Friday, March 17, 2017

Schneider Sent Home

Duncan McGovern is the backup tonight.

Lethbridge announcers just mentioned that the Tigers sent Nick Schneider home. At this point I haven't heard anything else about this situation.

Schneiders last game he let in 4 goals in 8 minutes after Bulllion was pulled against Red Deer. This situation is bizzare.

Edit: The MH News article stated it was for medical reasons.
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2017/03/18/triple-digits/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tiger Clinch Central Division & Will Play Brandon in Round 1

Brandon In Round One
Looks like the Tigers first round opponent has been decided. Red Deer defeated Calgary last night and Brandon defeated Moose Jaw.

As a result the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture is almost all set, with just Calgary and Saskatoon fighting for the 8th spot where Calgary has a big 3 point lead with 2 games remaining.

Eastern Conference
Regina Vs Calgary/Saskatoon
Moose Jaw Vs Swift Current

Tigers Vs Brandon
Lethbridge Vs Red Deer

Moose Jaw and Swift Current face each other in the final 2 games of their regular season.



Remaining Games - Potential 2nd Round Preview
Tigers have 2 games left against Lethbridge which are meaningless for both teams in the regular season; however, these games could set the tone going into a prospective Round 2 match-up should both favorites win their respective First round series.

Playoff Schedule
Game 1: Friday March 24th, in MH
Game 2: Saturday March 25th in MH
Game 3: Tuesday March 28th in Dauphin
Game 4: Wednesday March 29th Dauphin
Game 5: Friday March 31st, in MH
Game 6: Sunday April 2nd, in Dauphin
Game 7: Tuesday April 4th in MH



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Playoff Chase

How The Chase Stands Prior to the weekend.

MH  (5 games in 9 days)
Edmonton x2
Red Deer
Lethbridge x2

Regina (6 games in 9 days) 
Moose Jaw x 2
Saskatoon
Swift Current
Brandon x2

Lethbridge (5 games in 9  days) 
Calgary x2
Kootenay
MH x2








Lethbridge
Tigers are too close to Lethbridge to say they will get a first round matchup against Brandon. Lethbridge is something like 23-4-2-1 since the Christmas break. Based on that record and their remaining schedule it will be unlikely if the playoff race has been decided before their season ending head to head matchup.

 The good thing is that the Tigers are in control of their destiny. The Tigers hold the first Tiebreaker(totals wins) so Lethbridge needs an extra point to overtake them.

Regina
The Tigers recent loss to MJ put a dent in their sails in their bid for 1st in the league. Regina has a 5 point lead with 1 game in hand. Right now it looks unlikely the Tigers will overtake them.. Regina does have a couple tough games against MJ this weekend so we will see what the weekend brings.

Regina had been outscoring opponents at a torrid pace of just over 5 goals scored a game for most of the season. They had a very intense 2nd half of the schedule. They recently completed a stretch of 15 games in 24 days.  They've lost a young 17yr old Jake Leschyshyn injured indefinitely earlier in february.

 As a result their scoring dipped from 5 goals a game to about 3.67 goals a game in their last 18.
I feel that their schedule and having players banged up is a big factor in their scoring decrease, but perhaps their young 17yr old was also big piece of the depth on their team.


Calgary/Red Deer/Saskatoon
Their was a big game on Wednesday where Saskatoon defeated Calgary 6-2. It gives Saskatoon a 3 point lead for the last wildcard spot.  However Calgary is also just as close to capturing the 3rd spot in the Central division, because they are only 4 points back of Red Deer, and those 2 teams still meet once next Wednesday.

That matchup has playoff implications for either Medicine Hat or Lethbridge; whoever, ends up as the 2nd seed.


TigerTurf's Potential Playoff Matchups
Tigers Vs Brandon  (70%ish Chance)   (status quo)
Tigers Vs Calgary   (4%ish)  (Calgary pulls ahead of red deer and the Tigers loose to Leth)
Tigers Vs Saskatoon (2%ish) (Tigers beat Regina or Saskatoon beats Brandon)
Tigers Vs Red Deer (24%ish Chance) ( Leth pulls ahead of MH)

This Weekend
This weekend the Tigers play Edmonton Twice. The Oil Kings have already been eliminated from the playoffs. However I would suspect the Tigers would want to hammer them hard seeing as the Oil Kings were the ones that eliminated the Tigers last Season in the TieBreaker Game.

Lethbridge plays Calgary twice. Calgary has a 1-2 record against lethbridge this season and the Hitman are fighting for their playoff lives.




Friday, March 3, 2017

Tigers Defeat Regina 6-4

WoW. The Tigers gave Regina their 3rd straight loss. This one initially appeared to be in Regina's hands as the Tigers didn't show up to play until mid-way through the second period. They also lost defenceman Kristians Rubins in the first 5 minutes.

First Period

Rubins Injured & Regina Scores
Kristians Rubins took an awkward hit in the corner and headed to the bench. Meanwhile Regina had turned on the puck and out-manned the Tigers down low. Regina's Austin Wagner would be the beneficiary as the Tigers looked a little confused to what had transpired on that play. A quick pass out from behind the net and Wagner beat Bullion from the slot.
1-0 Regina (Austin Wagner (28). Assists: #77 Adam Brooks, #15 Braydon Buziak)


First Period Summary
Chances: 7-3 Regina

Tigers were a little jittery. They had 2 bona-fida chances that missed. Unfortunately Rubins hasn't been back on the ice after the hit. The Tigers outshot Regina 12-10 but Regina was the better team.

Second Period

2-0 Regina (Nick Henry (32) scores. Assists: #6 Chase Harrison, #23 Sam Steel)
Doesn't start off any better. David Quenneville coughed the puck up in his own zone then went for a skate into the corner following a guy who didn't have a puck. Meanwhile Regina fired a slapshot on net which bullion stopped but the pats outmanned the Tigers at the net. The rebound went right off of Brad Forrest a couple inches away from the goal-line and Nick Henry had probably his easiest goal of the year.

3-0 Regina  (Josh Mahura (15) scores. Assists: #77 Adam Brooks)
Regina would go up 3-0 on a deflection from Matt Bradley. Josh Mahura threw a wrist shot towards the net and Bradley changed the direction at the bottom of the circle and tipped it passed Bullion

Tigers Call a TimeOut - They look like they spent the day reading newspaper articles and made themselves nervous. Their playing January hockey which isn't good.

3-1 Tigers Goal (Jordan Henderson (6) scores. Assists: #27 Mark Rassell)
Mark Rassell with some good work capturing the puck off a turn-over and runs into the zone. He finds the trailer Jordan Henderson who fires a wrist shot  top corner passed a screen Tyler Brown

3-2 Tigers Goal (Mark Rassell (33) scores. Assists: #28 Jordan Henderson, #16 Max Gerlach)
Tigers score a few minutes later. After a few straight shifts in the pats zone Henderson off the rush waits for the Trailer and finds Rassell coming in late. Rassell wires it in top shelf. Almost a carbon copy of their last goals except Rassell, and Henderson switched places.

4-2 Regina Goal  Sam Steel (45) scores
Ugg The Tigers have been pressuring lots lately and had the powerplay. Unfortuantely their momentum completely died when  Kirichenko coughed the puck up at the blue-line and the leagues leading scorer does what he does best and scored on the breakaway.


Second Period Summary
Chances 14-9 Regina

This was an up and down period. It was closer but Regina still had a small edge in scoring chances. The Tigers have given up 7 good scoring chances both periods. They need to cut this down if they want to win this game.

The Tigers started off the second looking a bit lost, then came on very strong towards the end of the period. They had all the momentum untill Sam Steel scored shorthanded.  Hopefully the Tigers can up their game in the third. It looks like Rubins is done for today he hasn't played since the 5 minute mark of the first period.


3rd Period 
The Pats start the period with the powerplay. The Bullion wall makes a big cross ice save and made it looked easy. After that the Tigers start putting on some pressure.

4-3  Tigers Goal Clayton Kirichenko (11) scores. Assists: #21 Chad Butcher, #11 Steven Owre +/-

The Tigers turned on a 4-2 and a pretty passing play put Kirichenko in front of the net with Tyler Brown and Connor Hobbs deked out on  their knees.

Hard Shot and a Fight
A Connor Hobbs onetimer almost took out Michael Bullion temporarily. Bullion took it off the body and was down for a couple minutes.

Chad Butcher took a big hit behind the net and Clayton Kirichenko took exception against Dawson Leedahl. Leedahl landed 2 solid shots which took down Kirichenko. Kirichenko had a good shot of his own go off Leedahl's visor.

Kirichenko would get the instigator penalty. I was thinking this seemed a little Ill timed, but the Pats had a little bit of momentum going, and giving them a PP would be risky. Luckily the Tigers killed it off and the momentum changed.

4-4 TIE  (Chad Butcher (24) scores. Assists: #39 Zach Fischer)
The Tigers get a very lucky goal. The puck squirted out from behind the net and into the feet of Josh Mahura. I've never seen a goal quite like this before.

 Mahura did a full 360 spin looking for the puck except the centripetal force kept the puck in his skates until he slowed down. Unfortunately for him he pin-balled the puck right through his own goaltenders Five-Hole.

5-4 Tigers Lead (Steven Owre (24) scores. Assists: #28 Jordan Henderson, #6 Dylan MacPherson )

Jordan Henderson took a shot from near the boards and Brown looked to have an easy save, but Steven Owre stuck his stick out and managed to tip the puck just inside the post.WoW

6-4 Tigers  (Zach Fischer (30) scores. Assists: #19 David Quenneville)
Fischer managed to score from near center ice a little while after Hobbs had hauled down Mason Shaw.

Chances 18-15 Regina
Game Summary
Puck luck turned a complete 180 this period. 4 Unanswered goals, including 3 in the last 6:15.

The Tigers weren't that great during the first half of the game and as a result Regina out-chanced them during the game.

The Tigers had a few unfortunate plays bite them in the butt which put them down 3-0 early. I felt like they were kinda struggling with their legs and their timing was a bit off during the first half of the game.

The Captain Kirichenko sure made up for his PP mistake to Sam Steel. He was an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat-trick in the 3rd period. Scoring a goal and standing up for Chad Butcher after Butcher took a hard hit behind the net.

For the Tigers Dylan Macpherson and Jordan Henderson stepped up bigtime in the loss of Kristians Rubins. They both had ice against some very good players and were a combined +6.

What a roller-coaster type game.

Playoff Picture
That was a huge victory as Lethbridge also won and remain 4 points back. Tigers close to within 3 points of Regina, however Regina has 2 games in hand. The Tigers finish their 3 game road-trip in Moose Jaw tomorrow.

Lethbridge Games
Saskatoon
Edmonton
Calgary x2
Kootenay
Tigers x2

Tigers Games
Moose Jaw
Kootenay
Edmonton x2
Red Deer
Lethbridge x2



Regina Games
Calgary
Brandon x3
Saskatoon
Swift x2
MJ x2

Right now the Tigers are on pace to playing Brandon in Round 1 as the Wheat Kings have a pretty substantial 7th place lead.

However..
Their is a possibility that Lethbridge could catch up and the Tigers would face a Red Deer or Calgary.
Their is also a possibility that the Tigers could Catch Regina and play (Calgary,Saskatoon, Red Deer)

It isa bit ironic that if the Tigers move up or down instead of playing Brandon they would play calgary/red deer or saskatoon. Travel wise would seem a better match.