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.
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.
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.
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.
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.