Well Games one and Two were pretty similar, but exactly opposites with how they played out. In game One it was Kootenay tieing the game and winning the third period. In Game two it was the Tigers tieing it up, and winning the third period.
It was a pretty tight affair. Kootenay started the game very quickly scoring 1:50 into the game. The Tigers were able to take the lead with 2 goals by the top line with Cox and Sanford scoring on the powerplay. After that the Tigers offensive chances really dried up, and it was a big battle to get out of their end. By the time they had the puck they were often gassed. Kootenay's Rinat Valiev would score the game winner with just under 7 minutes to play.
Jake Doty was suspended one game for his instigator and fight at the end of the game. It started when Tyler Lewington ran over a kootenay player at the end of the game fairly soon after a faceoff. Their were 3 Tigers right overtop of him and Ice player Austin Vetterl came to his rescue pushing into the scrum. Vetterl kinda took on the wrong guy though as it was Doty and Labelle pushing back..... Doty dropped the gloves threw a couple punches and Vetterl dropped his gloves as well, but quickly turtled after Doty was feeding him shots.
Even in the Swift series the Refs were watching Doty closely. Doty is one to step in and defend his teammates, or get on someones case after they become a nuisance and the refs are really pinpointing and cracking down on him for the 3rd man in.
Was pretty similar to game one, except the Tigers started adjusting to some of the stuff Kootenay was doing to lock them in their own end. I thought it was a game changer and opened up the Tigers offensive chances..
Kootenay sends that first forward in their as fast as possible, and his sole job is to lay a hit, and get the Dman to make a rushed pass. IF the kootenay attacker is successful the Tigers start their breakout from near or behind the net and Kootenay's "offensive trap" locks them in their own zone with guys in passing lanes, and the second attacker coming in puts strong pressure on the winger to turn the puck over. It resulted in a lot of grind them out board battles, and some Kootenay Chances in the slot area. Marek Langhamer has been playing phenomenal hockey to keep the Tigers in it. In Game Two in the third period we saw the Tigers able to breakout from this offensive trap.
I think the winner of the series will be whoever is able to outmaneuver the other team in this chess match. Kootenay gets quite a few offensive chances off of this, and if the Tigers can minimize that kind of damage it wouldn't hurt their chances. You can bet both teams will be working on these areas during the 2 days they have off.
A positive note is that the Tigers were able to hold Reinhart, and Descheneau to 0 points in the first two games.
Up Next: The Tigers visit Cranbrook Wednesday and Thursday for Games 3 and 4.