The Tigers officially sealed a playoff Spot, and kept themselves in the leaders spot for home ice advantage. It was really, a can't lose game. With Brandon one point behind us in the standings, a loss would have had the Tigers plummet to 7th place. Brandon had a few key players out with injuries, it didn't show in the first period.
The Tigers started out very flat footed. Brandon had them on their heels for the first 15 minutes of the first period. Ryan Holfeld made his second "oops" in as many games. Stopping the puck at the side of the net, Holfeld passed the puck with his glove into the corner, right on the tape of a Wheat King Player. He one-time passed it over to Jordan Hale sitting alone in front, and he made no mistake of potting his 2nd career whl goal. Brandon Took the Lead 1-0.
A few minutes later the momentum swung when some Hard work by Colton Grant payed off. No he didnt get a goal or assist on the next goal, but he probably should have. Chad Erb nailed him twice along the boards, instead of taking his time to get up, he bounced up put on the jets, and tripped over a pair of wheatking sticks intertangled, resulting in a Medicine Hat powerplay. Right as the powerplay ticked off the clock Jarred Sauer directed a nice shot towards the net, and Bretton Cameron pounced on the rebound. 1-1 Tie Game.
Highlight Goal of the Season Candidate? Colton Grant took a page out of Darren Helms playbook, and completely undressed Former Tiger Matt lowry, and Brandon Defender Colby Rowak, to score an unbelievable shorthanded goal. For once the tigers weren't the team that was scored on shorthanded.
Brandon had thier chances, but Ryan Holfeld was playing some good hockey. He was cutting the angles real well, and playing the 2on1's like it was a set drill in practice. He earned the first star tonight.
IN the third period Wacey Hamilton pounced on a rebound shot on the powerplay to get that ever so important "Insurance" Goal, and Micheal A'hlen salted the game away with an Empty netter. Final Score 4-1 Tigers over Brandon
3 stars were
1. M.H - 31 Ryan Holfeld
2. M.H - 28 Bretton Cameron
3. M.H - 12 Colton Grant
Pretty much agree here. I would have swapped the 2nd and third star, but they both played well.
Tiger Thoughts: Putting Jerrid Sauer on the back-end is turning into a really good move. He still makes a few mistakes every now and then, but he's developing a good patience back there, and he has the stamina and experience to be our #1 guy. Through the first 40 or so games he only had 6 points, he has doubled that playing defense in the next 16 games or so(Can't remember exactly but close enough).
Colton Grant: At the beginning of the year it appeared as though he was turning into a "matt Lowry" type situation. He was playing ok but he wasn't playing with the fire he had been during the previous season, and slowly fading into the background. However in these last 20 games he has sure turned his game around quick. He has been one of the most consistent tigers on the ice and is making good plays happen. Keep your eye on him next game and watch his work ethic he has impressed me lately, escpecially when he makes plays like he did tonight.
Ryan Holfeld: Official Number 1 goalie yet? Thomas Vosvrada has had his confidence shattered a couple times during the season, and Holfeld hadn't exactly been playing consistently either. Earlier in the season it was a coin flip on who would let in some weaker goals. However Holfeld has played pretty well lately, and yet Vosvrada has still let in some weaker goals. I think Vosvrada certainly has potential to be a number 1, but I'm wondering whether or not that potential will come out before it possibly becomes too late for him.
This end of the year race is gonna be a burnburner. One loss in a 72 game schedule could very well be the difference between home ice advantage come playoff time and the 8th seed. 4 home games and 8 road games left in the season.