Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Canes Outwork Tigers 4-3

Lethbridge was playing thier 4th game in 6 nights, and were coming off a 3 -1 win in red deer the night before. Hurricanes had numerous players out with injuries/suspensions. Their team has also been recently ravaged by the flu/cold bugs.

EDIT: Changed

Re-watched the first two periods and realized my original opinion on parts of the game was a little off-base. Tigers controlled the majority of the 1st and second period minus that 4 minute 3 goal offensive spurt by lethbridge in the 2nd. I counted prime scoring chances at 14-6 for the Tigers. Tigers still made a few too many giveaway in thier end for my liking.

Hurricane players were on Etem and Shinkaruk all night, hitting them every chance they got and some small stick work after the whistles to get them off thier game. Their was little reponse from the Tigers bench, physically.

It was inspiring to watch a team like Lethbridge that had been down in the dumps not to mention injury and flu ridden rise up as a team and physically beat someone that had more than double the points in the standings. I give kudos to lethbridge they showed an amazing display of teamwork and heart. Hopefully this is something the Tigers can learn from.


On a postive note the Tigers did have spurts of offensive activity and James Bettauer keeps impressing. I thought the Tigers individually were trying hard, but as a team they looked a little selfish in thier play, thier transitional play from D to O looked a lot slower than what I saw 3 weeks ago before thier road trip. They gotta start burrying those open nets and easy tip ins. Their offense lost them the game with thier failure to capitalize.

Hopefully this weekend the TIgers come out with an improved and inspired effort.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kale Kessy Suspended 4 Games

The suspension was just updated on the whl discipline page.

He was given 4 games for his hit on Rebel Joel Hamilton. You can view the hit a couple posts below. Earlier in the year he was suspended 5 games for a checking from behind double minor.

1 game for cfb double minor
2 games for checking from behind

1 game for boarding

I didn't think the hit was that bad, mind you the camera angle really sucks. The last suspension He got I fully agreed with his penalty of 5 games.

To me this hit looks more like a case where a tall guy hits a small guy, although the onus is on kessy to avoid contact with the head.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TIgers Defeat Rebels 4-1

The Rebels had two key players out in Turner Elson and Adam Kambeitz, as well as Daulton Siwak. Tigers had Defenceman Patrik Parkkonen out with a knee injury (1 week)

I thought right from the start the Tigers really layed a licking in terms of positional play. The Tigers probably played their best road game of the season. The rebels were frequently in the box due to the Tigers speed, and the majority of the game was played in the rebels zone.

I thought the Tigers powerplay looked really good as the Tigers defenceman laid out quite a few quality shots from the point. Guys like Reid Petryk and Cole Grbavac stepped up thier play. Kale Kessy had a strong first period untill he got kicked due to a 5 minute major (more on that later)

Rebels killed off a 5 on 3, but during the 5 on 4 their was a scrum along the boards. Jayden Hart tried to poke a puck back to the point as James Bettauer was pinching, the result was a 2 on 1 back the other way where Rebel Chad Robinson hung onto the puck and snapped a shot blocker side passed Bunz. 1-0 Rebels

Tigers would even the game 2 minutes later on the powerplay as James Bettauer received a pass from Mat Konan who faked shot, passed over to Bettauer who slap/wristed a shot top corner.

In the second period Matt Konan fired a shot on net on the PP it hit Cole Grbavac in the back but the rebound bounced off the boards right to Curtis Valk who backhanded the shot, and Boston Leier poked the puck over the line. 2-1 Tigers

Then on the powerplay a minute later Emerson Etem fed a pass cross crease to Jayden Hart who tapped the puck in. 3-1 TIgers

Emerson Etem would salt the game away with an empty netter.

Riley sheen was hauled down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. Sheen came in with speed, slowed down, made a number of moves and fakes, and had the goalie sliding the other way but partially lost his balance and missed the net with the shot. He looked like he may have potential in the shootout down the road, he gets that shot off and he would have had a good chance to score.

The powerplay looked really good. The Tigers spent most of it in the rebels zone, and were including the defenceman who shot a ton of pucks with quality chances.

I thought guys like Cole Grbavac and Reid Petryk played really well. Most the whole team played pretty welland the rebels didn't have many quality scoring chances. I thought with all the powerplays the Tigers had, they could have done more damage, but the rebels goaltender looks pretty mobile and played a good hockey game.

Kessy Hit
Kessy received a 5 minute major for checking to the head. The angle is really tough to judge upon but this is largely a case where a bigger guy hits a smaller guy. Joel Hamilton is 5'9 Kessy is 6'3. I dont beleive Kessy deserves a suspension. But may get one for being a repeat offender.

Also for reference I'll included the hit where Alex Petrovic's shoulder Hits Boston Leier in the chin, and a fight develops. Fortunately both Hamilton and Leier continued the game.

Here are the videos judge for yourself.
Kessy Hit and Fight

Alex Petrovic Vs Cole Grbavac
-No Audio

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oil Kings Drop Tigers 3-0

Tigers are falling pretty hard right now. 4 points in thier last 7 games. They've faced some tough competition keeping the games close, but have been outchanced lately. Tomorow a tough game in Red Deer before they end thier tough road trip.

I understand that Tyler Bunz was recently sick and the announcers mentioned that Matt Konan was a game-time decisions against the Oil Kings as he was also sick. Parkkonen scratched for 2nd night in a row.

I was pretty frustrated watching the Tigers on TV, they aren't playing to thier capabilities.

Etem looks a little Off. Team are keying on him yes but it looks like he is trying to gain incredible speed off his first stride and he loses balance. He is sticking to a north south game with some small fakes and needs to perhaps put a little more east/west movement in his game. He is having a tough time trying to find any open space. Opponents are on him like flies on poop.

I know Cole Grbavac can play better. His best trait is playing aggressive along the boards with the puck, sometimes looks like he is hearing footsteps.

4th line is playing really well. Might be time to give cox a promotion.

Boston Leier has been the hardest worker along with Bunz.

Kessy is playing a little better, he needs to be a physical presence every game. Doesn't need to fight ( although he should every 3-4-5 games to keep people honest) just make clean contact every chance possible.

Reid Petryk - When he is carrying the puck into the zone I feel like he gives the puck away to often. I'd like to see him hit the blueline with with speed, slow down or loop, then try to hand it off to a trailer.

Bettauer - HAND THIS MAN THE PUCK ON THE PP. His one timer is pretty darn accurate and hard, reminds me of Vey last year.

Scott Mckay - Still think he is a better Dman than forward but too many Dman not enough Omen means he will play forward.

Tigers Vs Oil Kings On Sportsnet One Tonight

Reminder that Tonights Tigers Game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet One at 7:00 PM mountain Time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tigers Snap Winless Streak

Tigers Defeat P.A 6-1. A win they needed badly after a 5 game winless skid.

Interestingly enough Emerson Etem was held without a goal for each game that the Tigers lost during thier winless streak. One positive to come out of this was that 4 of the 5 loses were 1 goal games(minus the empty netters)., 2 of them were in Shootouts.

During the last two games the Tigers were really experimenting with thier line comboz on both Offense and Defense. They split up the Bettauer/Busenius combo and Lewington and Jensen received lots of ice time, and Scott Mckay saw the odd shift on the point. Patrik Parkkonen was scratched Wednesday Night. Not sure if he is injured or a healthy scratch.

The forwards were juggled throughout the P.A game and saw some juggling during the saskatoon game.

Curtis Valk has been on fire lately scoring 7 goals in his last 7 games. Shinkaruk also has 4 goals in his last 4 games. Rhyse Dieno scored his first ever whl goal against Saskatoon.

CHL Top Ten
Tigers were dropped from the honorable mention spot, but thats not suprising.

The Tigers still have 2 tough Road Battles against Edmonton and Red Deer this weekend before they take on a struggling Lethbridge Hurricane Team at home on November 30th.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honorable Mention in CHL Top Ten

Top Ten
1 London Knights (16-3-0-1)
2 Saint John Sea Dogs (19-6-0-0)
3 Tri-City Americans (15-5-0-0)
4 Quebec Remparts (16-4-2-1)
5 Sarnia Sting (13-3-1-3)
6 Saskatoon Blades (15-6-0-1)
7 Red Deer Rebels (14-4-0-2)
8 Plymouth Whalers (13-6-2-1)
9 Shawinigan Cataractes (16-7-1-2)
10 Victoriaville Tigres (16-8-0-1)

Honourable Mention:
Medicine Hat Tigers (14-6-1-1)
Ottawa 67's (12-6-2-1)
Brandon Wheat Kings (14-6-1-1)

This time last year the Tigers had 1 more point 22 games in. The Tigers dropped games to both Tri City(SO loss) and Saskatoon last week.

The Tigers are now on a 6 game Road Trip playing 3 sets of back-to-back games against some tough competition within the Conference.

Tyler Bunz
Tyler Bunz tweeted today that He wont be starting tonight against the Russians. He took a puck to the cheek while sitting on the Bench during the first WHl game against Russia.!/tylerbunz

Friday, November 11, 2011

Americans Bounce Tigers In the Shootout 4-3 SO

Short Recap... Long Weekend....

Very entertaining hockey game. I thought both teams have very similar styles and both teams looked fairly even. Tri-City has better overall depth from thier forwards(not often we see that,) Tigers have a better goaltender, and top line. Tri-City also made use of their special teams going 2 for 3 on the PP.

The Americans have a very strong forecheck and their Defenseman step up and pinch quite frequently.

I thought the Tigers 4th line played amazing tonight. They saw hardly any ice in the 3rd but played a very strong hockey game. I like how the Tigers are rotating Patrik Parkkonen into the 2nd or 1st line Dman shifts every once in a while. I think this keeps fresher legs and Parkkonen is a good enough player to do this.

Curtis Valk stepped up tonight with 2 goals.

Tri-City Goals
Gotta be lucky to be good...

I thought all 3 Tri-City's goal were results of favorable bounces. A puck bouncing off the boards behind the Tiger net, right through everyone in the crease and right onto an American Stick, with a half open empty net.

Also after Bunz made a couple nice saves an American Shot was deflected 100 miles an hour top corner from the high slot.

Tri-City also had a shot from the point that floated along the ice that Bunz just didn't see.

I think Tri-City's Team is a hair better than the Tigers at this point in the season.

Tigers still have guys like Grbavac,Valk,..who haven't shown us thier true potential.

Tigers could have been a little more physical but the way the refs were calling penalties that might have been dangerous. I still believe the Tigers are 1 scoring forward away from solidifying thier forward depth.....I think a game like this showed why...even though the game was very close and ended in a shootout.

Saskatoon Tomorow..Should be another gooder.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tigers Crack CHL Top Ten

3 WHL CLUBS IN BMO CHL MASTERCARD TOP 10Wednesday November 09, 2011 Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for week 8 of the 2011-12 season. The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings – Week 8

1. London Knights (15-2-0-1)
2. Saint John Sea Dogs (16-6-0-0)
3. Tri-City Americans (12-5-0-0)
4. Victoriaville Tigres (16-6-0-1)
5. Sarnia Sting (12-2-1-3)
6. Kootenay Ice (12-3-1-2)
7. Quebec Remparts (14-4-2-1)
8. Miss St. Michael's Majors (10-5-1-2)
9. Medicine Hat Tigers (14-5-1-0)
10 Shawinigan Cataractes (14-6-1-2)

Honourable Mention:
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (12-7-0-0)
Kamloops Blazers (12-5-0-0)
Halifax Mooseheads (13-5-1-0)

Hunter Shinkaruk was also named CHL Player of the week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tigers Defeat Thunderbirds 6-3

Very short recap.

The first period was entertaining, some wierd goals scored. What was being hyped as a goaltenders battle turned out nothing like it. I thought Boston Leier showed a lot of hustle tonight, picked off numerous Seattle breakout passes.

Emerson Etem made up for his lack of goal scoring against Regina with 2 goals tonight. He increased his point lead to 6 points, as Brandon's Mark Stone was held pointless. Hunter Shinkaruk has vaulted to 7th with 3 points. Shinkaruk has 14 points in the last 4 games. Teams have been keying soo much on Emerson Etem and Hunter Shinaruk has no qualms about that with some extra room.

That line has scored 57% of the Tigers goals and together have scored more goals than 3 whl teams. Impressive, but also a little worrysome, regarding production from other lines.

With the win tonight the TIgers lead the whl in points with 29 but have games in hand on other teams.

The TIgers play 2 very good teams this weekend in Tri-City and Saskatoon. Both games will be Big tests.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tigers Pick up 3 of 4 points on the Road

Saturday Night In Brandon
The Tigers came out and had a very strong first period getting out to a 2 goal lead in the first period. However after the first Brandon started to control the game.

Cole Grbavac took a 5 minte major interference penalty and game misconduct as he crashed into the goaltender in the first period. Grbavac had attempted a move to get around a defender and partially fell over on one foot. He crashed full speed into the Brandon Anderson. Grbavac didn't make much of an effort to get out of the way or stop. To me it wasn't intentional at all and he was drving to the net, however the onus was still on him to move out of the way. I think the One-Game he has already served is more than enough punishment.

For the second and first half of the third period the Tigers were on thier heels, as Brandon started controlling the play. Consequently Brandon came back and scored 3 straight goals to take a 3-2 lead.

Late in the game Brandon took a checking from Behind penalty and the Tigers made them pay tieing the game up with 3:51 left in the game. Hunter Shinakruk scored all 3 regulation goals and scored his 2nd hat-trick in 2 games at this point.

In Overtime Emerson Etem was fed a cross ice pass from Dylan Bredo. Brandon's Mark stone was actually in between the two but missed batting the puck away and Etem had a partially open net to score the Winner.

Tigers were fortunate to win this one. They played well for good portions of the game, but Brandon really controlled the play in the second period. I thought Brandon deserved a better fate.

Sunday Night in Regina
Similar game to the previous night in Brandon. Strong start in the first, sat back in the second, but played a much better third period. Regina scored two powerplay goals late in the first and second periods to take a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers scored 3 goals less than 5 minutes apart in the third period, and had another goal called off after a Tiger players skate clipped the pad of Regina's Goaltender Matt Hewitt at the edge of the crease, and Kale Kessy's rebound goal was called off.

Regina's Morgan Klimchuck would pot the winner in OT off a goal mouth scramble.

The Tigers had pretty good first and third periods. But the second periods in both game were not thier best. The Tiger powerplay came alive on the Road and were extremely key. 2 for 3 in Brandon and 3 for 4 in Regina. Thier PP has moved from 18th to 7th.

Both games Emerson Etem wasn't given much room at all, and Shinkaruk was more than willing to skate with the puck. The Tigers first line was very heavily shadowed against. Brandon's Mark Stone line and Regina's Jordan Weal line was on the ice evertime Shinkaruk and Etem were on the ice.

I think it might be time to experiment with seperating the Shinkaruk/Etem combo on two different lines. They are the two leading scorers in the whl with Etems 23 and Shinkaruk with 18 goals respectively. I think with them seperated they could keep Bredo's production on the first line but also open up more points for a guy like Scott Mckay or Cole Grbavac on a second line.

Hunter Shinkaruk Player of the Week

Friday, November 4, 2011

Everett vs Tigers Fight Night Videos

Their are 5 videos. The Medicine Hat Tigers are leading the league in fighting Majors with 24. Everett is 2nd with 23.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tigers Defeat Silvertips 10-2

Short Recap, Weeknight.

Silvertips had a flu ravaged dressing room, they had 4 regulars scratched.

Tigers had very strong jump right from the get-go, and never let up. Everett was keeping a very close eye on Etem, but he still managed to get 5 points. Shinkaruk was hanging on the puck a little too long in the first period, but managed to score 3 in the third period + 3 assists.

New Tiger James Bettauer scored a howitzer from the point on the powerplay, hes got a cannon back there.

It was nice to see Rhyse Deino step up for Patrik Parkkonen when Parkkonen was hit from behind into the boards.

The young guys got a little more ice-time and even some powerplay time with the score well in hand. The silvertips were getting frustrated and things started getting rough later in the game. If the fights pop up on hockeyfights I'll post them here tomorow.

THe Tigers will play two games this weekend in Brandon and Regina. Regina beat the TIgers in an earlier matchup at home, and the Game between Brandon 2 weeks ago was a very high spirited/emotional game. SO this weekend will be a good gauge on how they have improved entering the second month of the season.

Bad News
Adam Rehak has left the team to take care of family/personal issues back home. It is unknown how long he will be gone for.

Tyler Bunz
Earned CHL Goalie of the week

Emerson Etem
Earned WHL Player of the Month