Friday, April 30, 2010

Day After The Draft

Apparently their was an article in the Medicine Hat News today that confirmed Tyler Pitlick will be joining the Tigers next year. (Mentioned on the white board, The Tigers website has been down all day, but I dont think they published this one online)

It had been widely reported that he was leaving his school earlier in the month, and that the Medicine Hat Tigers held his junior rights.

Tyler Pitlick Scouting Report from
Pitlick’s forte is playing a gritty game, going into the corners and winning one-on-one battles. Uses his big frame and wide base to protect the puck, has good hands and quality shot. Good skater, not blazing fast but has great balance. Does not have any skills that will knock you out of your seat, but he is a reliable player that will be a solid contributor in the NHL.

Found an article on Edmontons #2 Overall pick Curtis Lazar, and the Medicine Hat Tigers 6th Round pick 117th overall Cole Sanford. It explains how they spent the draft day and which teams they were hoping to go to.

I also found an article on last years CHL import Pick Rasmus Damgaard. The article states that SønderjyskE has recruited him to play on their team next year.

SønderjyskE is a professional ice hockey team playing in the top Danish ice hockey league AL-Bank Ligaen. lists the status as a rumour, which means it hasn't been confirmed. I'll link the two pages, the danish one (first link) will be linked through the Google translator.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WHL Bantam Draft - Tigers Selections

**Scouting Reports on players were taken from the Tigers website

Players stats after the 4th round stats were from Alan Caldwells blog

1st Round

14th - Spenser Jensen - AB, Defence, 6'4 175, Airdrie Xtreme, AMBHL

The AMBHL website says In 33 games Spenser recorded 2 goals and 21 assists for 23 points, with 90 penalty minutes.

Kid looks like he may grow into a monster if he's already 6'4 175 lbs. Ive read a couple reports that say he is big, shows a lot of strength, and courage, cant dig much else up on him without having to pay for it :

Tigers Website
"We are very happy to select defenseman Spenser Jensen with our first pick of 20010 WHL Bantam Draft," said Tigers' head scout Brad McEwen.

"Spenser is a real good d-man that will be able to play a lot of minutes for our team in the future," stated McEwen. "He is a big player who skates well and possesses good skills that will allow him to be a cornerstone to our defensive corps.

Scouting Report: High-end player with huge upside; will provide offence and defence

2nd Round

36th -Ty Stanton LD St. Albert, Alta. 6.01' 140 lbs

Stats for St Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres (AMBHL)
32GP 3G 18A 21PTS 16PM
Scouting Report: Two-way defenceman who can play in all situations

39th Brennan Hunker RD Millet, Alta. 6.0 170lbs

31GP 4G 11A 15PTS 72PM

Brennan is big and physical and brings intensity and energy whenever he takes the ice.

Scouting Report: Physical defenceman who competes hard

4th Round

80th - Gavin Broadhead Hay River, NWT. 5.09 149 lbs

Kelowna Pursuit of Excellence GP45 G40 A35 PTS75 PIM30
Scouting Report: Son of former-Tiger Curt Broadhead; good skating two-way forward who tallied 75 points this season

84th - Anthony Hamill Goalie Red Deer, Alta. 6.01 151 lbs
big and strong - very good athlete

G.A.A 3.94 Wins 7 Losses 10 SV Pct 0.908sv%
Scouting Report: Good sized, athletic netminder with tons of potential; catches left

6th Round

116th - Chad Labelle - C 5.09 165lbs

Calgary Northstar Sabres GP33 G25 A25 Pts50 PIM30

*I read one report that said he was expected to go in the top 40, and another report had him 2 positions back of the Tigers first round pick.
Scouting Report: Character player with decent skill set

117th - Cole Sanford - C/RW 5.05 123 lbs
Kelowna Pursuit of Excellence GP51 G52 A61 PTS113 PIM54

* It looks like sanford also fell a little in the draft. Some reports had him going in the third round and he fell to the sixth, perhaps his size was one of the reasons as his stats indicate he is a small player.
Quick skating forward with skill

7th Round

146th - Damon Hanson RW 5.08 142 lbs
Scouting Report: Potential power forward who skates well

8th Round

168th - Cameron Gotaas F 5.08 140lbs US

Sherwood Park Flyers GP33 G17 A20 PTS37 PIM10
Scouting Report: Character player who captained a talented team

9th Round

190th - Paige Maul F 5.10 150 lbs US
Scouting Report: Good skating forward with skill

Other Notables
21st Torrin White
60th Presten Kopeck
215 Marc McNulty

The Tigers first three picks involve taking defensman from the AMBHL, all of them with pretty good decent size. After that they switched their focus taking forwards. They took 2 us players in their last 3 rounds. 6 of thier 10 picks came from the AMBHL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WHL Bantam Draft Preview

The WHL Bantam draft goes on Thursday. Here is a breakdown of all the Tigers picks from the WHL website. The Tigers have 5 picks in the top 100.

1st Round (14th overall)
2nd Round (36th overall)
2nd Round (39th Overall) From Spokane for trading Trevor Glass
4th Round (80th overall)
4th Round (84th overall) From Everett
6th Round (116th overall) From P.A
6th Round (117th overall) From Chilliwack For trading Colton Grant
7th Round (146th overall)
8th Round (168th Overall)
9th Round (190th overall)
10th Round (212th Overall)

Overview of Next Season
- An earlier post I did at the end of this season, let me know if you see a prospect that I forgot to include on the list.
I will be posting a recap tomorrow of the Tigers picks and will try to dig up some info on the new talent.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Calgary Defeats Brandon in 5

The Hitmen defeated Brandon 6-1 in game 5.

I can say I am a little shocked by the results. I thought Brandon would do much better. Calgary now awaits the winner of the Vancouver and Tri-City series. While Brandon gets a good 3 week rest until dare I say it a "backdoor" entry into the Memorial Cup.

(as a tiger fan watching 2 whl host teams win the memorial cup after the Tigers won the league still stings)

However I'm also happy that Calgary won because now it forces all the teams left to win outright for a berth to the final.

I guess Tiger fans can take satisfaction that the Tigers took Calgary to 6 games, and was a hair away from taking it the full distance, while a team that was building for the Memorial cup only managed to win 1 game vs Calgary.

I will be rooting for the Hitmen the rest of the way. A couple things that I really like about Calgary is their depth and hockey smarts, and no matter the firepower of the other team they seem to do a very good job at limiting the oppositions offensive chances.

That trade with Kamloops is certainly looking like a very good decision.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tigers Arm Chair NHL Scouting Report

Alright here is my Arm-chair GM scouting report on the Medicine Hat Tiger players NHL potential. I like to guess at how players talents will turn out in the future, this is mostly for me so in 3-10 years I can see how I did. If you wanna read it too have at 'er.

Before going on I'd just like to clarify that i have no affiliation with the tigers whatsoever and I'm just a fan of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

I'll give a general recap on some strengths and weaknesses and give my potential rating, something like AHL 2nd liner, or NHL 3rd liner based on what I think they can reach given an opportunity.

I know some players read this so dont take it personally If you dont agree, I have been wrong lots of times, and this is just an arm-chair fans opinion. Prove me wrong please and then say this was the post that motivated you so I get all the credit and win the Internets:P

While I've never wrote any thing down before some past examples where I've been wrong include: I never thought Derek Boogard would make the nhl(learned lots on that one). I thought Steve Marr would have had a better AHL career, and possibly be a fringe NHLer. I thought Darren Reid would be in the NHL by now, I thought Lupul would be an NHL 30 goal man, while he is still on track he hasn't reached it yet.

While I can't prove these, Off the top of my head a couple players I was very good at projecting: Clark MaCarthur, Steve Regier, Stefan Meyer, Cam Barker, Derek Dorsett, Darren Helm, Kris Russel's paths.

Undrafted and Draft Eligible Players

Emerson Etem - Forward - RW

It was obvious he had talent at the beginning of the season. He was a very fast player who had a knack for scoring, but like all players his game still had some holes. I thought over the course of the season he improved a ton. IT took him 30 games for him to learn to keep his head on a swivel. It also took him 85% of the season before he started consistently finishing his checks.

He started the season as a passive player, but he is now more willing to do what it takes to dig out the puck. He was never afraid of getting hit hard to finish off a pass in his own end. He is extremely aggressive when driving to the net, and uses his size very effectively. He has a long reach that has helped score a bunch of goals with loose pucks in the slot. His wrist shot while not the fastest is deadly accurate, he just doesn't miss the net.

You will rarely see him dangle past guys, he always tries to beat his defender with speed. One offensive weakness in his game is his one-on-one attempts where he's not accustomed to moving laterally and stickhandling to get the defender off his "center balance point" and then using his speed to blow past him. The "darren helm" type ability is in him, Emerson is just way more comfortable with the speed game, and doesn't like turning the puck over, therefore always tries to beat the defender wide.

I think another season in the whl will help bring this ability out, however I think he is pretty close to being NHL ready. I dont expect it will take him long to reach the nhl level. From what I understand he likes to study his game tapes and is a student of the game.

He is a rare player who never seems to make a gaffe with good scoring opportunities. He always positions himself in such a way that if the puck comes to him he can get a good shot off. His offensive instincts are very high. However sometimes their are games where their puck doesn't come his way, and he is not as noticeable.

IMO its no question that he will be an NHL player. His size, speed, strength at 17 are way above average at the WHL level, and I think the transition for him will be fairly smooth. I think he will turn into an NHL high scoring 2nd line winger.

Tyler Bunz - Goaltender

Not a goalie expert. But here is my take. I liked him from day 1.

I think there was a definite improvement of his ability in the second half of the season, as his confidence and consistency took big leaps forward. Two things that I like about Bunz game is that he has a high hockey IQ, has an above average lateral ability and positioning in goal. His reflexes IMO are above average but it took him some time to get used to the speed of the game, and develop an "experience database" on how to play different shots. I remember thinking during his 16 year old year he had amazing reflexes.

He is also a goalie that likes to help out defensman by playing the puck, something that unfortunately earned him the misplay of the week on sportsnet last week.

His rebound control was a concern in the early-middle parts of the season. He seems to have a better handle on that now, it may be something to watch for, but I think as he got more comfortable with the WHL speed his rebound control improved. He seems to play with a confident attitude. He wont get shaky hands when the game is on the line, or after a bad goal.

If he isn't taken in the NHL draft in June I'd recommend(lol @ armchair gm recommendations ) on giving him a camp invite. I haven't seen the other goalies and He may not be as polished as the other goalies going into the draft, but I think his potential factor is extremely high. I'm not exactly sure on his potential ceiling but I think at minimum he will be an AHL starter caliber goalie. I think he has the potential to be just as good as Matt Keetley was for the Tigers, perhaps better.


Wacey Hamilton - Center

Hamilton is a feisty dirty shirt type of player, fairly aggressive for a smaller frame.

He will go into all areas of the rink, and sacrifice himself for shot blocking. He has top quality whl speed. His size may be a bit of an issue, he doesn't get thrown around but he will have to get a lot stronger if he wants to make it to the NHL.

I think if he keeps going and works his butt off he may have an outside shot at cracking the nhl (fast grinder with scoring potential type). But more than likely I think he will turn into a 1st,2nd line AHL player."

Zdenek Okal - Forwad

As feisty as they come. His size is a big issue at 5'10 167 pounds, he gets pushed around fairly easy. I think we will see him go back and play in europe. I dont think he is quite good enough for the NHL.

Cole Grbavac - Forward

Cole will be 19 next year. He is definitely a late bloomer. When he came to the hat he didn't know if he wanted to continue playing hockey, and took some time off. When he finally did return he was much more motivated. Cole fits the power forward type role. He is very good at protecting the puck in the corners, and plays an aggressive game, heart and soul type player, always finishing his checks, and is a very hard worker. He started on the 4th line but in the playoffs was playing in a lot of situations.

I like his size and the way he uses his body to shield the puck. He seems to generate opportunities when he is on the ice, but his point production has been very low. He is not afraid to drop his gloves and fight. I believe he has the potential to play a 3rd/4th line responsible grinder type role at the ahl level.

I dont know why but there is something in him that intrigues my interest a little. Call me crazy but I do see a sliver of potential of him making a 4th line nhl type roll as a defensively reliable grinder, although I dont see how he would overcome people on the depth charts. I'd be interested to see him earn a rookie tourney invite as a filler just to see how he does, and see if its just his above average whl strength that has peaked my interest.

Joey Frazer - Forward

I hated his game during the early part of the season, but he turned that around and became a consistent hard worker. His size is a definite concern at 5'7 165lbs. He possesses good speed, acceleration, his turning skills need to improve to become a more greasy water-bug type player.

I think he would have a hard time at the next level as he is not as greasy as some of the other small guys, but he is starting to develop that attribute. I'm not ready to rule him out completely, but at this point I only see AHL/echl interest in him. He's gonna need to take on a much bigger role in his game next year if he wants to play pro hockey.

Bretton Cameron - Forward

A heart and soul type players. He will take on anyone to defend his teammates in a fight. He constantly makes good attempts to block shots. HE does all the little things right, and is a team player. His skating is a concern, as his speed is below average. He has a hard wrist shot but sometimes doesn't get it off very quick. He looks like a heavier set type player on the ice, however he only weighs 180 lbs. I think his potential is more of a 2nd/3rd/4th line type grinder role in the ahl. Although you can never rule out a player with a work ethic like his, especially one who has scored 40 goals in the whl.

Jace Coyle - Defense

He is (whl)average size for a defenceman 6 feet 190 lbs, but looks a little small on the ice. His best talent is his speed/stamina. He likes to skate the puck out of his zone, and is not afraid at jumping into the rush. He could use an improvement on his passing skills. If its not a short pass he has trouble consistently making tape to tape passes. He is not that physical, but when angered he will finish his checks. As for his potential I see him as an ahl 2nd/3rd D-line - 2nd line PP man.

Edit July 13th 2010: With him signing an NHL contract I Have thought a lot about his future potential. I still see him as being more of an AHL defender, although with his speed/skating and willingness to jump in the rush perhaps he has the potential to make the nhl. HE still needs a lot of improvement to make it, and he needs to improve his passing skills tenfold.

Edit: August 17th: His skating ability is head and shoulders above most whl defensman. IF he can improve his decision making his game could be described as Duncan Keith like. Coyle has similar potential in him but to a lesser degree, his game still needs quite a bit of work to reach that level.

Mathew Konan - Defense

A big tall, lanky stay at home defenceman, with small hints of offensive skill. He needs to put more muscle on to fill out his frame. He has a long reach and has decent top speed. I expected a little more out of him in his 18 year old season. He has a tendency to forget about the guy looming 5 feet away from him, and sometimes gets beat not coming to the front of the net fast enough.

He has an aggressive side and likes to smash forwards into the boards. He sometimes plays really well, but sometimes plays lazy and forgetful. He has two things going for him with his speed and size, and I think that will garner interest from some team, enough to put him in their system and see what he does with it. I'm a little uncertain as to what kind of future he will have. If he improves on sticking with his man and puts on some muscle he may have 3rd pairing nhl potential, but I see him as more of a 2nd/3rd pairing guy in the AHL.


Mark Isherwood - Defense

Cannon for a shot. This year he played on the top line, and against the other teams top lines. He was more of an offensive defenseman, but this year converted to more of a 2 way player. Two things really hold him back from being a potential nhl player. His foot speed and his decision making. He gets beat outside quite often and will make very poor decisions from time to time. In the past I have seen a feisty side to him and he will do some trash talking. I believe his potential stands as a 3rd line Dman / 1st line PP guy in the ahl.

Taylor Gal - Forward

Taylor had an amazing first half of the season, his point production dropped off in the second half of the season. He showed a lot of poise with the puck. I wouldn't describe him as either aggressive nor passive, but patient. Next year he will be a 20 year old. As for his max potential I see him as a 3rd line AHL checker type role.

Matt MacKay - Forward

Not really sure what to say about MacKay. I dont really remember keeping an eye on him that often. He attended Minnesota's rookie camp prior to this season. HE put up very respectable numbers as a tiger. He was used more often on the third line. Throughout the season he seemed to consistently earn points, and that's a good trait. He went from 9 points and a -28 rating with moose jaw To 52 points and a +16 rating with the Tigers.
Edit: May 18th
He does have some offensive skill, but sometimes I think he has confidence issues. I would describe him as as player that hasn't completely come out of his shell.

Scott McKay - Defense

5'11 190lbs Only dressed for 47 games this year, was in and out of the lineup, However he managed to muscle into the 6th d-man role in the playoffs. I think he is a player with a bright future for the Tigers. He is draft eligible this year, but I dont see any NHL teams taking him, simply because he didn't play enough.

I really like his hockey smarts, and overall game. I think he is poised to have a big year next year. Any future predictions on him are just way too early yet, because he didn't play enough.

Drafted Players

Linden Vey - Center

He was only a 4th round pick after going from 17 points to 72. Darren Helm had similar numbers however he was a year older.

When I think of Vey I think of a very good puck protector in the corners, a guy who posses above average skills in everything, and a player who has a higher hockey IQ than average. Vey is very good at handling 2on2, 3on2, 3on3 rushes. He threads the puck through sticks and skates and suddenly makes a 3on3 into a 2on1. This year he has also worked a ton on his defensive game. He seemed to make it a priority on being the first forward back into the zone. The only thing I dont like about his game is that he never finishes his checks

For his NHL potential I think he will need time to get stronger. I'd say he is a slight notch below former Tigers Clarke MaCarthur's offensive potential, but is more defensively reliable. I think Vey will be an NHLer one day. I see him as a third line scorer/checker type guy, possibly second line after 2-5 years in the nhl.

Tristan King - Forward

To be honest I was expecting much more out of him this season. He has shown he has a pretty good smooth stick-handling ability, however stick-handling right in the defensman feet is a tactic that may work in bantam but not at the whl level.

He looks like he has fairly good size, however he only uses it when he has the puck in the corner. TO me he has shown a lazy type attitude on the ice, and that's why he wasn't exactly a fan favorite. He always reaches instead of going in for a bodycheck. He needs to enter the enemies personal space and he has a hard time doing that. I thought the Tigers last game In Medicine Hat was his best game all year, if he can play like that more often he has a shot at the nhl.

I really like his wrist shot, it is very fast and he gets it off pretty quick, he needs to use it way more often.

AS for his potential this one may burn me. I see him having a hard time passing guys on the depth chart once he reaches the AHL. A 3rd line scorer on the first PP unit in the AHL.

Thomas Kundratek - Defense

He is a very good puck mover in his own end. He has a very hard shot from the point, but doesn't score a lot of goals. He likes to keep a very tight gap, and he has an above average speed, and agility to be able to play that way. He is a solid 2 way player.

He style of play would could be described as the skating/puck mobility of a European with a western hockey league flair to his game. He will look for an opportunity to lay hard open hits almost anywhere. This year he developed a very good ability at taking an incoming hit and keeping the puck. He has also improved/recognized not to get caught flat footed by keeping too tight a gap, as he was last season.

His potential I think most likely when he hits his prime he will be more of a 4th/5th defensman in the NHL, or 1st line AHL Defensman.

I may add small bits and pieces over the next couple hours/days.

Edit: May 18th

Tanner Sohn
Forgot about him Sohn was an unexpected surprise to camp I guess. I believe he was dropped from Saskatoon's list and picked up by the Tigers. Sohn only dressed for 29 games with the Tigers, used at the beginning of the year and rarely in injury situations.

Sohn is a very aggressive player, and for the few games he played he started becoming a bit of a home town favorite for his willingness to drop the mitts, and lay out some aggressive bodychecks. Any rating on his potential is too early, he only played 3 games in the second half of the season.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Early Sunday

Working on an Undrafted Tigers NHL potential sort of dealio, have about 8 players done just gotta edit and add a few more.

Tyler Ennis
Its nice to see Tyler Ennis get some playoff time. He made a very nice assist after Milan Lucic coughed up the puck on the boards. It gave buffalo a 3-2 lead at the time, Buffalo ended up losing 5-3.

Kelowna Rockets
CBC did a little piece about the Kelowna Rockets nhl players. Its ridiculous at how many nhl defensman they have produced in the last few seasons. Tyler Myers, Luke Schenn, Josh Georges, Duncan Keith, Alexander Edler, Shea Weber, scott hannan, Sheldon Souray.

That kind of talent is just sick, they have to be applauded at such incredible finds. They certainly have an eye for defensive talent. Most of those players are relatively recent whl grads with the exception of Souray, and Hannan.

Vancouver Newspaper
If your still interested in the current whl playoffs here is an article that compares this years Tri-City Americans to the 2007 Medicine Hat Tigers.

Wacey Hamilton
Article title sums it up, they talk about Hamilton near the middle of the page.

Calgary vs Brandon
Tri-City vs Vancouver
Both series are split at 1-1

Friday, April 16, 2010

I wonder if the Orange Man can do this?

For an overview of Next season view the post below or click here

Monday, April 12, 2010

Overview of Next Season

Players Not coming back 100%
Bretton Cameron
Thomas Kundratek
Mark Isherwood

These guys all graduate and are too old for the whl.

Players Unlikely to Return
Tristan King
Zdenek Okal

Tristan King has a contract with Dallas. It is unlikely for 20 year old's with a contract to come back. I think Dallas will want him in their system for next year. Although there is an outside chance of him being sent back if their system is crowded.

Zdenek Okal would be a 2-spotter as a 20 year old euro. The competition for overage spots will be being extremely high. I think we will see Okal move on to other things.

Players with an outside chance at leaving
Emerson Etem
Wacey Hamilton

It is Emerson Etem's draft year. It is likely that he will go the 6-20 range in the nhl draft. He has shown an ability to score on a fairly consistent basis. He is fast enough for the next level, and he is stronger than most players in the WHL at 17. He would have to stick in the NHL and could not be sent down. If he can score goals at the next level like he did here, A struggling NHL team may decide to keep him.

Wacey Hamilton - You might wonder why I put him here. I think he will receive a handful of training camp invites. I think he will be back for another season however their is a chance of him getting signed in the offseason/preseason. If an NHL team is hurting on AHL depth, they might consider keeping him.

Players Eligible to Come Back
Cole Grbavac *19*
Linden Vey *19*
Reid Petryk *17*
Curtis Valk *17*
Dylan Bredo *17*
Kale Kessey *18*
Dylan Busenius *17*
Scott Mackay *18*
Mathew Konan *19*
Tanner Sohn *19*
Tyler Bunz *18*
Devan Dubyk *19*

20 Year Old Competition Spots
Joey Frazer
Taylor Gal
Matt Mackay
Wacey Hamilton
Jace Coyle
Thomas Carr

Obviously only 3 of these players will be kept. Their will be an abundance of overage players in the league next season, getting value for them all will be difficult. I would see where their players are at next season, what kind of depth the team has next year, and see what kind of offers are on the table.

If I were to guess at this point I would say Coyle, and Hamilton. With a competition for the last spot, Carr Might have an inside edge.

New Talent Edit: Wednesday
Their are rumors that Tyler Pitlick a potential first round NHL draft choice will be leaving his NCAA school. The Medicine Hat Tigers hold his rights.

Here is a list of last years 15yr, 16yr old's invited to camp for this year.
Ages are of this season. Some of these players might have been dropped from the Tigers Protected List..

Ty Clay 16 yr
Mitchell Deacon16 yr
Todd Fiddler 16 yr
Boston Leir 16 yr
Colin Mospanchuck 16 yr
Trent Ouellete 16 yr
Curtis Valk 16 yr
Nicholas Anderson 15 yr*
Connor Garden 15 yr*
Jayden Hart 15 yr*
Dawson MacAuley 15 yr*
Riley Sheen 15 yr*
Hunter Shinkaruk 15 yr*
Dylan Business 16 yr
Sean Collins 16 yr
Nick Eliason 16 yr
Devon McMullen 16 yr
Jesse Ursic 16 yr
Kyle Becker 15 yr old*
Kamil Przepioka 16yr

Sam Dezman
Austin Bourhis
Mason logan

I dont think it will be a complete rebuilding year. The Tigers have a system of replacing a third of their team every year, and they will be competitive. The guys that stay know how to win. They have an exceptional goaltender, and will posses two talented lines that can score, with a handful of young guys looking to make their mark.

The Tigers will have quite a few 17 year old's( possibility of 8+), in comparison they only have 3-18 year olds. These numbers will fore surely change but they point out the Tigers will have a young team.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oh - So Close

The Calgary Hitmen defeated the Tigers 3-2 in Double Overtime.
Calgary wins the Series 4-2.

Very tough way to end the season. The guys battled hard but unfortunately two players who rarely make mistakes gave up the puck in bad spots, and the Hitmen's Kris Foucault made them pay for it.

Had a feeling that the Tigers were going to win, but the last bounce didn't go their way. I thought the Tigers adapted really well in the series, and played with what they had and gave it their all. Their was a bunch of nervous hands especially in the first period, but they kept battling and came very close to forcing a game 7. Tyler Bunz played pretty incredible. He made some unreal saves.

Despite shooting themselves in the foot, I was proud of the Tigers efforts. I would consider this season as a successful season with a slight bittersweet ending.
I believe earlier in the year I thought a successful season would be getting into the second or third round as their were 3 Elite teams in the Eastern Conference this year.

The Tigers work ethic and desire to succeed almost won them a series that they were outmatched in. The Hitmen have quite a few bumps and bruises from this series, but it was no easy task for them to win a series in the Tiger's building. Good luck to them in the next round.

Graduating 20's
Mark Isherwood
Bretton Cameron
Thomas Kundratek

I think all 3 of those players have potential to play at the next level. Kundratek is the only one with a contract. I remember thinking if Bretton Cameron could put up .75 points per game this year, that would be a good season. He exceeded that and put up 40 goals to boot. Isherwood went to Bostons' Preseason camp this year, and there may be another team or two interested in his shot, and offensive ability. Kundratek really refined his game here, and despite his wishes to play pro, I think it will benefit him in the future.

Good Luck to all 3 players in the future! You served Medicine Hat Well. Also good luck to the 19's that will unfortunately be the victims of the numbers game.

This week is my exam week for information technology class(last year woo!), but Over the next couple weeks or so I plan to do a couple interesting posts.

Some sort of season in review
Thoughts for next season
Tiger NHL prospect report
The WHL bantam draft review at the end of this month.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tigers Defeat Hitmen 5-4 || Calgary Leads Series 3-2

Tigers aren't going down without a fight.

What an intense game. I was out of town but listened to the game in my car radio. I kept turning the radio off, then back on, the suspense was killing me.

From the sounds of things it was a very close game, with Calgary getting some fortunate goals early, the the Tigers clawing their way back into the game, then playing a strong third period to take a 2 goal lead.

Some Key highlights
Zdenik Okal was stopped by Martin Jones on a Penalty Shot opportunity.

Mathew Konan in an attempt to back-check slid into the net with the puck under him.
The Tigers took 7 penalties, and managed to kill 6 off them off.

Kris Foucault hit a post and it rebounded right to Matt McKenzie who burried a slapper into the back of the net.

The Hitmen scored 2 goals 21 seconds apart to take an early 3-1 lead

Matt Mackay scored 2 goals for the Tigers tonight. One on a tip through Jones' 5 hole, the other a shot in the slot.

Wacey Hamilton scored a goal when he whacked a rebound on net. His skates were slanted sideways to stop as he came in on Jones looking for another rebound, and the puck bounced in off his skate. Not sure if he knew where the puck was but since there was no kicking motion the goal counted.

Thomas Car pinched in from the point knowing that a quick turnover would result in a Hitmen odd man rush with the Tigers up a goal. He walked in all alone and beat Jones with a hard wrist shot stick side.

Thomas Kundratek nailed Misha Fisenko with a very hard body check near the end of the game that knocked his helmet flying.

The Hitmen scored to come within a goal, and then the Tigers Bretton Cameron took a penalty late after he gave a little cross-check to Gryffen Nyren as he shot a puck on net that had just been blown offside.

-Mh News article:

Game 6 goes Sunday at the Arena. Lets get that Jooooooooonesssssss! chant going early and often.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hitmen defeat Tigers 4-1 || Calgary leads Series 3-1

Well I thought the Tigers gave it everything they had tonight. They got a couple fortunate calls by the refs early only to have everything turned against them later in the game.

Even though the Tigers lost I was proud of their efforts. The Tigers elevated their game and I thought they played better than the previous night. When the score was 1-1 they had a few chances to take the lead but Jones made some nice saves.

The Tigers played almost the first half of the second period short-handed, and managed to kill of 3 Hitmen power-plays including a lengthy 5 on 3.

Unfortunately lady luck wasn't on the Tigers side as Sylvester would pot his 6th of the playoffs a few minutes after.(Is it just me or does every team have a Sylvester? lol).

The Tigers muscled and hustled but just couldn't blow the house down. Now the Tigers will have to come back from being down 3-1 like the Hitmen did in their first series. The Hitmen have a very good hockey club, hopefully in Game 5 the Tigers can work like they did tonight, and bring out a good fight.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tigers Defeat Hitmen 4-3 OT || Calgary Lead series 2-1

Don't have any time to write a recap tonight, so here is just a couple things.

Well Tonight's game was extremely entertaining to say the least. Tigers Scoring the tieing goal with 9 minutes left only to see Calgary score the goal ahead goal with 5 minutes remaining, then the Tigers re-tie the game 50 seconds later was amazing to watch. Oh-yeah then the house coming down in Overtime, reminded me of the Tigers vs Red Deer series years ago, where the Tigers pushed the Rebels to 7 games back when they had Cam Ward in net.

The Tigers had trouble getting anything going offensively, all it took was a fluke shot on net from Mark Isherwood, which bounced off a couple Hitmen players and into the net to get the Tigers going. After that suddenly the Tigers started to get some sustained good chances for the first time in the whole series.

Both goalies you cold tell were nervous in overtime. They were making saves like the puck was an egg and they were scared to drop it.

When the Hitmen scored to go up 3-2 with 5 minutes left in the game. I knew most of the people in the arena including me thought well that was the series right there. The Tigers managed to hang on and get some good bounces, and It set up for one helluva finish.

To be honest I'm not sure how that overtime winner went in. Kundratek shot it from center, it was tipped by someone, Jones rolled over, the next thing I knew I couldn't hear anything and was getting whacked by orange towels....Couldn't have asked for a better ending to that game.

The hitmen absolutely just dominate on their powerplay. Their defensman walk the blueline drag two tigers over for shot blocking, then sends a pass over to kozun or broda, who then has a chance to shoot in the slot or pass it over to the other for a one-timer. Its real tough on the goalie.

Isherwood scored on a floater that was tipped. Linden Vey scored on the PP off a rebound shot, Emerson Etem scored his first goal on a small tip-in right in front of Martin Jones that crawled across the line. Then he would score his second goal in overtime, also tipped......3 Tipped goals.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hitmen Defeat Tigers 4-0 || Hitmen lead Series 2-0

I wasn't able to watch the game or listen to it as I was attending a family Easter function.

Well Martin Jones keeps his undefeated record against the Tigers intact. I believe he is now 12-0 against the Tigers.

From what I read the Tigers played a very good first period, but were unable to generate many offensive chances. The Tigers will return home in a similar situation down 2-0 and wondering what hit them.

Games 3 and 4 go Tuesday, and Wednesday Night. For whatever reason the Tigers play a different game on Home Ice, so hopefully they can generate some scoring, and feed off the crowd.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hitmen Defeat Tigers 5-2

I was able to watch this game on Shaw TV.

I was amazed at the tigers start. They came out hard and controlled the play for the first 4 minutes. The Hitmen however weathered the storm, and then I thought the Tigers play slowly started to decline. They stopped moving their feet, played down a level, and then the Hitmen broke out in a big way near the end of the first period, as they scored 3 goals within 3 and a half minutes.

The second goal Bunz maybe should of had(weak shot but tipped through the five-hole), but the Hitmen were creating those chances by beating their man to the front of the net, and creating holes in their collapsing box by placing men just outside the slot within good scoring range.

The Hitmen are really good at finding offense, they are constantly finding the open man, or cycling and keeping control of the puck. The Tigers didn't help themselves either with taking 2 penalties during the Hitmen's late period surge.

I thought the Tigers did a poor job at staying with their man in their own end, including forwards. They were constantly a half step behind and the Hitmen got a ton of quality scoring chances. The Hitmen were able to limit the Tigers to just 17 shots on net

I think this extra day break between games is a good thing for the Tigers as they will be able to watch some video, and try to find some answers. One positive the Tigers can take out is that the Tigers did manage a slight comeback from being down 4-0, With a couple quick goals from Coyle, and King, but they need to play a much better consistent game if they want to beat Calgary.