Linden McCorrister who was wide open. McCorrister would shot the puck low blocker and it somehow found a hole through Jordan Hollett. 3-3 TIE    

Notes:
The Tigers fired 25 shots in net during the period. I thought it was a typo at first.

OVERTIME......

Brandon with a ton of pressure. The Tigers look like they can barely skate and Hollett is playing phenomenal.   Braden Schneider would throw a shot/pass into the slot and Linden McCorrister would tip it past Jordan Hollett. Final 4-3 Brandon

Thoughts
Darn! Who would have thought the Tigers would go out 4 straight after destroying the wheat kings in the first two games? Props off to Brandon for adapting and winning away from their home rink. They were the better team and deserve the 2nd round. It feels so frustrating knowing that Mason Shaw was so close to returning yet wasn't able to draw in.

Thanks to Mark Rassel, Michael Bullion and Kristians Rubins
Rassell played his heart out and received massive amounts of ice-time. He ended up with a hat-trick tonight. Kristians was IMO the Tigers best defenceman all year.  Good Luck to Michael Bullion in his future who played lights out hockey down the stretch run 

Brief Season in Review
Never seen the team go through that many injuries. They were never able to dress a healthy lineup all season. With Fischer leaving, shaw's season-ending injury and all the other injuries that happened, this year was largely a write-off and the Tigers used it to re-tool their roster for the future.


Winning the Central Division was awesome, but a first-round exit always leaves a bitter taste. Would have loved to see a Re-match with Lethbridge in round 2. 

Up Next
WHL Bantam Draft, May 3rd

Over the next week or two, I will generate a next year post, as well as a review of all my Pre-Season Eastern Conference Thoughts I posted earlier in the season to see how I did.

What are your thoughts on this season? Leave A Comment 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Game 5: Brandon 5 @ Tigers 2

Series: 3-2 Brandon
Game 1: Brandon 2 Tigers 7
Game 2: Brandon 3 Tigers 7
Game 3: Tigers 3 Brandon 5
Game 4: Tigers 2 Brandon 5
Game 5: Brandon 5 Tigers 2
Game 6: April 1st
Game 7: April 3rd (If Needed)

Links
WHL GameSheet
Wheaties push Tigers to the brink - MH News
Tigers De-Railed by Wheat Kings - Tigershockey.com
Tigers allow five straight goals, fall to What Kings in Game 5 - Chat News

Pre-Game Notes
Jordan Hollet in the Net
Linus Nassen - GameTime decision and Drew in Tonight.

Tiger Scratches
Mason Shaw - Getting fit with a brace. The Tigers are taking it day by day, but it sounds like he may not make it in time for round 1.
Elijah Brown - Injured
Dylan Macpherson -Likely out for playoffs
Trevor Longo - Out for a while
James Hamblin - Broken wrist, out for playoffs


Brandon Scratches
Logan Thompson -Injury
Baron Thompson - Healthy
Jonny Hooker - Injury
Ty Ettinger - Healthy

First Period
The Tigers would get an unlucky break. A big blast from David Quenneville smacked the goaltender up high. During the save Myskiw's blocker & catcher came up high and popped lose his mask. The mask would fall off as he dropped to his knees moments before Jaeger white tapped the rebound in the net. The Refs called it no goal...bad break.The mask stays on it's probably a good goal.

Ty Lewis from Brandon would come close to scoring ringing iron. 30 seconds later the Tigers would score first. Quenneville fed a very nice pass over to Ryan Chyzowski who fired the puck top shelf glove side. 1-0 Tigers


Notes:
Pretty even period. Prime scoring chances were close. The refs are letting them play but also calling coincidental penalties and taking both players out. Quenneville has thrown 3 big hits. He looks like a man on a mission.


Second Period
Tigers would add to their lead on a fast break 30 seconds into the period. Preziuso with some nice work skating out of his zone let go a pass out into the slot. Jevne neatly tied up his man which left Chyzowski open at the side of the net. Chyzowski performed a quick stickhandle and fired the puck over Myskiw's arm. 2-0 Tigers 

The Tigers would get into some penalty trouble as Cole Clayton would get called for a 4-minute slew-footing penalty and Brandon's Zach Wytinck would take a 2-minute holding penalty, bear hugging Mark Rassell off a partial breakaway.

After Brandon's' portion of the penalty expired, the Tigers would get a little bit too aggressive with only a couple seconds left in the penalty kill. Both defencemen would get caught in the corner throwing hits and that left an opening in the middle of the ice for Brandon. Stelio Mattheos would walk out from the corner and attempt a wraparound shot.  The puck would escape his grasp and  Ty Lewis was charging in from the point managed to beat an outstretched Hollet with a backhand shot.  2-1 Tigers.

Both teams would trade momentum. The Tigers managed to get a few very high-quality chances, including David Quenneville ripping one off the crossbar. Brandon, in turn, would respond with a couple chances off a power play and some sustained momentum late in the period.

With 3 minutes to go in the third Wheat King defenceman, Schael Higson would rip a point shot and Luka Burzan would deflect the puck right in front of Hollett. 2-2 TIE 

Notes:
We are seeing some old time hockey here. Both teams are hitting, and hitting hard any chance they can. David Quenneville must have eaten a few cans of spinach as he's thrown 7-8 big time hits through 2 periods of play.  One of the most exciting periods of hockey all year, both teams are going all out. The Tigers had control early, Brandon with more control late.


Third Period

Brandon continued their momentum right from the get-go. The Tigers would juggle their lines, but in this case , it would hurt them.  Cole Clayton pinched and no Tiger forward recognized this and turned back.  The result was that Brandon had an odd-man rush the other way. Connor Gutenberg would rip a shot top shelf and Brandon would take their first lead of the hockey game. 3-2 Brandon

The Tigers would start to unravel a bit. Veteran David Quenneville who was having such a good game, took a frustrating penalty, giving 3 straight un-necessary cross-checks to Wheat King Schael Higson.

 On the powerplay ,Schael Higson would take a shot from the point and Hollett lost track of it. Linden McCorrister was able to squeak past Kristians Rubins and poke the puck in for a 2 goal lead.
4-2 Brandon

Tigers would be unable to score with the goalie pulled and Stelio Mattheos would would find an empty-netter. Final Score 5-2 Brandon

Thoughts
Very exciting game. I thought up until Clayton took a slew-footing penalty in the second the Tigers were in the game and had the advantage. After that small period of hockey where Rassell was hauled down on a partial breakaway, and Brandon scored on their 4-minute powerplay, they took the game over and were clearly the better team from that point onwards. In the third period, it seemed every other rush was an odd-man rush for Brandon.  

A heartbreaker. The away team won for the first time in the series. The Tigers face a tough task of needing 2 straight victories to escape the first round of the playoffs.


Next Up 
Game 6 Sunday, April 1st in Dauphin

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Game Four: Tigers 2 @ Brandon 5 (Dauphin)

Brandon Wins 5-2
Series Tied 2-2

Links
WHL GameSheet - Whl Website
Wheaties cream Tigers 5-2, tie up series - CHAT News
Wheat Kings top Tigers to tie series at 2-2 - MH News
Wheat Kings even series at two games apiece - Brandon Sun

Pre-Game Notes
Baron Thompson - Serving Game 3 of 3 of his suspension
Tigers are switching to Michael Bullion for tonight's game.

Dan Baker - Draws in to replace the injuries to  Longo/Nassen/Macpherson
Apparently the Hotel the Tigers were staying at had a pipe burst and they had to scramble. They are spread out among 3 hotels in Dauphin. 

Tiger Injuries

Mason Shaw - Ridley mentioned they talk to him today and Minnesota hasn't assessed him yet.
Elijah Brown - Gametime decision and ended up starting the game but not finishing it. I don't remember seeing him in the third period.
Dylan Macpherson -Likely out for playoffs
Linus Nassen - Day-to-day not dressed tonight
Trevor Longo - Out for a while
James Hamblin - Broken wrist, I apologize I keep forgetting about him

Brandon Injuries
G Logan Thompson remains out of the lineup
F - Jonny Hooker is week to week


First Period
Brandon started the game buzzing around the Tigers zone for the first 7 minutes of the game.
After a tough shift Mark Rassell would come to the bench yelling at the team to pick their game up. The Tigers would get a little bit of momentum off a powerplay, but it was short-lived.

Brandon would get on the board first from an outstanding effort from 16yr old Ben McCartney. McCartney would outmuscle and strip Baxter Anderson off the puck down low. McCartney would attempt a pass out front and missed the first guy, but it found defenceman Daniel Bukac at the point who rifled a shot over Bullion's shoulder. 1-0 Brandon

Brandon would score another one a minute later. 16yr standout defenceman Braden Schneider backhanded a pass across the ice beyond the reach of 2 Tiger forwards over to Stelio Mattheos.  I think 2 Tiger defenceman just came off from a line change and were playing very deep in the zone. Mattheos was able to perform a little toe drag and use Dalton Gally as a screen right in the slot. That shot would beat Bullion in the same spot upstairs blocker side. 2-0 Brandon

Notes:
Brandon completely outclassed the Tigers in the first. This doesn't look good for them as they are being clearly outworked in every way and having lots of trouble generating any offense at all. Hoping they can figure something out for the second

Second Period
The Tigers would come out in the second period with a different lineup. I'm not sure if it was the second or third period when he left the game but I didn't see Elijah Brown on the ice in the third period.
Rassell White Ostir
Preziuso Chyzowski Jevne
Williams Haden Rybinski
Anderson Brown Lockner

  
That seemed to immediately make a difference as the play was a lot more even. The middle part of the period would see them trade powerplay chances, but it was Brandon who capitalized on their chances first.

Michael Bullion managed to stop a good cross-ice pass feed, but the puck sat in the crease. Cole Reinhardt was in between all 4 Tigers and jammed the puck into an open net. 3-0 Brandon

The Tigers would finally get on the board. Off a broken play, Caiden Daley would knock down a high deflected shot with his glove. Josh Williams, who was skating backwards in the slot, one-timed the puck which beat Dylan Myskiw low glove 3-1 Brandon 

Notes:
You can see the hate developing out there. Some frustrated players making hard hits. The Tigers finally found a way to play with Brandon but the puck luck doesn't seem to be on their side.


Third Period


The Tigers would come out with some jump but the puck luck would beBrandon'sdons Favor. A bad giveaway by Tyler Preziuso put the Wheaties up by 3.  Preziuso received a pass along the boards and passed it into the slot right on to an incoming Linden McCorrister who would beat Bullion five-hole.
 4-1 Brandon


The Tigers would get a lucky break that put them back into the hockey game. Goaltender Dylan Myskiw came out to play the puck behind the net and Mark Rassell came steaming in un-noticed. He stole the puck and put it into an empty net. 4-2 Brandon

Brandon again would gain some distance on the scoreboard, but this time it was a brain fart by the whole team.  Gunnar Wegleitner would skate end to end down the middle of the ice completely untouched by all 5 Tigers and beat Bullion stick side 5-2 Brandon   That was a bad goal from the Tigers standpoint. It looked like every Tiger on the ice thought somebody else was going to take the guy.

Thoughts

There is a lot of hate brewing out there. There were quite a few 2nd and 3rd shots being given out after a body check. I'm quite surprised we didn't see a fight develop during game 4, or a player going overboard and making a dangerous hit.

On a positive note, the Tigers learned how to start skating with Brandon late in the second. On a poor note, they made 2 bad mistakes that prevented any chance of a comeback.

Well, we knew this would be a Home Team type series coming in and it appears that is holding true.

Next Up
Friday, March 30th in Medicine Hat




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Game Three Tigers 3 @ Brandon 5 (Dauphin)

Brandon wins 5-3
Series: 2-1 Tigers

Links
The Parkland Welcomes the Wheat Kings - Westman Journal
Wheat Kings Battle Back - MH News
WHL GameSheet

Pre-Game Notes
Bobby Fox is back for tonight's game.
Brandon changed their lines up for this game

Injuries
Brandon's overage goaltender Logan Thompson was an injured scratch.
Brandon called up 16yr old Ethan Kruger to backup

Macpherson
Last update: Was listed as likely out for the playoffs. Supposed to have visited the doctor on Monday, but awaiting an MRI for official results

Mason Shaw
Super Curious about him. He was supposed to be in Minnesota on Monday. Eagerly awaiting his results.

Baron Thompson
Baron Thompson serving his 2nd of his 3 game suspension.

Brandon Line Combo Change
(Number)(Age)
(14)Ty Lewis(19)  (12)Stelio Mattheos(18) (27)Luka Burzan(17)
(26)LindenMcCorrister(19) (24)Connor Gutenberg(18) (25)Evan Weinger(20)
(23)Cole Reinhardt(17) (11) Caiden Daley(17)  (15) Rylan Bettens(17)
(22)Ben McCartney(16) (18) Marcus Sekundiak(17) (17)Gunnar Wegleitner(18)


First Period
This game started out very much like Game 2. Tigers with a strong couple shifts, followed by Brandon pressure. The Tigers puck luck would initially continue in the first period.

Wheat King Schael Higson would blow up his stick up from a point shot and skated to the Brandon Bench.  There seemed to be some confusion at the bench and a short moment later, the Tigers were coming down the ice on a 2 on 1.

Mark Rassell kept the puck and fired a high shot, blocker side past Dylan Myskiw 1-0 Tigers
After that Brandon had periods of pressure.

Kristians Rubins had just broken up the play and sent a quick pass up to Chyzowski. The puck would go through his legs and right onto Ty Lewis' stick.  With 8 seconds left in the period, Ty Lewis' made a little off-wing spin-o-rama move at the faceoff circle and managed to beat Jordan Hollett low stick side 1-1 TIE

Notes
Prime chances were about even, but Brandon looked to have more zone time.  That 8-second goal was a bit of a back-breaker. Brandon was largely playing 3 lines, with spot duty to the 4th, while the Tigers rolled all 4 lines.


2nd Period
Right off the faceoff Brandon would continue the pressure and get a breakaway chance.

The Wheaties would take their first lead of the series off a set play.  Off the blueline, Schael Higson would pass the puck to Linden McCorister who was stationary at center ice.  McCorister then made a quick pass over to Connor Gutenberg who was sneakily sweeping behind the net, and received the puck at the faceoff dots. Gutenberg was able to fire a quick shot that beat Hollett low glove.
2-1 Brandon

After that goal, the Tigers would wake up a little bit. The play would go back and forth with the refs needing to go upstairs to review a Tigers chance, while Brandon would fire one off the post.

Shortly after David Quenneville took an interference penalty the Tigers would swing the momentum their way. Off a broken play, Cole Clayton would curl a wrist shot into the slot. The puck bounced around and while Haden was skating backwards, he flicked the puck on net past a surprised Dylan Myskiw.  2-2 TIE

The rest of the period was a very scrambly affair with a ton of whistles and stoppages in play. Brandon would pressure the Tigers late, but nothing would come of it.

Notes:
Starting to see some scrums after the whistle. At this point in the game, I give Brandon the edge. They are outworking the Tigers and have had an edge in zone time. It feels like the Tigers are skating through mud. Brandon is doing a much better job with their defenceman taking away the Tigers space. Their forwards have been much more accountable in coming back into the defensive zone and have been playing with a lot of jump.

3rd period
Early in the period, the Tigers would lose their 3rd defenceman of the series. Trevor Longo took a hit from behind from Rylan Bettens and would crumple to the ice.  After the play stopped he was in quite some discomfort holding his wrist and left the game. There was no penalty on the play.  After that play the Tigers shortened their Defensive group to their top 4.

5 Minutes into the 3rd the Tigers would take the lead on the powerplay. Jaeger white would fan on a shot, but quickly recover, and shoot again.  3-2 Tigers

The Wheaties would respond immediately scoring 2 quick goals 18 seconds apart.

Dalton Gally would blow a tire at center ice and 16yr old Ben McCartney would fly around the outside of the rink past outstretched Tiger defenders.  McCartney would jaunt behind the net and slam in a lightning-quick wrap-around that caught Hollett by surprise. 3-3 TIE

Dauphin  Manitoba would start rocking. Off the rush, the Tigers defense would be caught flat-footed. Linden McCorister would fire a pass towards the front of the net and Evan Weinger had a step on David Quenneville racing to the front of the net. . Weinger layed out a slap at the puck and somehow the puck squeaked through Hollett. 4-3 Brandon

Despite the Tigers being down a goal, they were largely holding on for dear life.
Brandon kept coming and the Tigers were unable to pull the goalie or get any sustained pressure in the offensive zone.

Luka Burzan managed to get a step on Dalton Gally going wide. Perhaps a rookie Mistake but Elijah Brown left his man down the middle in favor of trying to help out Dalton Gally. Burzan recognized this and fed Ty Lewis streaking down the middle. Lewis would fire quick shot top shelf off Hollett who was deep in the net protecting against a possible wrap-around attempt
5-3 Brandon


Thoughts
Brandon was able to slow the Tigers down by playing solid defensively and holding their forwards accountable for getting back in time to defend. 

Brandon's defenceman was pinching in and closing space when needed (but this time largely at center ice) instead of the blueline to halt the Tigers speed.

Their forwards were making solid body contact and slowing down that 2nd forward. Their line combo changes also seemed to help.

I thought the Tigers struggled with their in-tight passes and usually, that's where they generate a lot of their speed through the neutral zone.

One big part of the Tigers game is keeping the puck away from Brandon. The past few games the Tigers would ring the puck around the boards or put it into places where there weren't any Brandon players. Tonight they didn't seem to be doing that as much.

Tough Luck as when Trevor Longo went down it looked bad. 3 Games and 3 defenceman lost.
If Nassen isn't ready to play wednesday Dan Baker might be drawing in.

Next Up
Wednesday 28th 6:30 MTN in Dauphin.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Game Two: Brandon 3 @ Tigers 7

Links
GameSheet
Rassell, Brown lead Tigers to 2-0 series lead over Wheat Kings - MH News
Rassell Guides Tigers 7-3 Victory - Chat News
Wheat Kings in trouble - Brandon Sun

Pre-Game Notes
Bobby Fox had to miss the game. He was in Calgary and his family had a new baby boy!. Congratulations to Bobby Fox & Family.

Wheat King Baron Thompson was suspended for his hit last game on Dylan Macpherson. The suspension is TBD. It looks like Macpherson won't be back for game 3 or 4.

Lineup Changes
Trevor Longo and Joel Craven drew in, over Nassen and MacPherson. Nassen from what I hear is day to day.

Mason Shaw
Expected to be in Minnesota Monday getting his knee tested.

Attendance
2943 - The lowest attended playoff game in some time.


First Period
Tigers came out hard for the first couple minutes, but Brandon made a few adjustments to their play.

Brandon was pressing The Tigers and using their defenceman to pinch in at the blueline and that was causing the Tigers some issues breaking out of their own end. Brandon had some good chances early off turnovers, and at one point had a 6 to 2 shot advantage.

A Great Shift by Ryan Chyzowksi saw him go end to end and fire a hard wrist shot past Logan Thompson. That shift seemed to wake the Tigers up, as Brandon would not get a shot on net during the last 9 minutes of play. 1-0 Tigers

The Tide definitely shifted as Brandon continually got caught with 3 forwards in deep and the Tigers quick transition made them pay. A point shot from David Quenneville and a powerplay goal by Mark Rassell put the Tigers up 3-0. Tigers would outshoot Brandon 13 to 6.


Second Period

Off a broken play, there was a scramble at the side of the net. Ben McCartney would attempt a quick wrap around, but the puck squirted loose into the opposite side of the slot. Marcus Sekundiak would receive a gift and poke-check the puck into the net. 3-1 Tigers

The Tigers would respond immediately. Mark Russell would make a nice move and squeak a puck in through the five-hole of Logan Thompson 19 seconds later. 4-1 Tigers

Brandon seemed to shoot themselves in the foot as they made a handful of nervous mistakes, including getting into penalty troubles. Brandon took 4 minor penalties during the second period and the Tigers finally were able to crack the PP.

Jaeger White made a seeing-eye pass through the slot over to Elijah Brown, who had a tap-in to put the Tigers up 5-1 Tigers.

Notes:
Cole Clayton looked really good on the 2nd PP unit and on the ice in general.
Brandon's Logan Thompson continues to look a little rusty. His timing is not quite on point
Brandon made quite a few nervous mistakes and at times were hearing footsteps.


Third Period


Brandon was able to generate some life shorthanded. David Quenneville bobbled a pass at the blueline and Connor Gutenberg was able to send Ty lewis racing away on a breakaway.  Lewis beat Hollett low glove side. 5-2 Tigers

Tigers again would respond quickly to Brandon momentum.  On the powerplay, Jaeger White attempted a pass and it went in off Chase Hartje's stick into the net 6-2 Tigers.

Brandons 4th line would continue to play well. Gary Haden was stripped along the boards and moments later Marcus Sekundiak would score his 2nd of the game 6-3 Tigers.

Moments Later the Wheat Kings would pull Logan Thompson. Thompson was limping in the crease while the Tigers were on the PP and forced to make some more butterfly style saves on a limping leg. The trainer would come out and pulled Thompson out of the game in favor of Dylan Myskiw.

The Tigers would finish the scoring of a bad Turnover from Ben McCartney pass into the slot. Josh Williams layed into a howitzer from the high slot. Final Score 7-3 Tigers

Notes:
The Tigers looked like they ran out of gas a bit in the 3rd period.


Thoughts
For a moment Brandon looked like the better team early in the game. It could have been a completely different story had they managed to score first.   Craven and Longo held their own minus the gaffe of Haden in the third period.

Cole Clayton has been huge stepping up for the Tigers. He has been getting top 4 minutes and his play has been exceptional for a 17yr old.

I thought most of the Tigers played well. Haden looked like he had an off night. The turnover he gave up was from lazy play.

The veterans were all playing well. The future looks bright seeing as the Tigers had 9 players who were 17 or younger in the lineup compared to Brandons 7.


Next Up
Tuesday, March 27th in Dauphin Manitoba


Friday, March 23, 2018

Game One: Brandon 2 @ Tigers 7

Series 1-0 Tigers

Links
Tigers Hunt Down Wheat Kings 7-2 -Tigers Website
Tigers blow out brandon to open post-season - MH News
Hoping For The Best:Tigers look to have Shaw back in series - MH News
Overage Wheat King players looking for long playoff run - Brandon Sun


WHL Game Sheet
Attendance: 3050

Brandon Wheat Kings
(Number)Name(Hockey Age)
 (14)Ty Lewis(19)
 (24)Connor Gutenberg(18)
 (25)Evan Weinger(20)
 (23)Cole Reinhardt(17)
 (12)Stelio Mattheos(18)
 (27)Luka Burzan(17)
(26)LindenMcCorrister(19)
 (11) Caiden Daley(17)
 (15) Rylan Bettens(17)
 (22)Ben McCartney(16)
(18) Marcus Sekundiak(17)
(28) Baron Thompson(18)

 (5) Schael Higson(19)
 (2)Braden Schneider(16)
(32) James Shearer(20)
(6) Chase Hartje(18)
 (29) Zach Wyntinck(18)
 (7)Daniel Bukac(18)

 (1) Logan Thompson(20)
 (35) Dylan Myskiw(18)
Ave Age: 18
*Brandon changed things in the 3rd

PP1: Wyntinck Mattheos Reinhardt Gutenburg Lewis
PP2: McCorrister Bukac Daley Weinger, Schneider
PK1: Higson, Schneider, Lewis, Gutenberg
PK2: Bukac, Shearer, Weinger, Thompson,


Medicine Hat Tigers
( Number)(Name)(Hockey Age)
(27) Mark Rassell(20)
(15) Elijah Brown(17)
(28) Bryan Lockner(17)
(22)Tyler Preziuso(18)
(29) Ryan Chyzowski(17)
(19) Ryan Jevne(19)
(17) Gary Haden(18)
(36) Jaeger White(19)
(11) Baxter Anderson(17)
(24) Josh Williams(16)
(12) Henry Rybinski(16)
(7) Hayden Ostir(18)


Kristians Rubins
David Quenneville 
Dylan Macpherson
Linus Nassen
Dalton Gally
Cole Clayton
*Quenneville double shifted early in the game
Clayton didn't see much ice until the back to back injuries

Jordan Hollett 18
Michael Bullion 20

Avg Age: 18.15

*Tigers changed things after Dylan Macpherson took a hit to the knee @ 9:33 1st period
* Linus Nassen also went out 4 minutes later. He looked fine one shift, then disappeared.
* Gary Haden moved back to defence


PP1: Rassal,Brown Ostir Nassen Quenneville
PP2: Jevne Chyzowski Rubins White Rubins
PK1: Chyzowski, Jevne  (Gally Rubins Quenneville)
PK2: Varied

Faceoffs
Corresponding Tiger players are the centreman who took draws against the bolded Brandon Opponent

Stelio Mattheos  10/18 = 55.5%
Ryan Chyzowski - 6/11 - 54.5%
Rybinski 1/2 - 50%
Elijah Brown 1/5 - 20%

Gutenberg  8/13 = 61.5%
Brown 4/7 =  57%
Chyzowksi 1/6 - 16.67%

Caden Daley 5/9 = 55.5%
White 2/3 - 66.7%
Chyzowski 1/2 - 50%
Williams 0/1 - 0%
Anderson 0/1 - 0%
Brown 0/1 - 0%
Rybinski - 0/1 - 0%

Marcus Sekundiak 5/9 = 55.5%
Anderson - 1/1 - 100%
Haden - 1/1 - 100%
Lockner 1/2 - 50%
Rybinski - 1/4 - 25%
White 0 /1 - 0%

Linden McCorister 5 1/5 = 20%
Chyzowski 2/2 - 100%
Rassell 1/1 - 100%
Rybinski1/1 - 100%
Brown 0/1 - 0%

Weinger 1/2 = 50%
Chyzowski 1/1 100%
Brown 0-1 0%

Reinhardt 0/1 = 0%
Rybinski 1/1 = 100%


Thoughts
The Tigers came out flying. The back to back goals they scored in the first period were very timely, as it was Immediately following losing both Dylan Macpherson and Linus Nassen.

Gary Haden stepped in to fill in as the 6th defenceman. Cole Clayton also played well stepping into more ice time.

There isn't really one guy we could single out as playing well. Everyone from Preziuso to Hollett played very strong games. Everything was clicking for them tonight and Brandon wasn't able to match the Tigers work ethic.

Home Team Goes The Spoils
If the Tigers want to win they need to win both games at home. Brandon is a much different team in their own barn. Let's hope they can come out with an effort just as strong on Sunday. Having an extra day off on Saturday instead of playing back to back might turn to benefit the Tigers depending on the status of Dylan and Linus.

The good thing is that the Tigers have both Joel Craven and Trevor Longo on the bench to step in if either can't go. I'm also curious if Daniel Baker has been called up after his season ended.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Tigers To Face Brandon Wheat Kings In Round One!

What is the Reward For The Tigers Finishing First In The Central?
Playing a team with more points than them in the standings Of Course

Crazy Season
This year was crazy. The 4th place team in the East was better than the 1st place Team in the Central. Under the old format the Tigers would have played Lethbridge, but instead, they gotta travel the 828.2 KM'm via the Trans Canada Highway for a long distance first-round matchup.


Brandon's Season
Brandon started the season on fire. At one point in the season, they were 2nd in the East and in contention for a Home Ice Playoff Position.

Trade Deadline
The trade deadline saw Brandon decide to become sellers.  Swift Current and Moose Jaw made significant moves and Brandon recouped 4-1st round picks sending away Kale Clague & Tanner Kaspick.

Tumble Down The Standings
Consequently, Brandon took a big tumble down the standings acquiring 9 points in 18 games for a .250% winning percentage.

Interestingly enough Brandon started that tumble after an OT loss to the Tigers on January 13th.

Brandon On A Roll
Guess when they ended the Tumble? An OT win against the Tigers on February 24th.

In the 11 games since Brandon has a .727 winning percentage. That includes defeating Moose Jaw twice, and Swift Current Once along the way.


Head To Head Games
Sat Dec 2nd BRN 5 @ MH 4 OT 
Fri Dec 8th - MH 3 @ BRN 4 OT
Sat Jan 13th - MH 4 @ BRN 3 OT
Sat Feb 24th BRN 4 @ MH 3 OT


Home Ice Advantage
In this series Home Ice could be critical. Brandon has a .786 record at home this season. The Tigers Record is .657. They both have poor road records.

Special Teams
Both teams have very similar Special Teams stats. Both have mediocre Powerplays, and Both have terrible Penalty Kills. Brandon has also given up a league high 17 short-handed goals.

Injuries
Even their injuries are similar. Both Teams have goaltenders out day to day.
Brandon is missing OA goalie Logan Thompson out with a day to day injury. As well as 16yr rookie Jonny Hooker with an upper-body injury who is week to week.

 Tigers have Jordan Hollett out but hoping to be ready before Playoffs Start. Mason Shaw is also listed as indefinite but hopes to make an appearance in the series.


Who's The Favorite?
At this point, my Money is on Brandon. They will finish the season with more points and are rolling into the post-season on a Hot-Streak. The Tigers have continued their up and down roller coaster ride. They are a little healthier, but they haven't been playing as strong as they are capable of.

Mason Shaw could be an X-factor that changes things if he is able to squeak into the latter half of the first round, but you wonder how much missing an entire season will affect him.

Toss the dice this series could easily go 7 games.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Race for The Central Division Crown

Tigers Clinch Central


Injuries
Hollett - 1 Week
Shaw - Hoping to return for last 2 Regular Season Games. Status Not confirmed
Edit: It was mentioned that he is hoping for a return in the first round of playoffs.


Possible First Round Match-Ups
Brandon - Very LIkely
Regina  - Unlikely but possible

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tigers Loose Kristians Rubins To Injury



The Latest WHL Report says that Kristians Rubins has also joined the Injured List
Rubins is listed as being out 3 to 4 weeks with an Upper Body Injury

Jordan Hollett
The Injury lists Jordan Hollett as out 4 to 6 weeks, but apparently they are still waiting for a doctor diagnoses.

Current Injury List
Mason Shaw indefinite
Jordan Hollett 4 to 6 weeks
Joel Craven  week to week
Hayden Ostir  3 to 5 weeks
Linus Nassen 2 to 3 weeks
Kristians Rubins 3 to 4 weeks

The good news is that Tyler Preziuso has returned from injury. 
The Playoffs start in 6.5 weeks.