Monday, March 29, 2010

Calgary Hitmen

Didn't have a lot of time so here are some basic observations after watching Game 5 against Moose Jaw.

1. Ian Schultz Joel Broda(Faceoff-Man) Brandon Kozun
2. Kris Focault Misha Fisenko(Center) Tyler Shattock
3. Del Cowan Jimmy Bubnick(Center) Cody Beach
Todd Fiddler , Cody Sylvester

Extras:Royer Mackenzie
Their coach doesn't really stick to set lines. He generally uses those 3 main combination's but will throw in fiddler often and use the displaced forward on another line and so on. The only really line set in stone was the Broda, Kozun combo.

Their 12th forward Royer Mackenzie doesn't receive very much ice-time. Overall Their forwards posses excellent depth, and they have quite a few guys who can score. 7 forwards have more than 20 goals. The Hitmen forwards for the most part have very good hockey sense, and because of that their puck possession time is pretty high

They support each other well and look for opposition players to commit too far to one side. If there is one thing I noticed it is that sometimes only one Hitmen forward backchecks. Ian Schultz plays a pretty physical game on the top line, and even Brandon Kozun finishes his checks.

1.Micheal Stone Ben Wilson
2.Zak Stebnber, Matt MacKenzie
3. Kyle Aschim Giffen Nyren

Micheal Stone is their Stud on the back-end. Ben Wilson likes to step up and throw big open ice hits at the blueline. Giffen Nyren likes to jump in on the rush, sometimes Hitmen players wont cover his position.

Joel Broda, Brandon Kozun, Ian Schultz or (Tyler Shattock)
Giffen Nyren/Matt Mackenzie, Micheal Stone

Their powerplay is extremely deadly. They are almost guaranteed at least a powerplay goal or more a game. They move the puck very quickly and look for players to overcomit, or get caught out of position. It is imperative to stay out of the box. If the tigers dont watch their discipline the Hitmen's powerplay alone could win them the series.

Todd Fiddler xxx
Zak Stebner, Matt MacKenzie
These 3 are frequently on during the PK, I've also seen them throw out Tyler shattock, or Del Cowan. Fiddler is not afraid to go for a shorthanded chance.

Martin Jones is their man. Is he still recovering from a lack of confidence in the first round?

General Play
The game I watched the Hitmen seemed to like playing the perimeter. They seem to make smart passes which move the defenders out of position. Then attack with solid shots from the slot. The Tigers will have to do their best not to get caught out of position, and keep sticks in the passing lanes.

Predictions - Like I said last series I'm slightly superstitious so I'm using my cat again to do my predictions.
Last series he said Tigers in 5.(result tigers in 6)

Cat's Prediction - Tigers in 6
Also on a sidenote Two Tigers will be taking part in the NHL skills combine.
Read more about it here.

Tigers Face Calgary Hitmen in Round Two

This Series will be broadcast by Shaw TV.

This year the Games against Calgary were very exciting. Prior to the trade deadline the two teams seemed dead even. The first 3 games were decided in a shootout. After the trade deadline with Calgary's new acquisitions and the Tigers slight decline, Calgary looked like the better team, because they had a better work ethic and strong goal-tending at the time.

The Tigers took 6 points in 6 games. Calgary took 9 points in 6 games. Including back to back home and home wins against the Tigers to start their impressive journey to the top of the conference.

I think many people will be picking Calgary to win, as they had just faced 3 elimination games in a row and seem to play their best with their backs up against the wall. Lucky for Calgary they had an early game schedule compared to other teams and will get 3 days off prior to the first game on Friday in Calgary.

The Tigers go in being classified as the underdogs. I will post s mini-scouting report done by myself like I did against Kootenay hopefully sometime Wednesday Night.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TIger Defeat Kootenay 4-1 || Tigers Win Series in 6 Games


Who's Next?
If Calgary wins tomorrow the Tigers will face them. If Moose Jaw wins tomorrow the Tigers will face Saskatoon. Saskatoon still has a few players and coach out with suspensions.

Wacey Hamilton
Ugg I didn't see the play. All i saw was Mcnabb looking over him and Wacey in a load of pain. I heard from others that his knee buckled when he took that shot. He had a slight limp when he came back on the ice to celebrate.

Just watched the Play. It looks like when he was going for a slapshot his knee/ankle bent over a little further than it should have, then he got bumped into by Mcnabb. The replay looked kinda gross when you watched the angle his knee/ankle bent at.

Hopefully he didn't rip or tear out any cartilage, that type of injury takes a long time to heal. Losing the Captain would be a huge loss. Apparently he still wanted to come back out and finish the game after a short stint in the dressing room, which is a good sign.
The Tigers played some strong defense tonight, and Tyler Bunz has all the confidence in the world right now. The Tigers were blocking lots of shots to the net, and making it really hard for Kootenay to get any offense going.

How About Emerson Etem for the Tigers first goal? Picked a Kootenay defender's pocket and roofed the return pass out front. An interesting Sidenote Emerson Etem scored the first goal of the game 4 times in this series, 3 of them were Tiger wins.

Turning Point in the series.
Game 3 in the second period. The Tigers were playing hard but were having trouble getting out of their end, and Kootenay was generating all their offense from Turnovers.

In the second period the Tigers made a small system adjustment and started creating lots of offense for the rest of the series. It took 2 games for Kootenay to adjust to it, luckily by that time the Tigers had also learned to limit their mistakes, and when called upon Tyler Bunz played phenomenal.

Key Performances
The Tigers got a lot of support from everybody. Starting to wonder why Kamloops let Cole Grbavac go. He doesn't get many points but he wins so many battles.
A heart and soul type guy who is grinding it up and playing physical.

I thought every single defensman and the forwards in the defensive zone played amazing. Their was a blip here or there, but they whacked away so many pucks that when Kootenay was buzzing it was one shot, and stopped, instead of letting them get rebounds.

Tyler Bunz was also playing lights out. Stopping that Kootenay Attack during the second period of game 5 was a very key point in the Series.

There are too many players to list on who played well this series. I am impressed .they dug themselves out of a 2-0 hole, it looked bleak in the first period of game 3 then BAM, BAM, BAM, they found their game and started playing tiger Hockey.
Kootenay's 20's
A shout out should be given to Kootenay's Overage Players, who just played their last WHL game Tonight. Dustin Sylvester and Ryan Molle.

Ryan Molle probably hates the Tigers a lot, as last year the Tigers ended his season when his Swift Current Broncos lost to the Tigers in 7 games. He wasn't one to do a lot of scoring but he was an impressive +30 over the regular season with Kootenay.

Dustin Sylvester - Kootenay's MVP. With 93 points in 68 games He was involved in 37% of Kootenay's scoring. I dont believe he was drafted but you gotta think someone out there will take a chance on his scoring abilities.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ennis WIth Big Night In NHL

For A recap of last Night Tigers vs Kootenay game check the post below this one. However You wont want to skip this article about two big Happenings in the Tigers world Today

Tyler Ennis has been called up to the Sabres on an emergency basis. He earned 2 assists on the Night. One assist on a rebound. One assist on a toe-drag 2on1 play.

HE is playing on the Sabres top line and has earned top line Minutes. He received the third star of the game.

Here is an article that explains how he played the Night before in Providence for his AHL Team, then had to get up at 6 am for a flight to buffalo to join the sabres

The Tigers are looking to recruit a potential high impact player for them next season.

Tyler Pitlick 6'1 190 lbs from Minnesota State-Mankato
This season as a freshman he earned 19 points, including 11 goals, in 38 games.

Apparently he is in the Hat this weekend checking things out. He is ranked 21st among North American skaters eligible for the NHL draft in Central Scouting’s mid-term ratings.

Gregg Drinnan has more about him over at his blog

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tigers Defeat Kootenay 5-2 || Tigers Take 3-2 Series Lead

First Period
The Tigers Jace Coyle would get caught in an awkward position. Kootenay's D-man would bounce the puck of the glass in his own end and the puck would slowly flutter to center Ice. Coyle and Kevin King would try to whack at the puck at the same time. Unfortunately it was king who reached it first and corralled the puck for a 2on1.

King would hang on to the puck and snap a quick shot glove side for a early 1-0 Kootenay Lead.

The Tigers would respond fairly quickly. About 2 and a half minutes later Bretton Cameron would fire a long desperation shot from along the boards at the top of the circle. Todd Mathews juggled the puck high up in the air. The kootenay defender managed to lift the stick of the first tiger player Wacey Hamilton, but Matt Konan would race in from the point and Wire a howitzer with the goalie out of position.
1-1 Tie Game

2 minutes later the Tigers would get a gift from Todd Mathews. Jace Coyle would intercept a clearing attempt at center ice. He unloaded a low shot just past the blue-line. It looked like this caught Mathews by surprise as he reacted late and the puck would find a way past him.
2-1 Tigers

Late in the first period the Tigers would jump on another Kootenay Mistake. Kootenay had just iced the puck prior to the face-off in their end, and had some tired guys on the ice.

It was a borderline icing call as some say Kundratek wasn't hustling. Yes he could of avoided icing if he reached out for the puck and skated all out, but honestly how many Defencmen would do that right off a faceoff?. Maybe a bit of homerism here but I thought it was the right call.

Anyway Kootenay managed to get the puck out of their zone right away and decided to do a full scale line change with 15 seconds left in the period. This would cost them as Matt Mackay would fire a long pass to Wacey Hamilton who threaded it between the legs to Kale Kessey. Kessey had a little bit of walking room and fired a laser beam top shelf in the high slot area.
3-1 Tigers

That ended the first period. The Tigers managed to take an advantage of a bad line-change and a couple weak goals. Despite the weak goals by Mathews He stopped about 3-4 more real good scoring chances by the Tigers.

2nd Period
Todd Mathews would get yanked in favor of Nathan Lieuwen.
Linden Vey would take a hooking penalty and the Ice would make him pay for it.

Dominik Pacovsky would receive the puck at the point and would get a little walking room. He fired a seeing eye shot through traffic in front of a screened Tyler Bunz
3-2 Tigers

Kootenay would have 2 goals disallowed in the last half of the second period. I think it was Mcnabb who fired a shot off the crossbar, and the puck would come to Steele Boomer who was tied up and would kick the puck in pretty clearly. The ref was on the ball and disallowed it right away.

A few minutes later the good luck would continue for the Tigers. The Tigers had just cleared the puck out of the zone and Kootenay had dumped it right back in. The last Ice player out of the zone would take his time coming out of the zone This would cost the ice big-time as their first player coming into the zone would be off-side. The puck would bounce up high and land right in front of Jesse Ismond who Wired a shot top shelf, half a second after the linesman blew down whistle. Honestly it wouldn't have mattered anyway as the goal would not have been counted.

Here is a screenshot of the play. Although it is really bad quality. I circled the two players in question in red. You can barely make out the Ice player coming Out, but then one going in is is less than half a second from entering the zone, while the player coming out is skating at half speed. It was a close call but I think it was the correct call.

The Ice really owned the Tigers in the second period. The Ice had 2-3 real long grinding shifts in the Tigers end, and then the Tigers had to kill off a penalty. As a result the Tigers put in a couple players on the PK who didn't normally play there.

The Ice would continue to put pressure on the Tigers and it looked like the Tigers were skating through water, they looked pretty tired. However despite the Ice controlling the play the Tigers blocked a ton of shots. Tyler Bunz made quite a few saves with traffic in front, and played an amazing period of hockey. He managed to keep the Tigers with the lead. The ICE outshot the Tigers 18-3

Third Period
Tyler Bunz would make the save of the night as Dustin Sylvester would gain a few steps on Mark Isherwood on a partial breakaway. Bunz came out to challenge Sylvester with a pokecheck while he slowly ran out of room. Sylvester would go cross ice and couldn't get the leverage to raise the puck, as Bunz would stick out a pad and make a very good save.

As kootenay started becoming more desperate the Tigers would get their insurance goal. I believe it was Linden Vey who blocked a Brayden Mcnabb shot, and went in on a 2on1 with Tristan King?? Vey would outwait a sprawling Kootenay Defender, then outwait the goalie as he went down and smacked the puck in just as a defender came crashing into the net. 4-2 Tigers

The Tigers Bretton Cameron would add an empty net goal. As Dustin Sylvester made a poor cross Ice attempt which Cameron picked off and fired it down the Ice.
5-2 Tigers

The Tigers won the first period, the Ice handily won the second period, and with desperation setting in the Tigers capitalized on Kootenay Gambling to add some insurance in the third.

The Tigers were very fortunate to win this game. The Tigers didn't have the energy they had in Medicine Hat, and made a couple poor breakout decision. Kootenay forwards were more aggressive trying to get on the puck carrier as fast as possible. Kootenay continued to play the body pretty hard.

The Tigers did however jump on Kootenay's mistakes, and made them pay dearly for them. I thought the Tigers blocked quite a few shots, and Tyler Bunz stood on his head in the second period, and played a phenomenal overall game.

Cole Grbavac Hit
Edit: I just read one of the Kootenay blogs and They plan to send a tape in to the league to get the Cole Grbavac hit on Matt Fraser reviewed. Their was no call on the play. The back ref in charge of the play initially had his vision blocked but moves his head to view the hit. Fraser had to wear a bubble the rest of the game, and it appears that he has suffered a cracked cheekbone.

I watched the replay many times, and froze the picture on impact. Its a really tough play for Kootenay's Matt Fraser. He's trying to get control off the puck, regains his balance then gets leveled. AS we have seen in this series there have been quite a few borderline hits from both sides.

It appears as if Grbavac is getting ready for the hit by throwing his shoulder forward. To me it looks like the top of the shoulder makes contact with his lower face and the elbow comes up in the follow through. Its one of those borderline plays where its not a direct elbow however half a step one way and it is a clear elbow half a step the other way and he doesn't need to throw his shoulder out.

If I was a kootenay fan I probably would be angry at the play because stopping and starting the hit 4 seconds before and after it looks like grbavac is throwing out a wing.

Game 6 will be in Medicine Hat on Sunday. Kootenay will be pulling out all the stops. It will be up to us fans to help PUMP THE TIGERS UP!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shaw Switches to Tiger Vs Kootenay Series

The next game in Kootenay will not be shown.

However Game 6, and If there is a game 7 will be broadcast live on Shaw TV.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tigers Defeat Ice 5 -1 || Series Tied 2-2

The game tonight was even better that last nights game. Forgive me if I miss a play or two, with all the cheering and exciting play going on things can slip your mind pretty easily without writing them down.

The Tigers started the game absolutely on fire. Kootenay got out of their own zone only a couple times in the first ten minutes. The Tigers were getting chance after chance only to be stopped stoned cold by Todd Mathews who was stealing the show early. Including a breakaway stop On Zdenik Okal

Well with all the pressure the Tigers were cooking up eventually something gave way. It was Emerson Etem who would get an already riled up crowd standing on its feet. Emerson would pick the lower right hand corner to put the Tigers up 1-0.

The Tigers would continue to put pressure on the Ice however Cole Grbavac would get called for a cross-checking penalty. A lighter tap along the boards, he would knock his man over, however his stick was up horizontal and the refs like to call anything that involves getting the stick up.

The Tigers would get a very rare break. Brayden Mcnabb sorta dismissed a forechecking Taylor Gal, who gave a real nice pokecheck at the blueline. Gal had a clear cut breakaway only to be hauled down in short order, and the Referee awarded a penalty shot.

Gal swooped wide right, came in made a slight deke and went backhand to put the Tigers up 2-0 The Tigers I thought really controlled the play. Todd Mathews gave his team a chance to get back in the game, however when called upon Tyler Bunz was equal to the task making a couple very good saves.

Kootenay would get on the board after a slight mistake by young Tigers defensman Scott mcKay. McKay tried to make a pass to a Tiger player along the boards in Kootenay's end. It was picked off by christian Magnus, and he made a perfect pass to a streaking Dominik Pacovsky. Pacovsky would swoop in from the side with speed on Tyler Bunz. Bunz had no choice but to sprawl across the crease and Pacovsky went five-hole.
2-1 Tigers

Kootenay would then take a penalty after Joey Leach threw a shoulder into Emerson Etem as he was on his knees stickhandling. On the Powerplay the puck would come back to the point and Zdenik Okal let rip a one-timer, the rebound would bounce out and Thomas Kundratek buried it into a partial open net.
3-1 Tigers.

The Tigers would get a gift moments later. Isherwood would lay a howitzer of a shot
just inside the blueline. Mathews Would kick out a big juicy rebound, and Kootenay's Paul Martin would accidentally put the puck into his own net.
4-1 Tigers.

At this point Todd Mathews would get pulled temporarily, but would go back into the game a shift later.

The Ice really seemed to Key on laying a beating on Thomas Kundratek. The puck went behind the net Tyler Bunz went to play it and Drew Czerwonka would hit Kundratek from behind knocking him violently into he boards. Kundratek took a moment to collect himself then gave the ol' you'll have to try better than that. A few minutes later Pacovsky would lay an elbow into the side of Kundratek Head, this time the Tigers made them pay.

Taylor Gal came out from behind the Net with the puck and fed a streaking Wacey Hamilton who one-timed a short pass into the open net.
5-1 Tigers
The Ice would pull Mathews, and Put in Nathan Lieuwen for good this time.

The last 10 minutes of the third period had a slightly less tempo to it, however the Tigers were still playing pretty solidly. Near the end of the game a couple fights would brake out.

Cole Grbavac would drop the gloves with Drew Czerwonka after Grbavac gave him a couple love taps. This fight was all Grbavac as he threw about 20 punches to Czerwonka's 1 or 2. Near the end of the fight Grbavac would counter a punch thrown by Czeronka and caught him real good just under the glass of the helmet. It just about buckled his knees and you could tell it did some damage as Czerwonka body language said he wanted to stop.

A couple minutes later an unlikely fight would happen. Near the Tigers net Zdenik Okal and Jesse Ismond would get into a shoving match and both dropped the gloves. It was a quick fight with Ismond pushing Okal into the back of the Tigers net to trip both players up.

I thought the Tigers really took it to the Ice. Kootenay's goaltender gave them a chance to get into the game, but couldn't hold the fort forever. Thomas Kundratek played a whale of the game for the Tigers. I thought no-one had on off night. Tiger rookie Scott Mckay made a slight mistake and the Ice jumped on it however I thought he played fairly well and gave some of the Tigers vets a slight breather with his ice time in the third period.

I didn't watch any of the first two games of the series, but I'm guessing that the games in each teams building were completely different. The Tigers looked very good at home, and showed more of a will to win. Hopefully the Tigers can keep that Up in Kootenay as they will have to win a game their to win the series.

The Series now shifts to Kootenay on Friday Night for Game 5, then Game 6 will be back at the Arena on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tigers Melt Ice 4-1 ||| Ice 2-1 Series Lead

Woowee what a game! The house was rockin, the players were fighting and the Tigers were winning! Unfortunately It was a couple hundred fans short of a sellout.

If some of the goal recaps are wrong, I'll eventually change them.
For the Highlights go check out Tigers TV when they have them up.

I thought the first period was fairly even. The Tigers were battling through the Ice trap, but were still getting caught with turnovers. Kootenay had a few good chances to score but the desperation in all off the Tigers defenders was pretty impressive. They were smacking loose pucks away before they hit the ice, and blocking shots with anything they could use.

The Second period their was a huge change in the momentum of the game.
The Tigers found a way to limit their turnovers, and create offense within Kootenay's trap. As a result the Ice chances decreased, and the Tigers scoring chances went up.

The third period the Tigers kept playing hard, everyone was sacrificing themselves to get the puck out. They were frustrating the Ice quite a bit, and the Ice really stepped up their physical game. They made quite a few hard hits.

Todd Mathews looked shaky during the opening 7-8 minutes, but unfortunately the Tigers were only able to get 1 goal during that time before he calmed down. However Mathews made some very good saves later in the game. Emerson Etem from the top of the face-off picked the lower left hand corner. 1-0 Tigers**edit Later**

The Ice would get a powerplay opportunity late in the first period. Kundratek tripped up his man, and in return the Ice player used his stick and tripped up a tiger. Unfortunately the back-ref who made the call turned his head for a split second toward the Tigers bench and missed the play. Just after the PP ended, About 20 seconds after their was a scramble at the Tigers net, and unfortunately the puck squirted loose and Tyler Bunz booted it into his own net.
Tie Game 1-1

Jace Coyle would put the Tigers ahead on the Powerplay. Their was a scramble down low, it looked like Todd Mathews initially had the puck but it squirted loose as the Tigers jammed the Net. They went upstairs briefly and counted it. 2-1 Tigers

Then all Hell broke loose...sort of.

Near the end of the Third KootenayBretton Cameron undressed a Kootenay Defender and went all alone. Mathews Stopped the first shot, but left a big rebound out. The puck ended up on Wacey Hamilton's stick. He was on his backhand and just shoved it into the net tripping himself up. He would slide into the net with Mathews, and It appeared at first like nothing was going to happen.
3-1 Tigers

Then Bretton Cameron came racing in, pushing the net off and dragging Mathews off of Hamilton, who appeared to giving Wacey a complimentary face-wash. That didn't sit well with Brayden Mcnabb who earlier tried to goad Cameron into a fight. Mcnabb raced in and they started rough-housing and all off a sudden everyone came flying in doing the ballroom blitz.

With the ref in the way Cameron gave Mcnabb a shot to the head, and they started jostling, and eventually the ref left them to settle out their business. They both looked fairly tired, and all it was, was a short wrestling match.

The Tigers would add an empty net goal, as Joey Frazer from his own blueline would shoot the puck down the length of the ice.


Some thoughts
Their is a nastiness settling in for both teams. They played each other 3 teams near the end of the Season, and their have been quite a few after the whistle scrums, these two teams really hate each other. The Tigers really came and battled tonight. Tyler Bunz was fairly sharp, even though Kootenay seemed to get quite a bit of traffic in front of him. A bounce here or there and it could have been a different game.

I can see the rest of the series becoming bit of a chess match in their systems play, but hopefully the Tigers can continue to play like they did in the second and third periods.

I was surprised to see Bretton Cameron get a game misconduct and a charging major.I think game misconducts are reviewable by the league but there no way a suspension should result from that. All he did was the linesman job in pulling players apart, then dealing with an attack from behind, and he got charged a 5 minute major for it. Very weak call and luckily it was too late in the game to change the results. The refs seemed to call the odd penalties tonight.

Their was a very weird happening I dont think I've seen before. Within a span of two minute, players skating by each othermade contact and went down akwardly, and in both cases it honestly looked like both palyers were embelishing it,however they both were not.

It happened to Reinhart for Kootenay as Okal gave him a slight bump, and Bretton Cameron for the Tigers as he took a high stick. Both looked like soft plays(but weren't), both were pretty Angy. I was very surprised the refs didn't call anything.

Old fashioned Brawl In Saskatoon

Their is a pretty big controversy brewing over in the Red Deer vs Saskatoon Series.

In case you missed it, Josh Cowan Bowled over the Saskatoon Blades netminder with a pretty good bodycheck to the head. The blades website also showed a replay where Steven Stanford(Blades goalie) was roughed up earlier in the game.

Well the next shift, Saskatoon sent 5 of their toughest players on the ice, and they all started a linebrawl. Here are the penalties. FOr a video go to the blades website.

Josh Cowen Red Deer Four games for charge major and g.m.
Red Deer $250.00 for warm-up violation
Saskatoon $250.00 for warm-up violation
Saskatoon $500.00 for second multiple fight of season
Saskatoon $3,500.00 for actions of Club
Randy McNaught Saskatoon Five games for instigator, fight and g.m., and repeat offender
Lorne Molleken Saskatoon Four games for g.m.
Sena Acolatse Saskatoon Three games for instigator, fight and g.m.
Darian Dziurzynski Saskatoon Three games for one man fight and g.m.
Duncan Siemens Saskatoon Three games for instigator, fight and g.m.


While there is no question that their needed to be some payback. I believe Saskatoon could have choose a much smarter path. Starting a brawl like that, your forcing the whl to suspend you, otherwise their saying its OK to start linebrawls when your goalie gets touched.

I probably would have added a big fine to the head coach, and a couple more games suspension for him, and I would have cut the players suspensions down slightly.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ice Lead Series 2-0 Defeat Tigers 4-0

A disappointing start to the playoffs for the Tigers.

The Ice wont do them any favors, and if the Tigers want to win they will have to support each other and bring a better consistent effort.

Cranbrook was recently named one of the 12 cities competing for hockey-ville Canada, yet their building was just over half full for both playoff games.

Nonetheless the atmosphere for Game 3 is going to be totally different. The Arena I expect will be near a sellout. It will be up to the fans to make some noise, and get a bunch of energy flowing through the building.

TO read a recap of the game visit one of the Kootenay blogs Jeff Bromley's Ice Chips, or Hollick's Between The Lines.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kootenay Hammers Tigers in Game One 6-2

I guess it was a good thing I decided to forego watching this game on the web cast. I listened to bits and pieces of the game from both radio broadcaster. It sounded like the first period was a pretty even game, but after that Kootenay took control.

Tyler Bunz was yanked after the 4th goal, but according to Ridley the goals allowed in wasn't just his fault. The Tigers going 0 for 7 on the PP certainly did not help their situation out. Most of those PP opportunities came in the third when the game was out of reach. Ridley did sound flabbergasted a couple times about the refereeing, earlier in the game.

The Tigers will need to forget about this game and come out with a strong effort tomorrow.
Watched some highlights from the game.

Kootenay scored 2 goals on medium hard wrist shots from the point, that were deflected/screening Tyler Bunz.

2 Kootenay goals were the result of an odd man rushe after the Tigers defence got caught.

1 Kootenay goal was on an odd man rush where the 3rd tiger forward was winded and couldn't catch his man, and the Ice forward shot the Puck under Bunz's arm.

They scored an empty netter from behind their own net, as the Defenceman who shot the puck, perfectly banked it in off the glass.

The Tigers had an extremely good start to the game, and the Ice seemed to get a couple good bounces and just found a way to stay even. The Tigers goaltending was not poor but they could have played better. The Ice seemingly score goals at very key points in the game at random. As WIllie D would say the Tigers need to be better.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kootenay Ice Scouting Report - Updated Wed

Watched the March 5th game Kootenay vs TIgers, and the March 12th game, Kootenay vs Red Deer.
If your a fan who likes to get a little bit in depth of what the other team looks like here it is. Updates Bolded

1. Kevin King,Dustin Sylvester(center),Steele Boomer
2. Jesse Ismond,Max Reinhart(center), Matt Frazer
3. Joe Antilla, Drew Czerwonka, Dominik Pacovsky
4. Christian Magnus, Brock Montgomery, Brendan Hurley
Elgin Pearce,

Their 3rd and 4th lines seem to switch a little every game. The only constant seems to be Czerwonka on the third line.

Brayden McNabb | Rintoul/Martin
Joey Leach | Ryan Molle

Luke Paulson seems to be used sparingly
Dirk, Jagger is also used sparingly

The one game I watched Brayden Mcnabb's defense partner was rotated with Hayden Rintoul, and James Martin every shift. They play Rintoul on the Powerplay, and Martin on the penalty Kill. It should be noted that the Leach/Molle pairing were a +30 and +33 during the season. Mcnabb was a -5 but is used often.

PK Lines
sylvester King
czerwonki fraser
Montgomery Czerwonka
King Boomer**

It seems like they often have Dustin Sylvester out on the first PK Unit. **If Kootenay doesn't put Sylvester on the Ice with their penalty kill, look for Sylvester to play a shift after on the 4th line.

One thing I noticed. Dustin Sylvester is one of their key players for the Ice on their powerplay. In the game I watched every single opportunity Dustin Sylvester would set up on the left side of Tyler Bunz. Sylvester is a left-hand shot and on his forehand on the left-side

The Tigers on the PK sometimes play in a weird diamondish formation and when they did that Kootenay often handed the puck over to Sylvester near the top of the face off circle to the left of Bunz, who had clear shots at the net.

Kootenay has quite a few weapons on their powerplay. Mcnabb has a powerful shot from the point, and Sylvester often looks for Rintoul sneaking in off the point. Mcnabb, Rintoul, and Sylvester are really good at moving the puck around quickly. Every once in a while Kootenay will put Dominik Pacovsky a forward on the point.

Kootenay's Penalty Kill
Kootenay's forwards play where the puck goes, and they are fairly aggressive. When the puck is down low they shrink their box, when the puck goes to the Tigers D-men both forwards usually rush the point. During the season series Kootenay generated a handful of short-handed opportunities doing this.

General Play
The Ice Centerman are really good at shadowing the Tigers third guy high. The Ice will use Max Reinhart, or Dustin Sylvester for Key Face offs.

The Ice use a 1-2-2 sort of system. The first forward flushes out the puck carrier to one side, with 2 forwards at the top of the circles. They react to whatever side the puck goes to, and The third forward stays high to the middle to prevent the pass. Done right its a highly effective attacking trap. However if the opposition team breaks free it sometimes is vulnerable to a defensman jumping in off the rush, although that can also backfire from a late turnover.

When the Ice have the puck on offense they almost always have a triangle formation. They support each other real well. The Ice are real good at taking the puck from a scrum and passing it out front as soon as the guy up high gets some space.

Todd Mathews is their go-to guy. He is a bit of a hot-head and hates players who make life difficult for him in the crease. He will talk trash and when he does that he seems to play better. The Tigers will have to crash the net and get in his face, yet not be stupid and take a dumb penalty.

When Kootenay Sets up behind the Net Mathews will frequently skate to the top of his crease to distract or block the swooping Tigers path. Todd Mathews will also Embellish things if need be. The good refs seem to be aware of this.

Kootenay seems to rely on Todd Mathews a bit more than they should. The game I watched against the Rebels, it appeared he had trouble handling pucks up high in close to his body.

Kootenay tends to pounce on mistakes made. They rely on their top 2 lines for scoring. Their 3rd and 4th lines are similar to that of the Tigers 4th line. They dont score often but work hard and can keep the play in the oppositions end.

Jeff Holick collected some stats about the two teams over at his blog.

A lot of people are calling this series to be to close to call. Kootenay fans seem confident that they will win. Tigers fans the same. I think the Tigers have a more talented team but they're also more prone in making mistakes. Kootenay never seems to be completely out of a game and they always seems to get goals at extremely key points in the game.

I dont really want to make a prediction, because Im a little superstitious and last time I thought the Tigers won Kootenay Ice'd em in 4 straight. So For my prediction I'm going to generate 2 random numbers, and get my cat to press "enter".................Tigers in 5????

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Playoff Time Baby!

This year as Tigers fans we have seen a fair share of their ups and downs. A year starting with a lot of uncertainty as to who would even make the team, and An ending which saw a promising mid season turn into 5th place finish.

A bundle of 16 year olds vying for limited spots, followed by an overage controversy. It led to the Tigers dropping Ryan Holfeld, and trading away one of the hardest working Tigers ever to don a Tigers Jersey in Colton Grant.

This season saw a couple of important pieces to the puzzle added(Devan Dubyk,Matt Mackay) and a couple Tiger Veterans traded away(John Stampohar, Cody Carlson, Josh Koper. Colton Grant.

All 72 games of the regular season are done. What happened in the past now becomes stats, and a new season has donned. This is the season where the leaders take charge and the Future NHL'ers come forth.

The TIgers have ton of talent in their lineup, yet don't always show it. Where they finish will be decided by how bad they want it!

The 2010 Playoffs are FAN POWERED!!
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay Friday, March 19 7:00
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay Saturday, March 20 7:00
Kootenay @ Medicine Hat Tuesday, March 23 7:00
Kootenay @ Medicine Hat Wednesday, March 24 7:00
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay Friday, March 26 7:00
Kootenay @ Medicine Hat Sunday, March 28 6:00
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay Tuesday, March 30 7:00

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kootenay In Round One

Tonight the Kootenay Ice defeated the Rebels, and the Tigers defeated the Hurricanes.
This means that the Tigers will face off against Kootenay in Round One.

Still to be decided is who will have Home Ice. Since Kootenay owns the Tiebreaker, The Tigers need 2 points, and need Edmonton TO defeat the Ice in Regulation. Any other combination and the Tigers will start the playoffs on the road.

Line Brawl
It appears their was a good old fashioned line-brawl between these two team. Tyler Bunz, Cole Grbavac, Dylan Bredo were ejected for the Tigers.Linden Rowat, Cason Machacek, Graham Hood, Austin Fyten were ejected from Lethbridge.

The Tigers had their bigger 4th line out. Something seems fishy with the Gamesheet though. As Lethbridge had one more 5 minute major than the Tigers, yet it was lethbridge who scored a PP goal not less than a minute later.

Video Is UP
First Video is much better quality. I recommend You view it in full screen.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Scoreboard Watching

Summary Of Tonights Games
Brandon defeated Moose Jaw
Saskatoon Lost to Regina
Calgary Defeated Edmonton
Kootenay Defeated Red Deer

Kootenay leapfrogs over the Tigers for 4th place.
So On Friday the Tigers will be heavily rooting for Red Deer to Defeat the Ice in regulation. IF Kootenay gets one point the Tigers would need Edmonton to Defeat Kootenay in their Final game.

First Round Potential Opponents:
Calgary is out. The potential first round opponents are now:
Kootenay, Red Deer, Brandon, Saskatoon.

The Rebels remain 3 points back with only 2 games left in the season. It is starting to look as though the Tigers will be facing the Ice in round One, however things can still change.

Any combination of 2 points gained by the Tigers or 2 points lost by the Rebels will ensure a Kootenay vs Tigers first round playoff matchup.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scoreboard Watching

Tonight the Lethbridge Hurricanes knocked off the Red Deer rebels 5-2. Wow wasn't expecting that. The Hurricanes showed they wont be a pushover. Hopefully the Tigers take notice of that because they still have a Home and Home against the Canes and they always play the Tigers tough.

The Rebels remain 3 points back with 1 game in hand. What that means is the Rebels put a large chuck of their destiny into Kootenay's hands, and a small chunk into the Tigers hands.

Kootenay still controls their destiny on 4th place, as if they win out they get the 4th seed.

From the Tigers point of view, they are hoping Kootenay looses at least 2 points of the 4 in contest against Red Deer. Red Deer winning outright would still put the Ball in the Tigers court as if the Tigers were to win outright they could clinch.

Preferably the Tigers are hoping for a split. Kootenay getting 4 of 4 points would be the worst case scenario. Even 3 of 4 Kootenay points is still bad as they appear to win the first Tiebreaker in total wins.

Mathematically, Red Deer, Kootenay, Calgary, Brandon, Saskatoon can still be possible opponents in the first round. We will have to see if that changes, as all those teams are in action tomorrow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bunz named Tiger of the Week

Tyler earns the Tigers player of the week after recording wins in three straight games in three consecutive nights, allowing just five goals and recording a save percentage of .943.

Bunz has been very solid as of late. Over the last 2 months and beginning of this month his save percentage has been %.906. (21 games)

During the last three weeks or so he has developed a real nice ability on anticipating the play, has shown excellent positioning, and has done a better job at getting a handle on pucks in tight and in scrums.

NHL Potential?? I haven't really given this much thought. I'm not that much of a goal-tending expert but here's a few thoughts.

Bunz has shown very good lateral movement, and has developed extremely good positioning in net. His rebound control is an issue, but is improving, and his glove hand can be inconsistent. His improvement over this year is a good sign and I'm excited about his future potential. He reminds me a bit of Matt Keetley during his first year as a tiger.


30+ Wins as a 17 year old
A couple people over on Tigers Roarr's and Purrs were curious to see if Tyler Bunz is the only 17 year old Tigers Goaltender to record 30+ wins in a season.

Apparently the 30 win season in a 17 year old year has already been done before at least once. In the comments section of this post, An anonoymous user went and asked the former goaltender himself. Sonny Mignacca reached 35 wins in the 91-92 season.

Otherwise The closest 17 year olds to 30 wins I found were Troy Gamble(27), and Mark Fizpatrick (26). Osgood only had 24. Hrudey only had 1 30+ win season in his last year.
Also I should give thanks out to Gregg Drinnan who posted a link to my blog on his "blog list". I'm not sure when he added me but I just noticed it now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tigers Defeat Edmonton 5-2

The Oil Kings are probably eager to get the season over with.

They have guys who work hard and skate, but then panic or develop stone hands under pressure. Quite a few unforced errors on their side. It probably doesn't help that they have been through an injury plagued season.

With the Win tonight The Tigers leapfrog over the Idle Kootenay Ice to re-take 4th spot in the conference(Kootenay with a game in hand). The Tigers are guaranteed at least a 6th seed

The regular season is finished at the end of next week. It is still to early to predict who the Tigers will play in the first round.

The Tigers finish off the season with a home and home against Lethbridge.

Red Deer plays
Lethbridge, Calgary,Kootenay x2(

Kootenay plays
Red Deer x2 , Edmonton

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tigers Defeat Rebels 3-2 SO

I thought the Tigers were extremely fortunate tonight. Tyler Bunz played phenomenal in goal. The Tigers were soundly beaten for 2 periods of hockey. They came out a little harder in the third period(down 2-0), and managed to get a bit of good luck.

The tigers started their comeback when the grind line was working hard in the offensive end. Grbavac fed the puck out front to Matt Mackay who tapped the puck home into an empty net. Both players had good games.

The Tigers would get a powerplay with 5 minutes left, and Emerson Etem would roof a shot from the slot to tie the game.

I have noticed quite a few groupings of scouts in the stands during the last few games.

I thought Tyler Bunz stole the show in the shootout. You might have missed it but he baited both rebel players by doing a quick fake/save.

The rebels would be a very good pick to be the dark horse in the whl playoffs. They are big and have an amazing set of wheels. They keep coming at you and pressure hard in the offensive zone. From what i saw earlier in the year, they are a completely different hockey team.

Couple things I've noticed about the Tigers game.

1. Not enough support in the offensive zone. Their play is becoming predictable. One guy will skate into the zone down the boards, do a little turn around, throw the puck in the corner and their will be very little support from the tigers forwards.

When they were on their game as soon as they entered the zone they would slow down to create some room for the forwards streaking in.

2. More offensive Pressure. As soon as the opposition defenseman goes behind the net they completely back off. I think that they are killing some opportunities for maintained pressure/turnovers and allowing the other team to setup, when they dont force the defenseman out from behind the net. As you noticed today when the Tigers backed off the Rebels had an easy time entering the Tigers zone.

Scoreboard Watching

Kootenay lost tonight. The Tigers are 1 point behind Kootenay, and 1 point ahead of Red Deer for Home Ice advantage in the first round. Kootenay's next two games are against the Rebels.(Wed,Fri)

The best case scenario for the Tigers wold be to hope that they split the games, with no extra overtime points.If one team wins both games they would leapfrog over the Tigers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tigers Defeat Kootenay 2-1

I didn't listen or watch the game.

With the victory the Tigers are now 3 points back of Kootenay, and still tied with Red Deer, as the Rebels beat Swift Current in Overtime.

Kootenay has 1 win in their last 5 games, and seems to be giving the Tigers and Red Deer an opportunity to catch up. Kootenay faces the Hitmen on Saturday.

The Tigers play Red Deer Saturday. This game has HUGE implications on playoff seedings.

IF the Tigers loose they fall 2 points behind Red Deer with 3 games left(rebels4). IF the Tigers win they move 2 points ahead.

This push for Home Ice is not entirely dead yet, but there gonna need some outside help. Kootenay's magic number is 90 points(5more), they reach that total and the Tigers wont be able to get home Ice.

The first Tiebreaking procedure is total wins, compared to the tigers Kootenay has +3 wins, red Deer with +2 wins.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tigers Defeat MJ 3-2 SO

Just a couple Notes:

Devan Dubyk looked unbeatable until a shot hit him in the mask. He seemed a little shaky afterward and let in 2 goals he would have normally stopped. He stopped a 2on1 and a 3on1 in the first period to keep it a tie game.

Reid Petryk played his first game in three weeks(healthy scratch). He had a couple shifts on the 4th line then was benched after a giveaway....sorta wondering sometimes why that benching rule only applies to 16 year olds. Ha!

I thought Emerson Etem had more jump in his game tonight.

The players that stood out tonight for me were Kundratek
(minus the 1st period pinch),

Zdenik Okal(because he got alot of clear shots on net that produced rebounds), Emerson Etem (had more hustle to his game and almost scored a couple.

I thought Matt MacKay had a slightly better game, Taylor Gal had a real good first period, and Tyler Bunz handled the water bottles like a pro....just kidding on that last one.

Red Deer lost, the Tigers are now tied for 5th, Red Deer with a game in hand.

I still think the Tigers aren't playing up to snuff.
I think once the playoffs come around though you will see a more aggressive team. As to who their opponent will be probably wont be decided until the last couple games.
Calgary Hitmen Vs Swift Current Broncos
They are on sportsnet tonight at 7:000 PM mountain.

The Hitman have locked up the central division and are guarenteed at least a 2nd seed in the first round. However they are still competing to win the regualr season title.

The broncos are competing to stay in the lst playoff spot, they are 5 points up on Prince ALbert with 6 games remaining. It is possible that this game is a potential first round playoff preview. Although that could very esily change.