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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!