Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Next Season

Not Returning 100%
Jace Coyle - Graduating
Thomas Carr - Graduating
Wacey Hamilton - Graduating
Linden Vey - Will play pro
Tyler Pitlick - Will play Pro

Uncertain - Not Likely
Sebastien Owuya - (Euro 20) Their may be room for a 20 year old euro in the Tiger lineup, but a few things would have to align for that to happen. Most likely the Tigers will draft 1 euro in the draft anyway. If he does come back to camp he will have to play like he did on the playoffs, otherwise he will be sent home.

Emerson Etem - He could very well play 9 games in the nhl before being sent back. He is good enough for the next level, but it's either NHL or WHL as he was drafted in the whl. I think he will be back, but not after Anaheim takes a good long and hard look at him. If he does come back he will probably also play for Team U.S.A at the World Juniors again.

Cole Grbavac - I could definitely see an NHL team signing him in the off-season. He had an amazing work ethic, and improved a TON during the season.
He would be an asset to any farm system in the ahl. I believe he has the possible potential to be a 3rd/4th line guy in the NHL. I really hope the team that signs him will give him one more year in the Hat to develop his offensive skills a little more, as if they pluck him into the AHL I think the offensive part of his game might take a lot longer to develop.

Kellan Tochkin - He will be a 20 next year. Whether he comes back or not will be decided by the depth of the Canucks Farm team. I don't think he is quite ready for the next level, So if he comes back I wont be surprised.

Vahe Zakaryan - Is he finished with Hockey? and do the Tigers still hold his rights?
Scott Ramsay - Went Home after A concussion. Were rumors that he was returning to school.
Sam Dezman - Concussion Likely not coming back.

Likely To Come back
Matt Konan - It's possible he gets signed in the off-season. I thought he was playing really well until he got injured mid-season and then didn't quite return to his former self. I believe he has another level he can reach and when he does reach it he will have an NHL team sign him next year.

Hunter Shinkaruk 17
Reid Petryk - 18
Curtis Valk - 18
Boston Leier - 18
Dylan bredo - 18
Kale Kessy - 19
Dylan Businius - 18
Scott Mackay - 19
Alex Theriau - 19
Patrik Parkkonen -18
Tyler Bunz - 19 NHL or WHL he will be back

20 Year Olds
Matt Konan - lock if not signed.
Scott Ramsay - unknown
Kellan Tochkin - could be back
Linden Vey - GONE
Cole Grbavac - Lock if not signed
Tyler Pitlick - GONE
Sam Dezman - Likely Gone
Deven Dubyk - Traded or Released
Sebastien Owuya - could be back

The Tigers could be buyers or sellers next year. Konan and Grbavac are locks if they don't get signed or get signed and return. After that you have Ramsay, owuya, and Tochkin, who all have chances to return depending on external circumstances. Unfortunatly for Dubyk it is a numbers game Bunz will be back and will provide Dawson Macauley(sp) a perfect learning environment to be a future starter.

Too early to tell, the Tigers wont have the same depth and they will have a bunch of new faces. Rough estimation including only prospects that were late cuts last year.

Grbavac Shinkaruk Etem
McKay Bredo xxxx
Leier Petryk Valk
xxx xxx Sheen
xxx xxx

Konan Theriau
Parkonen Businius
Becker xxxxx


The Tigers will have room for a good 10-11 new faces. But its not what you loose its what you keep. Its too hard to guess with any accuracy of where they will finish, but they will have the best goaltender, and the best pure sniper/skater on their team. The main questions will be about their depth and secondary scoring. More realistically I think were looking at a 6-7th place team, but there is potential to do better.

Its possible a coach/GM of the year trophy could be handed out if the Tigers were to catch fire next year, considering the new faces that will be in their lineup.

Ice Sweep the Tigers in 4

Kootenay Defeats the Tigers 7-2. Take the Series in 4 games.
The Tigers season is Over :(

Well I don't think any Tiger Fans expected that, even after Kootenay swept the Blades. Kootenay has a very smart and skilled hockey team and I wish them the best in the next round. Hopefully they can grab a few more fans in their seats for the WHL Final. They have a very good hockey team.

Series Thoughts
Kootenay was very good at throwing body-checks. I haven't seen a team finish every single hit with minimum penalties the way Kootenay did in this series. It slowed the Tigers right down.

I thought Kootenay also excelled at creating small gaps in the offensive zone and exposed the Tigers below average defensive awareness in their own end. Every-time 2 Tigers were on one Kootenay Ice player the puck ended up in the back of the Tigers net.

I thought after the second game the Tigers confidence dropped and they weren't the same team as they were in the first two rounds.

Season Thoughts
It was a roller coaster ride, so many ups and downs this year, Big win streaks, losing streaks, long-term injuries. Landing Tyler Pitlick, yet losing him to injury. Losing head coach and GM Willie Desjardins to the pro's.

Getting both Wacey Hamilton and Jace Coyle back. Losing 2 players including a big trade acquisition to year ending concussions, along with having Sam Dezman return from a 2-3 year concussion injury yet losing him mid-season to a concussion. I think 5-6 Tigers were out at one point with concussion injuries with 2 weeks left in the season.

I believe the Tigers only played 2 games all year with a completely healthy lineup. So many factors worked against them, yet they made it to the Final 4. They should be proud of all that they accomplished.

It always sucks go out after a team makes it deep into the palyoffs.

Graduating 20's
Good Luck to Jace Coyle, Wacey Hamilton, and Thomas Carr as they graduate from the WHL. Good Luck in your future endeavors!

Good Luck to the 19 year olds who will move on next year as well.

What's Next
Over the next week I will do an outlook for next season and go over players who are expected back/not returning.

The WHL Bantam Draft is on May 5th which is a week away.
A week after that I will put up my Arm-Chair GM NHL scouting report, something similar I did last year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ice Take a 3-0 Series Lead

.....With a 3-1 Victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers.

It was a very long game as their were two major Delays. A pane of glass came loose and they had to replace it, as well as Ice player Drew Czerwonka went head first into the boards after attempting to hit Tigers Sebastien Owuya from behind. On the replay it showed that Czerwonka upper thigh brushed into Sebastien Owuya's "behind" and it tripped him up.

Edit: Apparently Czerwonka is OK and he walked out of the hospital wanting to get back into the game.

The Ice so far have displayed a much smarter team and Kootenay Ice Goaltender Nathan Lieuwen is stopping the few chances that come his way.

Hopefully Cole Grbavac's return tomorow can provide a spark for the Tigers, as I'm sure many Tiger fans are hoping for at least one if not two more games at the Arena this year.

Grbavac Handed 2 Game Suspension

Two games under supplemental discipline versus Kootenay on April 22. So He will miss tonights game, as he already sat out game 2.

The hit Grbavac threw was definitly Illegal, even desipte the fact that it was retalitory to Hunter Shinkaruk getting levelled in a similar fasion.

This is the kind of thing the TIgers will have to fight through and not retaliate on. Kootenay wants the Tigers to get mad and retaliate. Keep calm and keep moving your feet, not your mouth.

If there's one common thing about this Tiger team its that just before they hit the ropes they seem to find a way to escape. Hopefully they can put out a good performance tonight! It is televised on Shaw, and the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat will also be showing the game.
Go Tigers Go!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kootenay Defeat Tigers 3-0

The Ice take a 2-0 Series Lead.

Well the Ice Dismantled the Tigers tonight, left right and center.

The refs put their whistles in their pockets for most of the game and it really frustrated the hell out of the Tigers. Their was a ton of interference being thrown by both teams.

The Tigers will have to go back to the drawing board and change their systems up. Having Cole Grbavac out of the lineup was a big blow as he was suspended 1 game for his hit on Steele Boomer.

In game 3 The Tigers will need to cut out all this retaliation stuff, and find away to generate more offense. Interestingly enough the Tigers were in this exact same position last year before winning 4 straight games to take the series.

Game 3 is in Cranbrook on Tuesday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kootenay Steals Game 1 5-4 OT

Another very entertaining hockey game. I was impressed by the amount of Ice fans in attendance tonight. I didn't like how Shaw TV had two camera's right in both goalies faces at the start of the game. It made both goalies uncomfortable.

Kootenay Came to play right off the bat, and didn't show much rust with their week and a half layoff. I thought it took the Tigers a period and a half of hockey before they got back into their playoff mode.

Despite being down 3-1 the Tigers managed to wrangle 2 short lived leads. A couple untimely penalties and a 5-3 gave the Ice a chances to tie the game late.

Kootenay had the much better start and ultimately had one more bounce go their way. The Tigers hit a few posts, and Emerson Etem, and Cole Grbavac had amazing chances in overtime to end it. The first 5 minutes of overtime was mostly in Kootenay's end yet it was WHL Star Cody Eakin who rifled a perfect shot over Bunz for the game winner.

I didn't like the reffing in tonight's game. I felt like their were a lot of opportunities for the refs to make calls, but they were spot choosing penalties, which leads to inconsistency and frustrates both teams. IMO the refs need to be smarter in their call selection to prevent embellishing.

Despite the loss I liked what I saw from the Tigers. Kootenay was on their heels for big parts of the game. The Tigers need to play a little bit smarter in their own end, and I think they have the capability of putting together a win streak.

Game Two Tomorrow Night!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tigers VS Kootenay Series on Shaw TV

All Games LIVE on SHAW
#1 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Friday, April 22 (7:30pm)
#2 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Saturday, April 23 (7:30pm)
#3 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Tuesday, April 26 (7:00pm)
#4 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Wednesday, April 27 (7:00pm)
#5 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Friday, April 29 (7:30pm)**
#6 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Sunday, May 1 (6:00pm)**
#7 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat’ Tuesday, May 3 (7:00pm)**
** - if necessary
Tyler Pitlick
I've been following Tyler Pitlick's twitter feed and apparently he will skate for the first time on Thursday. Since the Kootenay and Tigers series starts on Friday I'm thinking its doubtful that he is in the lineup for the first few games.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tigers Vs Kootenay

Road Record
Tigers: 22-9-3-2 .681 pct
Kootenay: 20-13-0-3 .597 pct

Home Record
Tigers: 24-9-1-2 ---.708 pct
Kootenay: 26-8-1-1 ---.750 pct

Last 20 Games (regular season)
Tigers: .750 pct
Kootenay: .700 pct

Team Save Percentage (Reg Season)
Tigers: .917
Kootenay: .896

Tigers defense +118. 2244 shots against
Kootenay defense +94 1992 shots against

Defensive Scoring
Tigers Defense scoring: 30 Goals 132 assists
Kootenay Defense Scoring: 48 goals 132 assists

20 Goal Scorers
Tigers: 5
Kootenay: 6

PPG Players
Tigers: 4
Kootenay: 5

Tigers: 21.1% (playoffs) 37.8%
Kootenay: 21.8% (playoffs) 16.7%

Tigers: 81.9 (playoffs) 76.3%
Kootenay: 79.3 (playoffs) 92%

Season Series
Tue Oct 26 Kootenay 3 Medicine Hat 2 Final
Sat Dec 04 Medicine Hat 3 Kootenay 2 Final OT
Tue Dec 28 Medicine Hat 3 Kootenay 6 Final
Wed Dec 29 Kootenay 2 Medicine Hat 3 Final
Fri Feb 18 Medicine Hat 1 Kootenay 4 Final
Tue Mar 15 Kootenay 4 Medicine Hat 1 Final

Goaltending & Defense
Advantage: Kootenay

Tyler Bunz and Nathan Lieuwan are the 2 hottest goaltenders in the league right now. Bunz .938 save percentage Lieuwan a .930 save percentage. Lieuwan and the Ice completely baffled the highest scoring team in the league(Saskatoon) and swept them in 4 games.

Kootenay's Defensive systems are incredibly hard to penetrate as they play an offensive zone trap that limits the speed of the opposition coming out of their own zone, which was a direct counter to the Tigers systems they used in the regulars season. Kootenay's shots against are among the lowest in the league. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers will be able to create room against a very smart and skilled Kootenay Team.

Kootenay also has a much higher ability of scoring from the point than any of the Tigers previous playoff opponents. They will probably do a better job at creating traffic in front of Tyler Bunz.


Kootenay's depth is pretty equal to that of the Tigers. Kootenay's overall defensive play from their forwards has been better compared to the Tigers during the regular season. Kootenay's goal scoring is pretty spread out.

From what I remember a lot of Kootenay's offense is developed off of smart play and offensive zone turnovers. Although this year their forwards are more capable of putting pucks in the net.

Series Thoughts
I think the Tigers "could" be hard pressed to create Offense. Kootenay Will be aiming to shut down Linden Vey and Emerson Etem. Kootenay's Depth will be able to score against any line that doesn't play a smart game. Kootenay's goaltender was streaky during the season but has been a brick wall during the playoffs.

I'm hoping Tyler Pitlick will be ready for game 1, as he would provide a new dynamic that will be hard to predict even for the most prepared team, as he has that power forward ability to fight through tight gaps with high speed. With his return along with the Inspired play of Cole Grbavac, the Tigers could have a solid 3 scoring lines.

Both teams will have a good week of rest. It will be interesting to see if both teams can carry over any momentum from the previous series. It could be a goaltenders duel.

Can't Wait Till Friday!
Go Tigers Go!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tigers Defeat Rebels 5-4 OT Wooo!

Tigers Take The Series 4 games to one!

It sounded like it was an even game in the first period, tied 1-1 after one.
In the second period the Rebels dominated the Tigers, potted 2 goals and took a 3-1 lead.

In the Third period the Tigers clawed their way back and Tied it all up at 4-4.
The Tigers would keep their momentum going in overtime and Kellan Tochkin would pot the Series Winning Goal on a bad angle mid-way through Overtime!

Man just listening on the Radio makes your heart beat twice as fast.

Series Thoughts
I thought the Rebels shot themselves in the foot for the first 2.5 games of this series. They were overaggressive and played goon hockey. The Tigers took advantage of this and took the first 3 games with the help of their excellent powerplay work, and goal-tending from Tyler Bunz.

The Rebels made some adjustments in the 4th game and despite losing their starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper, the rebels capitalized on a chance and Forced an extra game. In Game 5 the Tigers faced some adversity being down 4-1, and managed to claw their way back and Win in Overtime. Their is just no quit in this team. They have that uncanny ability to claw their way back in hockey games.

I thought If the Rebels played the way they did in games 4 and 5, It probably would have been a 6-7 game series. After game 3 the Rebels were a much better hockey team. The Rebels played an extremely tough physical game and the Tigers kept ticking and found a way to beat them.

Tyler Pitlick
It will be Interesting To see when Tyler Pitlick will be ready. According to his Twitter feed his walking cast is supposed to come off this weekend. It's still possible he may not be ready for the first 2 games.

Didn't DO any predictions for this series got some negative feedback from the first round so I didn't bother making any. But here are the results for the fan poll.

Tigers in 4-5--10 (20%)
Tigers in 6-7--28 (57%)
Rebels in 4-5--4 (8%)
Rebels in 6-7-- 7 (14%)

Next UP
Next Up The Tigers Will Face their Kryptonite the Kootenay Ice. The Tigers will have Home Ice Advantage in this series. kootenay's Coaches were in attendance for game 5 in Red Deer.

#1 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Friday, April 22 (7:30pm)
#2 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Saturday, April 23 (7:30pm)
#3 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Tuesday, April 26 (7:00pm)
#4 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Wednesday, April 27 (7:00pm)
#5 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat; Friday, April 29 (7:30pm)**
#6 - Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; Sunday, May 1 (6:00pm)**
#7 - Kootenay @ Medicine Hat’ Tuesday, May 3 (7:00pm)**

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rebels Defeat Tigers 1-0

Tigers Lead Series 3-1

A surprising note the Rebels gave their backup Dawson Guhle the start. Apparently starting goalie Darcy Kuemper has an ankle injury.

I thought tonight both teams showed their fatigue from the previous nights intense battle. The Tigers didn't have the same jump needed to press past the Rebels and create scoring chances. I noticed a couple Tigers players sounded like they have colds so that could have been a factor in their lower energy levels.

The Tigers created a very good chance right off the face-off and were rewarded with a power-play but failed to generate anything off it.

The rebels were very systematic when playing against the Vey, Etem, and Kessy line, and limited their scoring chances.

Both teams had their chances, the rebels hit one post, the Tigers hit two posts including Etem ringing a backhand off the crossbar with little time left on the clock.

The Tigers had a goal called off after a Rebel defender pushed a Tiger into his goalie and the Tigers scored on a rebound. The ref gave coincidental penalties to Coyle and Borejko.

The difference was the rebels managed to score on one of their chances. I thought the Tigers could have done a better job at getting more pucks on net. They didn't test Dawson Guhle all that much, however Guhle did make a incredible diving glove save on on Shinkaruk.

Both teams have 2 days of rest before continuing the Series Saturday night in Red Deer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tigers Defeat Rebels 3-1

Tigers take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Brief Thoughts
The Tigers showed a bit of nervous energy for the first 5 or so minutes, but then played a very high energy game, received some good goal-tending from Tyler Bunz, and got a couple timely goals.

In the first period I thought the Rebels looked like they were out to intimidate the Tigers. Shots after the whistle, extra oomph on their body checks, and shots to the back of the head. I thought the Rebels started adapting in the second period, they were more out to win the one-on-one battles in the trenches and not playing the "tough guy" card.

The refs tonight put their whistles away for parts of the game. I thought the Tigers got called on some very borderline calls, however were fortunate not to go down 5on3 on a couple occasions, so it kind of equals it out. I also thought the Refs let a lot of the rebel rough stuff go in the first period.

I was pleased with the Tigers physical presence. Rebels Petrovic, Elson, Hopkins were all hit pretty hard and took their time getting up after some body-checks. I hope the Tigers put that Owuya hit on the replay, that looked like a beauty, I think it was #10 Turner Elson looked shook-en up after the play).

Grbavac got into a wrestle-right with Turner Elson who jumped Grbavac after a nice hit. Thomas Carr and Alex Petrovic had a spirited bought at the end of the game. Both players looked like they took some damage.

I thought the Tigers defense did a very good job at slapping away loose pucks, and not giving the rebels very many high-quality chances. They put sticks in passing lanes and were making very smart decisions with the puck. They weren't giving the rebels any easy opportunities.

Game 4 Tomorrow. It's going to be a battle! Its do or die for the Rebels, and you can be sure they wont go without a fight.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Central Scouting Final Rankings

Two Tigers were listed in Central Scoutings Final Report. This is for North American Skaters only. There are separate lists for goalies, Euro skaters, and euro goalies.

101 109 Kessy, Kale Left Wing Medicine Hat WHL
153 194 Busenius, Dylan Defenseman Medicine Hat WHL

Note* Red Deer's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was listed first overall.

I've heard some talk about Kessy's value being a 5th-6th rounder. Busenius might be pegged as a border 7th rounder.

I think a strong playoff performance from Kale Kessy could bump his value up to a mid-to-late 4th round. I've read some scouts have yellow flags about his inconsistent play during the season. However I think that inconsistency was due to him holding back on his physical play to try and improve other areas of his game. Nonetheless his role at the next level will be to bring a physical presence.

Dylan Businius on the other hand holds a good deal of potential, right now he still looks raw at times. If he can develop that consistent first pass out of the zone his stock will rise.

Linden Vey was also named player of the week.
Willie Desjardins
The Dallas stars ended their season 9th overall in the western conference, missing the playoffs by 2 points. Today the Dallas Stars fired their Head Coach Marc Crawford. Willie Desjardins currently remains an associate coach. It will be interesting to see if Desjardins gets promoted.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tigers Take 2-0 Series Lead


Again the Tigers weathered a Red Deer Storm in the first period. They Took a 1-0 lead through the first period despite getting outshot 12-4. Apparently the Tigers first goal was offside according to the rebel broadcasters.

The Tigers then scored 3 goals in the second period, including 2 more power-play goals to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the third period. The Tigers would add one more in the third period and Tyler Bunz would get his first playoff shutout, for a 5-0 Final

The Rebels broadcaster were saying they felt that the Rebels looked like they lost their confidence, after trying so hard at the beginning yet finding themselves down a couple goals.

Special Teams have been dynamite for the Tigers in the first 2 games. You can bet the Rebels will be working on that heavily in their practices sessions.

Take some Advil with you to the rink on Tuesday and Wednesday because the Arena is going to be louder than a rock concert!

Game 3 is on Tuesday at the Arena!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tigers Stun Rebels 9-1

Honestly who expected a 9-1 Tiger Victory?

The Tigers take out a HUGE 9-1 Win against the rebels in their barn, and take a 1-0 Series Lead. It started with a shot by Boston Leier at center ice, which Beat Darcy Kuemper.

The rebels responded with an adrenaline rush, got into 5-3 penalty trouble and the Tigers made them pay twice on the power-play. The Rebels continued to get into penalty trouble and the Tigers kept finding ways to put the puck in the net. Darcy Kuemper was eventually pulled after the 5th goal, but returned for the third period where the Tigers only tested him 3 times.

I think the Tigers should almost treat this game like a loss. Expect the Rebels to play a much harder and more disciplined hockey game Saturday night.

The Rebels had a whole week off, and the week prior they swept an Edmonton Team. They weren't in playoff mode during their first game, and you can bet on Saturday they will be playing a desperate must win hockey game.

Just take the Tigers first round series as Evidence that 1 game is only 1 game. As Brandon took a 7-2 victory in their first game.

Tyler Bunz played in his first game back since game 1 against Brandon.

Game 2 Is Tomorrow Night in Red Deer!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tigers Vs Rebels

Road Record
Tigers: 22-9-3-2 .681 pct
Rebels: 22-9-3-2 .681 pct

Home Record
Tigers: 24-9-1-2 ---.708 pct
Rebels: 26-7-1-2 ---.764 pct

Last 20 Games (regular season)
Tigers: .750 pct
Rebel: .725 pct

Team Save Percentage
Tigers: .917
Rebels: .9195

Rebels defense +162 2100 shots against
Tigers defense +118. 2244 shots against

Defensive Scoring
Tigers Defense scoring: 30 Goals 132 assists
Rebels Defense Scoring: 35 goals 129 assists

20 Goal Scorers
Tigers: 5
Rebels: 5

PPG Players
Tigers: 4
Rebels: 3

Tigers: 21.1% (playoffs) 40.9%
Rebels: 22.2% (playoffs) 23.9%

Tigers: 81.9 (playoffs) 65.6%
Rebels: 85.5 (playoffs) 100%
Season Series
Fri Oct 01 Red Deer 1 Medicine Hat 2
Sat Oct 02 Medicine Hat 4 Red Deer 1 Final
Fri Jan 21 Red Deer 5 Medicine Hat 3 Final
Tue Feb 08 Medicine Hat 3 Red Deer 1 Final
Tue Mar 01 Medicine Hat 4 Red Deer 2 Final
Fri Mar 11 Red Deer 2 Medicine Hat 3 Final OT

All extremely close games. This series is a contender to go the distance.

Equal Both teams goal-tending is top notch. Tyler Bunz is close to being ready. Will it take him a game or two to shake off the rust? Or will they give the nod to Dubyk? In games past against Red Deer the Tigers goal-tending have been huge factors for their victories.

Gotta give the edge to Red Deer here. Their top 5 guys are very solid and physical. Their top 2 are whl elite and will probably be matched up against the Linden Vey and Emerson Etem line if paired together.

Equal: Tigers scored 3 goals less than the rebels. Tyler Pitlick being out doesn't help, but they have been getting offense from everyone lately. I think the Tigers will need their 3rd and 4th lines to continue to play incredible, otherwise defensive line matching for the rebels becomes a lot easier.

I thought In Games past the Tigers power-play has struggled against Red Deer's PK. Red Deer does an excellent job in their own zone on the PK. The Tigers will need key goals at key times, so hopefully their powerplay is up to the task.

Will playing an incredibly talented team like Brandon in the first round help the Tigers become more defensively reliable in round 2? Can Tyler Bunz or Devan Dubyk match their incredible regular season performances against Red Deer?

Can the Tigers shut-down Ryan-Nugent-Hopkins and the rebels top 2 lines? Will the Rebels physical play take a toll in a longer series? Can the Tigers get continued great efforts from their 3rd and 4th line players? Can the Tigers solve at times an unbeatable Darcy Kuemper?

In past games Rebel defenders have gotten frustrated and taken unnecessary penalties, Can the Tigers play a clean physical un-retaliatory game and take advantage of this?

On paper by the stats its pretty equal. The Biggest challenge for the Tigers will be to push through all the interference, physical play, and tight gaps, while not taking any unnecessary penalties.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tigers Take Out Brandon in 6

Another High scoring affair as the Tigers defeat Brandon 7-5
It's going to be a happy Bus Ride home.

Despite being outshot the Tigers out-chanced Brandon by a fair margin in the first period. The Tigers ended up building up a 5-1 lead and took a 5-2 lead into the third period, where they put it on cruise control.

Brandon lost captain Shayne Wiebe after blocking a shot during one of their penalty kills early in the second period.

Good Luck to the Brandon 20's in their future Endeavors.

The turning point in this series was in game 4, where the Tigers were down 4-1 in the third period, and managed to come back and tie up the series. They never looked back from that point on.

The Tigers will Face the Red Deer Rebels in the second Round. I understand It is likely that Tyler Bunz will be ready for game 1.

#1 - Medicine Hat @ Red Deer Fri. April 8 7:30pm
#2 - Medicine Hat @ Red Deer Sat. April 9 7:30pm
#3 - Red Deer @ Medicine Hat Tues. April 12 7:00pm
#4 - Red Deer @ Medicine Hat Wed. April 13 7:00pm
#5 - Medicine Hat @ Red Deer Sat. April 16 7:30pm**
#6 - Red Deer @ Medicine Hat Mon. April 18 7:00pm**
#7 - Medicine Hat @ Red Deer Wed. April 20 7:00pm**

The Rebels vs Tiger Series should literally be a coin flip. The Tigers will have 3 days off, while the rebels will have a full week off. The Tigers have had the upper edge during the regular season but every game has been extremely close.

Brandon Vs Tiger Predictions

Here were my predictions(If your interested, if not ignore them) for the Brandon vs Brandon Series. I predicted Tigers in 5(1 off) and included my thoughts on why before the series started.

Also 31% of voters in the poll correctly predicted the Tigers winning in 6 games.

Tigers in 4 (3%)
Tigers in 5 (23%)
Tigers in 6 (31%)
Tigers in 7 (10%)
Brandon in 4 (3%)
Brandon in 5 (7%)
Brandon in 6 (15%)
Brandon in 7 (3%)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tigers Defeat Brandon 9-5

The Arena Was Rockin' right from the Get Go. Brief Summary

First Period
The Tigers opened the game on fire. They dominated the first period and had Brandon running around for the first 14 minutes, outshooting them 14-8. Curtis Valk would bank in a rebound shot for the only goal of the period.

Second Period
In the second period Brandon made a comeback and took over the lead. Matt Mackay and Micheal Ferland would put soft shots through Dubyk's five-hole.

The Tigers would bounce back however and turned their game up another notch, as they scored 4 goals within 4 and a half minutes to take a commanding 5-2 lead.(The outburst was initiated when Brandon would shoot the puck out of play in their own zone and gave the Tigers a 5-3, I'm surprised Brandon didn't use their time-out sometime during this outburst)

Each team would score 1 more goal to make it a 6-3 game going into the third period.

Third Period
The Third was a lot like the second period. Brandon initiated a comeback attempt and the Tigers would score 2 more goals only 18 seconds apart. Each team would pot 1 goal apeice making the final score 9-5 Tigers.

An incredibly wild game. Very entertaining for the fans. I thought the Tigers played waaaay better compared to the first two hockey games. They made a number of adjustments to their systems from when we saw them last. They took a page out of Brandon's book and spread out their attack across the ice, and it created a shit-load of chances. Good job to the players/coaches for making that adjustment. Something i wished they would have done much earlier in the year.

The Tigers were also doing a much better job at blocking neutral zone passing lanes, creating more turn-overs. I am amazed at the progress of these 3rd and 4th line guys.

Both goaltenders were getting left out to dry on occasion. It was a very wide open game, with extremely quick transitioning. Both teams Defenceman looked gassed in the third period, more-so towards Brandon's side.

The score could have easily have been something like 12-6, or 14-6. It was a shootout. I noticed Brandon's Mark Stone was limping during the game.

Also some people might wonder why Brandon kept their starting goaltender in for the whole game.Well the game was never completely out of reach as their was only a 3-4 goal difference and Brandon's backup is injured, so they are way more likely to keep their starter in net unless its a complete blowout. If Brandon's regular backup was healthy, theirs no doubt we would have seen a goalie change at some point.

Brandon's Spencer Galbraith was a healthy scratch for the first 4 games but played tonight due to Brandon having 2 injuries to Ryley Miller and Brenden Walker.

I thought the Tigers must have watched some video on Brandon's power-play as their were doing a few things out their that halted Brandon's potent attack. Brandon made a couple adjustments later in the game and scored.

Edit: Saturday's Game Was indeed sold-out