Another great game for the Tigers.
Attendance: 3946....60 short of a sellout.
Tigers got on the board very early. The blades took a couple undisciplined penalties early in the game and the Tigers made them pay. Emerson Etem popped in 2 power-play goals top shelf. The Blades would respond a few minutes later as they started a push pack. Matthew Pufhal fired a howitzer over Bunz shoulder. (2-1 Tigers)
I believe Pufhal was a game time decision with a wonky ankle, and with blades Darren Deitz suspended it was a situation where he almost had to play.
We will find out Monday on the length of Darren Deitz suspension. I think Deitz was trying to slash high on the stick of Etem on the play and the stick rode up into Emerson's face. A pretty dangerous situation. I don't believe Deitz meant for that to happen but their should never be any situation which calls for a 2 handed slash.
The blades caught the Tigers on the ropes and took their first lead of the series. The Tigers made 2 big mistakes during this period and blades jumped on them.
Brett Stovin took a low shot from near the blueline, might have been going wide and Bunz went to deflect it into the corner and it somehow deflected into the net. 2-2 Tie
The blades Josh Nichols potted his first goal of the series after he picked off an errant Hunter Shinkaruk pass out of his zone. Nicholls walked in on a 2 on 1 , ran out of room and did a quick wrap around which beat Bunz. 3-2 Blades and the Arena was a bit stunned.
All of a sudden Tigers were bobbling the puck and had troubles making straight passes. The coaches called a Time-Out after Tyler Bunz stopped a 2 on 1 rush to settle the troops. It took a couple shifts but the Tigers eventually got back on track.
Soon after James Bettauer rifled a shot top corner from the high slot area which beat Makarov high glove. The arena was rocking again as both teams took a 3-3 Tie into the second Intermissions.
Tigers stepped up big in the third. I thought the tigers managed 3 or 4 chances for every chance the blades had. Finally with 5 minutes left to play the Tigers got a break. Dylan Bredo fed Emerson Etem for a 2 on 1 with Hunter Shinkaruk. Etem made a perfect pass over to Shinkaruk who shot it top corner blocker side over a sprawling Andrei Makarov and the Arena was a rockin.
Late in the third some good work by Hunter Shinkaruk forced Connor Cox to hold onto him in the slot. Cox was called for holding and the blades emotions got the better of them. Duncan Siemens was given a slashing penalty and Lorne Mollekin went crazy at the bench and earned his team another penalty to give the Tigers a 5 on 3. The blades were arguing that Matt Konan tripped up a blades when they were both going for the puck, and the penalty to Connor Cox made Blades coach Lorne Mollekin snap.
Shorthanded 5 on 3 The blades tried to send one forward up high on a bit of a hail mary, and it ended up with basically a 4 on 1 down low. Curtis Valk's intial couple shots were stopped but with Makarov down and out Valk finally managed to flip it over him giving the Tigers the insurance goal for a 5-3 Victory. After the play the blades mobbed Etem and Valk throwing a couple punches at both players heads. It ended with Kyle Schmidt getting a roughing penalty, and Duncan Siemens was given a 10 minute misconduct.
I thought Hunter Shinkaruk had a bit of an off night despite getting 4 points. He looked a little frustrated in the first 2 periods but fought it off and scored the game winner. Kale Kessy was missing in the third period, and the Tigers moved everybody up a slot and they did a fantastic job filling in.
The blades showed some strong push-back in the second period, but the Tigers managed to get their feet back under them and upped the tempo.
I liked how the Tigers stayed away from the rough stuff. It frustrates the other team and all the chirping and after the whistle rough stuff takes a physical and emotional toll. When Shinkaruk stopped chirping he played better in the third.
Tigers take a 2-0 Series Lead into Saskatoon for the next 2 games. Saskatoon had a pretty good record at home during the regular season, and the Tigers had a pretty good road record. It will be another battle. Medicine Hat's Trevor Cox was hoping to get back into the lineup for game 3.