Blades looked like the better team through 2 periods of play, but the Tigers finally snapped back into focus and played a very good third period of hockey. The Tigers defense were making good pinches and the forwards were skating with some oomf in thier game. They had a chance to win the game but couldnt capitalize.
Quite the chess match where Saskatoon was trying to Get Defenseman Dalton Thrower and Duncan Siemens out against the Etem/Shinkaruk line.
The refs for the most part let them play, but with 3 seconds left in the third period Matt Konan took a High-Sticking penalty which meant a 4 on 3 disadvantage to start overtime. One minute into overtime Josh Nicholls potted a wrister past Bunz from the slot area for the Game Winner.
Total shots were 45-24 for the blades. Despite the disparity on shots I thought Prime scoring chances were both teams were relatively equal. The Tigers Emerson Etem was stopped on a breakaway and Trevor Cox had an open net but missed again. Boston Leier had a prime chance in the slot but tripped himself up. THe team seems to be holding thier sticks a little too tight.
I liked what I saw in the third period. Its something to build on for tomorows game against Spokane. Jayden Hart, Riley Sheen, and Rhys Deino saw more ice-time than usual and they flourished with it.
After Tigers Defenseman James Bettauer knocked over blades goaltender Andrey Makarov, Dalton Thrower engaged Bettauer in a fight.
From what we've seen at the arena this year, it hasn't mattered who throws off the gloves first or if their is small talk before the fight. The instigator has still been called.
Anyway they dropped the gloves, circled each other and Thrower threw quite a few rabbit punches in which knocked Bettauer down to one knee. Bettauer would get back up and the refs jumped in lickity split as soon as bettauer went down to one knee.
What was unusual is the refs gave both players a double minor for roughing which negated the potential instigator, and gave the blades the powerplay. The blades didnt score however that double roughing was clearly a fight.
Around the WHL
Calgary has been exploding lately. They have been getting some really good goaltending. THe Tigers have played 2 more games than the Hitmen however The hitmen could actually catch the TIgers in the standings if they were to win those games. They have already overtaken Red Deer who has fallen off the map since Rebel Adam Kambeitz has been out with injury. Regina has also slowed down considerably from thier very hot start.
5 points seperates 1st to 6th. It was tight last year, but this year there is no room to move. 1 loss and you fall 2 places in the standings.
Saturday Night the Tigers take on Spokane a team that has also hasn't been at thier best lately. Spokane Got off to a white fire hot start, but has cooled off. Tomorow should be an intense battle of two teams trying to get back on a winning streak. The cheifs lost a 3-2 OT decision TO Calgary on Friday