Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tigers Defeat Broncos 5-0

Posting this after a few drinks.....probably shouldnt' but here goes...

Tyler Bunz with another shutout. Emerson Etem with a natural hat-trick including 2 short-handed goals.

What a treat to watch this kid play and do his thing. The opposition coaches have been line matching against him and he has 21 goals in 15 games. Its absolutely absurd that Etem has failed to get a goal in just one of the regular season games.....and in that game he managed 4 assists. Thank you Anaheim for sending him back to juniors, thier mistake.

I thought the Tigers controlled the play for the first two periods. Lots of good scoring chances, and Tyler Bunz stood his ground. After two periods the Tigers held a 3-0 lead but that was a bit generous as to how the broncos were playing.

The Broncos picked up thier play in the third period, they started hitting everything that moved. They looked like a completely different team, but fortunately for the TIgers the Broncos were a little too aggresive, and ended up taking some penalties, which the Tigers made them pay for, with 2 late powerplay goals.

After the first period I think the Tigers were told to keep thier gloves on. Different Broncos players were trying to instigate fights through much of the second and third periods but the Tigers kept thier gloves on, despite quite a few hostile scrums.

I am increasingly liking the play of Tiger Defenceman Dylan Busenius. I think he has finally gotten his shit together, and had been the most consistent defenceman in the last 10 games. Keep playing consistent and winning the small battles and you will get a contract, perhaps even a late round draft choice in next years nhl draft.

Dylan Bredo has also been a bit of an unsung hero. I think he has improved a lot already. Before the season started I thought playing alongside emerson etem didn't really fit him. But I give credit to the coaches because Bredo is a very smart player and has fit in well with SHinkaruk and Emerson.

I thought Tonight Shinaruk held onto the puck a little too long. However I saw an opportunity where I think the TIgers could pounce on. Developing set plays where they go behind the net and pass to an incoming player in the slot. Their were tons of opportunities tonight against the Broncos where a quick pass out front and a player coming in late (Bredo decoy: Etem) could have resulted in more scoring opportunities.

Boston Leier had limited Ice time tonight but when he was on the Ice he played like a little spark plug.

I thought Adam Rehak had a tough first period. But after that he had a good game. It is very rare to see a euro that is talented in the fisticuffs department. Rehak had a fight with Bronco Daniel Dale and Rehak won the fight.

IMO this defensive group for the TIgers has been the best group since the Russel, Sauer schlemko days....

Something To Improve Upon
Finishing hits/team physicality. Thier were occasions tonight where players did not finish thier checks. I'm not sure if this played into the strategy of not dropping the gloves and trying to frustrate the broncos, but when you dont finish your hits it gives the other team more space to make plays, and more confidence. Dont need to cream the guy, just put him into the boards, and slow his momentum.
Eastern Conference
So far this season the Eastern Conference looks incredibly tough. The 8th place team is holding a .679 winning percentage. I dont think I've ever seen it that high before. IF this trend continues we might see a 3 or 4 way tie for playoff home ice come march.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tigers re-assign Kyle Becker

Medicine Hat, AB - The Medicine Hat Tigers announced today the reassignment of 17-year-old defenseman Kyle Becker to Cowichan Valley of the BCHL.

"Kyle had surgery on his wrist in August and he is now fully rehabbed and ready to play," said Tigers' general manager Brad McEwen.

"We feel it's best for him to play some games and there is an opportunity for him in Cowichan Valley to do that. He will go there and get the ice time he needs and we look forward to Kyle being a big part of our program as we move forward."

If Becker had been healty from the start thier probably would have been more of a chance to see what he could do. I think he will have a very good chance next year at getting a roster spot.

This gets the Tigers down to 7ish defenceman with Mckay playing forward, and solidifies the roster for now.

Team whl was announced this morning. It is largely used for Team Canada scouts to get a look at players possibly competing for spots for the World junoirs. Tyler Bunz was the only Tigers to make the list. Bunz will be in both game on November 16,17.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tigers Defeat Portland 4-2

Short Reviews on weeknights :)

I thought the Tigers were the better team in the first period, Portland was the better team in the second period.

In the third period the TIgers were awarded two poweplays late in the game. Portland really spreads thier guys out on the kill and plays pretty aggressive. THe first powerplay the Tigers had a real tough time gaining entry to the zone, and offensive opporunities were non-existant. The 2nd poweprlay was almost over when the Tigers were finally were able to take advantage of portlands wide PK as Cole grabvac fired a quick one timer from the slot on a pass from curtis valk.

Portland really likes to step up at the blueline or anywhere else on the ice and they have a bunch of guys who are capable of throwing open ice hits. EMerson Etem scored a goal, had a breakaway in teh first period, and portland was really gunning for him standing him up on the blueline. Etem was oooh so close numerous times in getting prime opportunities, but portland managed to just nudge him enough off the puck. I thought Dylan Bredo played real well tonight, and Scott Mckay played very well up front at forward, winning a lot of puck battles.

I thought Adam Rehak struggled a bit tonight. Rehak since his hot start has really cooled off, and took a couple offensive penalties.

James Bettauer
He looks like a very smart player on the backend. Good first pass, and does all the little things right. Puts the puck in good positions on the ice. He has a nice shot from the point and is capable of stepping up on the rush.

I thought his overall speed was a little below average and it looked like he wasn't used to the ice time/conditioning could be better. It was only his first game but I mostly liked what I saw.

His overall forward skating speed is a little slower and it also looked like he wasn't used to how much playing time he received.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tochkin Traded to P.A (re-edited bottom section)

Medicine Hat, AB – The Medicine Hat Tigers announced this afternoon the acquisition of 20-year-old defenseman James Bettauer and a 6th round bantam draft pick in 2013 from the Prince Albert Raiders. In exchange, 20-year-old forward Kellan Tochkin will be going to the Raiders.

A native of Coquitlam, BC, Bettauer is in his third WHL season and second with the Raiders.

“We are excited to be getting a veteran defenseman who is off to a real good start this year,” said Tigers’ general manager Brad McEwen.

“James will fit in well with our team as we were looking for an older defenseman to add to the group. He brings some offense with him, which will help on the power play and is able to play in all situations. James is going to add some more depth to our team.”

“We thank Kellan for his time in Medicine Hat and wish all the best in his future endeavours.”


Tochkin got off to a really slow start this year, but hopefully this move helps solidy a Defense that has made big progress lately. I think with the strong play of of the 3rd and 4th lne depth players it made Tochkin Expendable.

However this move puts the Tigers at nine Defenceman, and only 1 spare forward so something more is probably on the horizon. Kyle Becker has yet to play this season due to injury, but he is apparently very close to being healthy. Scott McKay could move up to forward if need be. They have a few options to run with.

Edit: 9:45 AM Tuesday
With this trade the Defensive depth looks like this. Changed from line depth to a an overveiw depth

Theriau Konan
Bettauer(still to be evaluated), Busenius, mckay
Becker(still to be evaluated, may move up)

With Scott Mckay either playing forward or pushing the rookies off the top 6 charts and being interchanged somewhere on the 2nd or 3rd defensive lines. Either way there is an abundance of Dman. It is likely that 1 or 2 of Lewington/Becker/Jensen gets sent back down. It is likely the Tigers will go with 2 extra defensive spares because of thier depth and the ability of scott mckay to be rotated to forward.

If mckay plays forward it leaves two healthy spares on forward. Mckay is a better defenseman than forward, although he would probably fit in very well as a penalty killer or a player to throw in defending late leads, and the next couple games he will probably be playing forward to further evaluate the younger Tigers Rookie Dmen.

I should add that if Lewington/Becker/Jensen step up and show they are consistent and capable of being on the third line then we will see mckay moved up on a more permanent basis, but at this point in time mckay holds the edge over the rookies.

I think that the Tigers may be in the market for a forward down the road an extra punch to go with Emerson Etem up front but this is something they dont need to rush on, and they have time to evalute how the current group of forwards produces. If the current group can continually provide secondary scoring, the need for another scorer would be diminished although another scorer never hurts :)

James Bettauer
The interwebs is fairly quiet on scouting reports. He played his 17 year old season in chilliwack, then was sent down to Burnaby Express in his 18 year old year. He played last year with P.A.

So far this season he has had a very hot start with 9 points in 15 games. From everything I've read he seems to be a solid 2 way player that can pick up some points as well as a guy who likes to stick up for teammates. Bit of a late bloomer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tigers Go 1-1 on the weekend.

Looks like their is a flu bug agoing around in the Tigers dressing room. Despite this I give the Tigers a B+ for their pair of weekend games at the Arena.

Friday night against Brandon was a very high electric and intense hockey game, playoff type atmosphere. Saturday night against Kamloops in comparison was a bit of a snoozer.

I thought during Saturdays game against Kamloops the Tigers had no legs and looked pretty tired mentally as they were fumbling the puck in the offensive zone and were sometimes putting pucks in disadvantagous positions on the ice. They didnt play bad but thier was limited "oomf" in thier play. I thought the Tigers forwards took a night off, but they did manage to keep the game close and had chances to win it.

Despite the tigers "off" game I thought they had a chance to win as Cam Lanigan made some real big stops in the third period to keep thier team in the lead. The Difference in the game was kamloops JC Lipon scoring a short-handed goal and Cam Lanigan coming up big in the third period.


The Tigers overall defensive play has improved leaps and bounds from early in the season. Dylan Busenius has stepped up and is playing a very strong game. Patrik Parkkonen has also stepped up his game and had been winning a good chunk of his battles on the ice.

The play of Matt Konan has also stepped up, he has been playing well on the poweplay, and his pokehecks have been more efficient. The combination of those 3 defensman playing smart and consistent as well as the forwards doing a better job at committing in the d-zone is a large reason as to why the Tigers went on that winning streak. Of course you cant leave out the goaltending of Tyler Bunz either.

We saw signs of Cole Grbavac shaking his slump during the Brandon game, he was getting chances and scored a goal, wasn't as noticable in the kamloops game.

10 Games into the season Kellan Tochkin still has not scored a goal. IMO He has largely been invisible so far at home and I could see the Tigers exploring the option of an upgrade if his work ethic doesn't pick up.

Jayden Hart continues to impress. He has been given more icetime lately.

I liked that Kale Kessy since his return from suspension is being much smarter in his physical play. We saw him hold up when a player had his back turned but when the opportunity presented itself he threw that big hit.

Fights From the Kamloops Game
Tim Bozon vs Dylan Busenius

Josh Caron vs Kale Kessy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tigers Crack CHL Top Ten

CHL Top Ten

1. London Knights
2. Miss St. Michael's Majors
3. Baie-Comeau Drakkar
4. Saskatoon Blades
5. Saint John Sea Dogs
6. Quebec Remparts
7. Regina Pats
8. Sarnia Sting
9. Medicine Hat Tigers
10. Victoriaville TIgres

Honorable Mentions
Ottawa 67's
Kamloops Blazers
Shawinigan Cataractes

The Tigers have been playing well recently and are 8-2 in thier last ten games. They face a couple more tough tests this weekend playing Brandon and Kamloops.

Also Jayden Hart's First Career WHL Fight

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tigers Defeat Kootenay 2-1

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.

Game Thoughts

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.

Next Game
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.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tigers Defeat Hitmen 5-0

Player Notes
Kellan Tochkin was out with a suspected concussion.

Kale Kessy was sitting the last game of his 5 game suspension he should be back on Tuesday against Kootenay.

Scott Mackay was playing up at forward.
Trevor Cox played his first regular season game at the Arena.

Tigers started off the game a little bit on thier heels as they didnt get a shot on net untill at least 12 minutes went by. Despite this the Tigers defenceman did a real good job at clearing away any rebounds and most of the hitmen shots were coming from the outside.

The momentum changed on a delayed penalty when Hunter Shinkaruk did his patented quick wrap-around to score his 8th of the season.

In the second period the Tigers came out with a bang scoring 3 straight goals in the first 4 minutes of the second period to take a commanding 4-0 lead, chasing Calgary's starter Brandon Glover. Tough game for him as he had a very calm first period then a flurry of activity in the second.

Dylan Bredo fired a sneaky bad angle shot with 9 seconds left in the game to cap the Tigers scoring at 5 goals.

The Tigers took a couple penalties late in the game but Tyler Bunz stood tall to get his first shutout of the season.

Emerson Etem with his 4 assists tonight is now tied for the scoring lead with 21 points with Brandon's Mark Stone.

Hunter Shinaruk'sis now tied for 2nd in the league in goals with 9.
Etem is first with 13.

I liked the play of the rookie Line of Rhyse Dieno, Jayden Hart, and Trevor Cox. Dieno had one hiccup during the game but all 3 of them are smart players with skill. The TIgers have pretty good offensive depth with those guys as thier 4th line.

Earlier during a pre-season game I mentioned that Trevor Cox looked out of place during that game, well Today I know why the Tigers have kept him. Despite his size he plays a dirty shirt style of hockey always fighting for the puck, is very quick, good offensive and defensive instincts, and shows a good deal of skill.

I liked Matt Konan stepping up and looking for offensive opportunities on the powerplay. I thought Dylan Busenius is starting to show the smarts and consistency of a 2nd line defenceman. Hope he keeps playing smart in his own end.

The Tigers still have trouble clearing the zone on thier first attempt. It seems to be a common theme the last 3-4 years where they need 2-3 attempts to clear.

Cole Grbavac looks like he is slumping a little bit. He needs to keep his feet moving, keep throwing those body-checks, and simplify his game.

I liked Scott Mckay's physical presence at forward. He was consistent with his checks, and was very repsposnible in his own end of the ice. He had a couple hiccups offensively with a pass or two but no major mistakes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Etem's 2nd Career WHL Fight Video

Emerson Etem vs Jordan DePape

Somewhere in the ruckus Jordan DePape reinjures his bum shoulder, as he never returned to the game.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kessy Handed a 5 game suspension

Kale Kessy was handed a 5 game suspension for his hit on Victoria Royals Defenseman Zach Habscheid. You can see the hit on the post below with the video entitled Kale Kessy vs Steve Hodges.

Kale has already sat out 2 games for the hit.


Also missed posting Round Two between Adam Rehak and Tim Traber during the 2nd of back to back matchups against the royals. Rehak comes out with the win again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tigers vs Royals Fight Videos

Game One

Adam Rehak vs Tim Traber

Decision: Rehak One Punch KO

Kale Kessy vs Steve Hodges

Decision: Draw
Cole Grbavac vs Keegan Kanzig

Decision: Kanzig KO (For Kanzig's first whl fight as a 16yr old I'd say he did pretty good taking on a Grbavac who is well versed in fighting, although Kanzig has 30 pounds and 3 inches on grbavac)

Grbavac sat on Friday's game. He may have a concussion from this fight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Backup Goaltender Battle Decided | Aasman sent to Spruce Grove

Dawson MacAuley will be going to Yorkton to play in the sjhl. Kenny Cameron will be the backup goaltender for the Tigers this year.

Kenny Cameron(18) showed a real strong ability to never give up and make the 2nd and third saves as well as a very good ability of controlling the puck down low and in tight spaces.

He tweeted this earlier today:" 15 hours later and have finally arrived in victoria. Also relieved that the process is over and am officially a Tiger. Gunna be a great season"


Also defensman Ryan Aasman was sent down to spruce grove of the ajhl.

The Tigers roster stands at 14 forwards, 8 defenseman and 2 goalies. 24 players total.
It will be interesting to see if the tigers keep 8 defenseman or let Lewington, Jensen and Becker fight it out for the last spot.

Kyle Becker(injured) and Trevor Cox are the only players who have not yet dressed for a regular season game.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Moose Jaw Puts Dubyk On Waivers

Dubyk played 3 games recording 2 wins and a loss with a 4.00 GAA and .900 save percentage.
I believe he has gone back to the Humboldt Broncos.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tigers Defeat Oil Kings 4-3 SO

Tonight was a funny game. The Tigers almost scored the first goal of the game on a delayed penalty. The puck was slapped down the ice and it hit the side of the net.

I thought the Tigers defenceman as a whole played better than the first two games at home, yet they gave up a lot more shots on the score-clock.

Edmonton Looks like they have gotten a bit bigger and a bit faster this year, however we saw them slip back into old habbits as they took some bad penalties(9 straight) and sat on their heels with a 3-0 lead. The Tigers scored 2 goals 42 seconds apart late in the second period by goals from Emerson Etem(goal mouth scramble) and Dylan Busenius (seeing eye shot from the point). Kale Kessy then sniped a shot over the shoulder of Edmonton Tender Jon Groenhyde on a 2 on 1 early in the third to tie the game 3-3.

For the First Oil King shot Bunz was lucky as Kristians Pelss didn't get good wood on his shot as he missed trying to put the puck over a stretched pad.

Second Oil King shooter Curtis lazar lost the puck stickhandling at the blueline and didnt get a shot.

First Tigers shooter Hunter Shinkaruk scored. Second Shooter Emerson Etem had the puck flip over his stick and only managed a bad angle shot. Third Shooter Curtis Valk put a backhand deke past Jon Groenhyde for the two points.

Game Thoughts
I thought the Tigers Defenceman played a much better hockey game, despite their troubles handling the puck on the powerplay, and the shot disparity.

When they get more help from the forwards to clear their zone on the first attempt their shots against will go down.

Tyler Lewington played in back to back games and I liked his smarts and play on the ice, despite him being on the ice for the oil Kings first two goals. Watching one game between Aasman, Jensen and Lewington I liked Lewington's game the most, as he looks smart on the ice and fairly composed. Still has some learning to do but I think he is the type to catch on quickly.

I liked Curtis Valk and Reid Petryks game. I think its just a matter of time before Reid Petryk starts producing more points, he's patient and is smart offensively. The more I watch Jayden Hart the more I like his game. Very high Hockey IQ and supports his line-mates real well. We saw him take a few shifts on the 2nd line.

Powerplay Troubles
Edmonton Took 9 straight penalties and the Tigers played the last 10 minutes of the game virtually on a powerplay.

I noticed two things:
1. When the Defenceman didn't pass the puck until after their blueline they almost always lost control from sticks in passing lanes and the puck ended back in their zone.

2. When the Tigers did get puck possession they would make a pass then hold onto it for a few seconds letting the oil kings get re-set, then make another pass, hold the puck, let the Oil Kings get set, and on and on..... They only made noise when the Oil Kings allowed a forward to walk into the slot from down low.

I think they need quick movement to open up holes in the box for those short diagonal or cross ice passes. Or rapid fire from the point and generate rebounds and tips. Perhaps Bring back that swinging defenceman power-play that creates open space.

Oil Kings I noticed
I kept my eye a lot on the Tigers rookie D man Tyler Lewington so I wasn't particularly keeping a close eye on the Kings but...

Keegan Lowe took 3 penalties all which were unnecessary.

Klarc Wilson hit Dylan Busenius from behind. I think a contributing factor to as why Wilson received a 5 minute major and not a minor penalty is because aftewards he sat on Busenius' back for 10 seconds then gave him a shot when he got up.

Michael St. Croix is very quick and shifty on the ice.

The line of Josh Lazowski, Rhett Rachinski, Tristan Sieben had very good first period. They managed to create some offense in tight with short accurate passes, and scored their teams first two goals.

Their penalty kill was working hard and pretty effective. Out of the 20 minutes in the third period the Oil Kings were shorthanded for 13 of them. They gave the tigers fits entering the zone and about 10 of those 13 minutes were spent firing the puck down the ice.