Thursday, 31 March 2011

Tigers Tie Series

The Brandon Wheat Kings surrendered three unanswered third period goals and dropped a 5-4 decision to the Medicine Hat Tigers before 6,003 fans Thursday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

The result leaves the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final tied 2-2 with Game #5 set for the Medicine Hat Arena on Saturday night (8:00 p.m., CKLQ).

Linden Vey had two goals and two assists for the Tigers including the game-winning goal with just 25 seconds left in the third period while Emerson Etem added a goal and two assists for Medicine Hat.

It was a breakout game for the Tigers’ high-scoring duo, who had combined for just two goals and three points in the first three games of the series including an empty-net goal by Vey that closed out the scoring in Game #2.

“They’re obviously dangerous players and you have to be aware when they’re out there,” said Brandon goaltender Corbin Boes on CKLQ’s post-game show, “They came out tonight hard and they found the back of the net a few times with their line. We have to be prepared better next time and shut them down.”

Boes was a bit of a surprise starter for Brandon because Game #3 starter and winner Liam Liston was scratched for the Wheat Kings because of a concussion.

Brandon jumped out to a 4-1 lead on the Tigers in the opening period including power-play markers by Brodie Melnychuk, Matt MacKay and Shayne Wiebe and an even-strength goal by Tyrel Seaman, the first of his WHL career.

Medicine Hat closed the gap to 4-2 before the end of the opening frame, and that score held through 40 minutes despite the Tigers outshooting Brandon 18-5 in the second period.

Etem got the Tigers to within one just 18 seconds into the third period and Jace Coyle tied it for Medicine Hat with a power-play marker with 4:46 left, setting the stage for Vey’s late-game heroics.

“We weren’t composed defensively, I didn’t think, and that was compounded by the fact that we didn’t push the pace on offense at all,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, “For our team to be good defensively, we also have to have the puck on offence and I didn’t think we were up to it offensively in the second and third period.”

Brandon gave up 31 shots and had just 12 themselves over the final two periods of Thursday’s contest.

Chaff…Game #6 of the series will be Monday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, with tickets for the game to go on sale Friday morning at 10 a.m….as expected, Brenden Walker (concussion) missed Game #4 while Spencer Galbraith and, of course, Liam Liston were also scratches for Brandon…G Michael Tadjdeh, who played a couple of games with Brandon earlier this season, could join the Wheat Kings in Medicine Hat. Tadjdeh’s AJHL team, Okotoks, lost out in the playoffs earlier this week…Brandon hasn’t been in a series that went win-loss-win-loss in the first four games since the 2005 Eastern Conference Final against Prince Albert.

Medicine Hat Tigers 5 vs. Brandon Wheat Kings 4

First Period
1. Brandon, Melnychuk 1 (Stone, Wiebe) 4:01 (pp)
2. Brandon, Seaman 1 (Swyripa) 5:59
3. Brandon, MacKay 2 (Toews, Gustafsson) 12:47 (pp)
4. Medicine Hat, Vey 3 (Carr, Etem) 15:42 (pp)
5. Brandon, Wiebe 3 (Stone, Glennie) 17:45 (pp)
6. Medicine Hat, Kessy 1 (Etem) 18:13

Penalties: Tochkin MH (tripping) 3:20, Valk MH (tripping) 7:48, Kessy MH (boarding) 11:14, Miller Bdn (hooking) 14:02, Valk MH (tripping) 16:26.

Second Period
No Scoring.

Penalties: Wiebe Bdn (goaltender interference) 0:16, McKay MH (goaltender interference) 3:13, Tochkin MH (tripping) 6:59, Glennie Bdn (interference) 12:51, MacKay Bdn (hooking) 17:20.

Third Period
7. Medicine Hat, Etem 1 (Vey, Kessy) 0:18
8. Medicine Hat, Coyle 2 (Hamilton, Tochkin) 15:14 (pp)
9. Medicine Hat, Vey 4 (Grbavac) 19:35

Penalties: Vey MH (cross-checking) 8:58, Fransoo Bdn (slashing) 13:15.

Shots on goal by
Brandon 17 5 7 - 29
Medicine Hat 7 18 13 - 38

Goal: Medicine Hat: Dubyk (W,2-1); Brandon: Boes (L,1-2).

Power plays (goals-chances: Medicine Hat: 2-5; Brandon: 3-7.

Referees: Chris Crich, Andy Thiessen; Linesmen: Dustin Deck, Darrell Surminski.

Attendance: 6,003.

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