Monday, March 31, 2014

Tigers Move On To Round Two

Tonight it was more of the same. A tight-checking, battle for every inch, type game. I thought the Tigers were doing a very good job at getting the puck out on the first try preventing Swift Current from sustaining momentum.

A knuckle puck shot from the blue-line, which may have been deflected in was the only goal to beat Marek Langhamer.

Curtis Valk rifled a howitzer in off of Etu Laurikainen's glove and it trickled into the net giving the Tigers some extra juice in the third period.

The air was let out of the building when Chad Labelle potted his first of the series with only a couple minutes left in play. Their was a big scramble in front and Labelle was loose in the slot and looked to slide the puck in along the ice.

Series Thoughts
Give credit to swift for battling back into the series. Laurikainen played phenomenal giving the broncos every opportunity to win.  I thought this was a great series both teams played well defensively and the Tigers proved to generate a little more offense than what Swift Current could muster.

Up Next
Kootenay upset the Calgary Hitmen so the Tigers will get Home Ice for Round 2. The series will likely start this weekend at the Arena.

Kootenay has a big 1-2 punch in Sam Reinhart and Jaedon Descheneau, who managed to light up the Hitmen with 17 points each in 6 games.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tigers Take 2-0 Series Lead

Game 1: 2-1 Tigers Victory
Game 2: 4-2 Tigers Victory

With the Injuries to Steven Owre and Gavin Broadhead, the Tigers were virtually playing with 3 lines for the first two games. The Young kids Allan, Mowbray, and Mathew Bradley drew in for the rare shift every once in a while. Sometimes getting thrown out with a veteran or two.

Both teams Top Two Lines received a ton of ice-time.

Game One
I really liked the Tiger's overall game. I thought their defensive play, and the ability of their defenseman to skate the puck out of their own zone was outstanding.

I thought the Tigers controlled big portions of the game. Swift Current's was unable to get any sustained pressure, as it was often one and done and the Tigers did an excellent job at getting the puck out of their zone on the first try.   I thought they forced the Broncos into numerous unforced errors, and made them hesitate on their decision making. I thought the Tigers had a lot more zone-time and the 2-1 score was semi-flattering to the broncos.

Game Two
Started out the same way game one did, except this time the Tigers didn't take a couple early penalties and it earned them a big shot advantage early in the game. They pressured early but the Tigers didn't have as many good quality scoring chances.

Unlike last Game Swift Current starting pressure in the mid-way point in the game. They started sustaining a little bit of pressure and had a little more zone time that the Tigers did. t

Late in the second period Swift Current took 2 penalties within 13 seconds of each other and it gave the Tigers a 5 on 3 powerplay for 1:45. Miles Koules would scored a HUGE goal to give the Tigers a 2 goal cushion at that point.  Swift Current had just started turning on the jets and this goal helped stave off their building momentum and switched it back into the Tigers Favor.

The Third period I'd say was the first period Swift Current won in the series. It was a nail biter as they scored 2 goals within 3 minutes to TIE the game.

Chad Butcher would score his 2nd consecutive game winner putting in a tight angle shot off a rebound to put the Tigers up 3-2, With 7 minutes left, and Trevor Cox potted an empty netter to seal the game 4-2.

Swift Current generated some momentum off of game 2, as they had the Tigers on their heels towards the end of the game.

I listened to a post game interview from the Bronco's Assistant Coach and he seemed a bit frustrated about how the Broncos' were unable to make plays once they crossed into Tiger's territory and wanted more out of some of this veteran players.

The Broncos liked to enter the zone from the outside and crashed the net and I think the Tigers were very prepared for this.  The Tigers gave a lot of Ice-Time to their top 6 and it made Defensive Line matching difficult for the Broncos because the Tigers had so much sustained pressure in the first few games. They were also able to lay a few good Hits on Julius Honka and got him to cough up the puck before he could skate it out.

It is possible that the Tigers will see Steven Owre back for Game 3. He is still Day to Day, but the coaches said he might be ready to go for Tuesday's game.

Swift Current is a different team in their own barn, as they had a .708 record during the regular season. The Tigers beat them their once 7-3 late in the season, as well as a 4-3 loss.

Game 3 Goes Tuesday 7:05 in Swift Current.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blues Sign Vannelli

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed defenseman Thomas Vannelli to an entry-level contract.
Vannelli, 19, has dressed in 59 games for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Medicine Hat Tigers this season, posting 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) and 34 penalty minutes, while ranking second on the club with nine power-play goals.

Last season, the 6-foot-2, 165-pound defenseman recorded two points (one goal, one assist) and four penalty minutes in 11 games with the U.S. National Development Team of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

The Minnetonka, Minnesota native was originally drafted by the Blues in the second round, 47th overall, of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Because Vanelli was drafted out of the US, it is possible that he plays in the AHL next year. (even though next year he is only 19)

 The Blues have a lot of defensive depth in their minor league system so he could still very well return to the Tigers next year.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Playoffs Round One

With the Last Game in the Season Swift Current Overtakes Kootenay with a victory over Moose Jaw.

Game 1: Swift Current @ Medicine Hat   Friday, March 21                7:30
Game 2: Swift Current @ Medicine Hat   Saturday, March 22           7:30
Game 3: Medicine Hat @ Swift Current   Tuesday, March 25            7:00
Game 4: Medicine Hat @ Swift Current   Wednesday, March 26       7:00
Game 5: Swift Current @ Medicine Hat   Saturday, March 29           7:30 *
Game 6: Medicine Hat @ Swift Current   Sunday, March 30              7:00 
Game 7: Swift Current @ Medicine Hat   Tuesday, April 1                 7:00 *

Curtis Valk Wins the WHL Hardest Working Player of the Year Award. Congrats Curtis!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2 Games Left

Last Edit: March 13th

Friday's Game In Lethbridge Re-scheduled For Sunday @ 4:00 PM

Remaining Games

Leth @ Tigers   .230 March 15th
Tigers @ Leth   .230  March 16th

One week left in the regular season.

Tigers  Clinch Home Ice