Jekyll and Hyde
Which Tiger team showed up tonight?.....Well both
Unfortunately the team that doesn't like to skate or hit somehow played most of the game.
The Tigers played hockey for about 10 minutes tonight. 2 In the first period and 8 in the third period. A lack of consistent play seems to be the theme early in the season.
The second period was the worst period of hockey the Tigers have played in that rink in the last 8 years....Wish I was kidding.
Last 8 Minutes
The fans that left early completely missed the best part of the game.
The Tigers turned it around a complete 180. Down 4-1 Tyler Pitlick swatted in a Jace Coyle rebound then a minute later Vahe Zakaryan made an incredible move scooping up the puck and doing a wrap around to beat Cougars netminder James Priestner (one of the quickest wraparounds I've ever seen, Tyler Ennis like) To make it a 4-3 game. The Tigers continued to hound the zone.
Jace Coyle lobbed a shot on net and it rang off the post.
The arena was rocking with only 1/2 the fans left in the building.
Unfortunately all was for naught as the Cougars Charles Inglis managed to score on an empty net breakaway to seal the deal 5-3.
Gotta give Kudos to Cole Grbavac, Wacey Hamilton, and Sam Dezman. They all showed tons of heart during a very tough stretch of gameplay. Grbavac with 2 fights, and physical play. Dezman with a fight and physical play. Hamilton was moving his feet and trying to get something started.
Can anyone confirm if Dezman was back on the ice after the fight? I cant remember if I saw him or not.
Devan Dubyk just didn't have it tonight. He looked slow reacting to the puck, and was juggling rebounds all night.
Ryan Harrison had a few real good shifts after Tigers forwards couldn't get open and he had to carry the puck. He did make one bad giveaway that Dubyk stopped.
Sebastien Owuya is reaching for the puck too much, he needs to be more physical. Jace Coyle I thought played an up and down game. Wasn't moving his legs and was getting outworked for the puck. But made a couple nice rushes up the ice.
Emerson Etem was working harder on the ice than last weekend.
So many passes that didn't connect. The Tigers gotta find a way to break out of their zone when the opponent is using an aggressive forecheck. I thought the forwards were cheating a lot breaking out of the zone to early. They played too high up the boards and nobody was crossing the middle looking for a breakout pass.
A couple of the defenceman seem to be just throwing the puck up the boards to uncontested areas
Their goalie James Priestner is really vocal in net. He was Yelling how much time was left on the powerplay, and when a Tigers forward was left unprotected in the slot. Its not often you can hear a player from where I sit but then again you could hear a pin drop for parts of the game tonight.
Cougars have a really big team and they showed tonight they can skate pretty well, when they work hard. They displayed a ton of confidence when the Tigers weren't skating.
I was impressed by the offensive ability of defensman #28 Martin Marincin. He has a big frame and a very long reach. He has a nice offensive flair to his game being able rush up ice on the powerplay and smoothly skate past opponents with solid puck control. Turns out he is Oilers property ( the 46th selection) I like that pick for them.
I can see why Brett Connolly was a first round pick. He looks real solid, will go into dirty areas and has a laser of a shot.
Spencer Asuchak, 6'4 215lbs He is a huge presence in front of the net. He scored 2 goals tonight and looked pretty good.
Tyler Pitlick hammered Caleb Belter along the boards and he left the ice right away. Looked like a shoulder injury. Cougar players started keying on Pitlick after that but he rose to the occasion and played very well during the last stages of the game.
Jesse Forsberg played a solid game. He laid a lickin' getting into a fight with Tigers Cole Grbavac after a high tempo'd missed check. Forsberg seems to make good first pass and seems to have a high Hockey IQ.
I wish PG came to town more often. They have some players I want to watch again and get a better understanding of their game.