The Tigers played a very high tempo first period, probably their best game at home so far.
The Tigers took it to Kootenay for the first period, they fired a lot of high quality shots on net and penned Kootenay in thier zone for the first couple minutes. Patrik Parkonen made a good decision to jump into the rush and fired a quick snapshot that startled Kootenay's goaltender Nathan Lieuwen on a 4 on 2.
The Tigers added to thier lead when Emerson Etem scored on the powerplay.
I thought after that the game slowly turned momentum into Kootenay's favor. Once the Ice settled down they started getting thier 1-2-2 forecheck going and made it a lot tougher for the tigers to create chances. The Tigers still got a chance here and their but it was more spread out and isolated.
Jaydyen Hart came to the Defense of a teammate and fought 17 year old Kootenay defenseman Jeff Hubic, both of them were going all out offense on the fight. I'll post the fight link when the video comes available. I'd give the decision to Hubic but I liked Jaydens courage and willingness to stand up.
I thought the instigator that the Refs added to Jayden minutes was a little iffy call. Yes Hart fought after a big hit(which in the rule book is a penalty, but the two players talked for a bit and I'm pretty sure the Kootenay Ice player dropped his gloves first. Last year we saw quite a few occurances where situations such as this warranted no instigator.
Anyway despite Kootenay Defenceman Joey Leach scoring a dribbler that barely made it over the line I thought the fight was a good decision as Kootenay was starting to throw thier weight around at the time, and the Tigers had a 2 goal lead at that point.
Tonight I liked Matt Konans game. His smart deicions to pinch in or rush up on the powerplay are perfect examples on how to create more offense from the backend, without sacrificing defense. He makes a quick pinch then gets back to the point. Good Work keep doing that! I like seeing a player add another dimension to his game.
I still see potential in Konan for the pro's but he is too passive on 1 on 1 defensive plays. Example their was a play tonight in the third period where he could have rode a player into the boards, but instead he partially missed a pokecheck and the Ice player got a low quality shot on net and thier was a faceoff in the Tigers zone...Little things like that
I thought Kale Kessy played a very strong first period. He was skating faster and it allowed him better angles into throwing hits.
Etem was good as always. He threw a couple big hits knocked 3 Ice palyers off thier feet.
I thought the Rookie Spenser Jensen made a couple little booboos during the game that just showed inexperience, and eagerness.
Cole Grbavac I feel like he has to start upping his physical game. When a player hits a slump a good way to get out of it is to up your physical game. Doesnt have to fight, just make solid hits and it usually revs a player up and increases thier confidence.
I liked Valk's work ethic.
Adam Rehak has slowed up a bit. Needs to get that aggressive game going again.
One thing that I noticed that Kootenay does very well is after the whistle blows during a play in thier own zone. Thier whole team, jumps right in front of thier goalie and boxes everyone out. Not only does it send a message to the opposition that you arne't touching the goalie. But it also creates a 5 on 3 situation where if rough stuff breaks out your teammates are going to have your back.
Plus if the other teams defenceman jumps in, it means a faceoff outside your zone.
On another note thier were quite a few scouts in the stands tonight. I saw a couple whl scouts thier as well.
Overall a tough win. The TIgers could be fighting with Kootenay for playoff position, so tonights win goes a long way.
The TIgers have two tough tests on the weekend as they face Brandon on Friday and Kamloops on Saturday, both games at the arena.
Emerson etem is still tied for the lead in points. The Tigers are tied for first in the Eastern Conference!
Kellan Tochkin was out with a mild concussion. I hear he should be back this weekend.