Friday, September 23, 2016

Season Opener

Their is a wave of excitement over the Tigers this season. They have a lot of returning players, and some new quality imports that should pack quite the scoring punch. They have a future potential NHL goaltender, and their defence is much improved.

Reading some of the review around the league, nobody besides Tiger Fans expect the Tigers to make some noise in the central.  The WHL's own website is saying the Tigers "Should find a way back into the playoffs"

The WHL Broadcasters polls put the Tigers in 3rd.  It seems The Tigers will enjoy starting the season in the underdog role.

First Period
The Tigers looked a little nervous in the first period. Their passes and teamwork wasn't quite jiving. In the first 5 minutes they gave up a couple scoring chances on bouncing pucks. the Hurricanes had 2 early chances in the slot missing the net and McGovern made a solid save on the 2nd attempt.

The Tigers were on a powerplay and veteran Matt Bradley took a bad and unnecessary penalty. He slashed  a Hurricanes player after the whistle on the ankle after receiving a light push. It negated the powerplay.

A few moments later Off the faceoff,  16yr old and future star defenceman for the Canes Calen Addison put a wrist shot on net to the far side. Duncan Mcgovern didn't see it. 1-0 Canes

The Tigers managed 2-3 quality scoring chances, but Stuart Skinner stopped them all. The Tigers had some very good zone time on a powerplay but failed to score.

The Hurricanes had the edge with puck possession and would go up 2-0 late in the second period. Off the rush Young Cale Addison would feed a puck to 20yr old Ryley Lindgren. Lindgren put a weak shot on net, but the puck somehow found a way through McGovern. McGovern likely wanted that one back.  2-0 Canes

Tigers outshot the Canes in the Period, but the Canes out-chanced the Tigers. The Tigers didn't appear to have any set line combos and were using multiple combinations.  Kristian Rubins had a ton of ice-time and looked pretty good on the back-end in the first period.

Second Period
The Tigers were a lot better this period. I thought they controlled the play for the majority of the period. Their were a ton of whistles, lots of off-sides,icings, goalies covering the puck.

The Tigers would get on the scoreboard on the powerplay. Kirichenko fed a cross ice pass to Matt Bradley, who corralled the puck then fired a wrist shot underneath the glove of Stuart Skinner.
2-1 Hurricanes

The Tigers had a few periods of intense pressure.  Unfortunately right after a Tiger chance the Hurricanes had a rush up the ice. Ryley Lindgren fed a cross ice pass, and Brady Reagan put a stick on the puck, and it went right through McGoverns' five-hole.

That was a real tough goal for the Tigers as they had a lot of momentum going and had the canes on the ropes. They outshot the Canes 17-7 during the period, and outshooting them 30-15 overall.

Third Period
Brad Forrest coughed a puck at the blueline, and took himself out of the play and the Canes had a 2 on 1 Jordy Bellevrie would centre a pass and it went in off of Rubins. 4-1 Canes

The Tigers would get back in the game with a powerplay goal. James Hamblin had a big hit at center ice and the Canes Igor Merezhko tried to start a fight and would get a 2 minute rouging penalty.

On the powerplay  From behind the net Mason Shaw fed a pass out to Ryan Jevne at the corner of the net. Jevne's shot would find the far side of the net.
4-2 Canes

Tigers outshot the Canes 42-20

The Tigers didn't have a very good first period. They put themselves behind early and played catch up the rest of the game. Despite the fact that the Tigers outshot the Canes, I felt the Canes had better quality scoring chances. The Tigers played a lot better after the first period and won the puck possession game in the last two periods.

Unfotunately they had a difficult time converting that puck poession time into prime scoring chances as most of the Tigers shots were at distance. McGovern stopped some very high quality chances, but unfortunately would have liked to have 1 or 2 goals back.

Both teams will be right back at it Saturday night for the Home Opener in Medicine Hat.

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