Sunday, 3 April 2011

Tigers Take Game #5, Lead Series for First Time

The Medicine Hat Tigers grabbed a 3-2 lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings in their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final on Saturday night with a 9-5 home-ice victory.

Four goals in a span of four minutes and 32 seconds midway through the second period turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead for the Tigers.

The momentum swung when Mark Stone was called for tripping and 36 seconds into the kill, Ryan Pulock shot the puck out of play from the defensive zone, getting a delay of game minor that gave the Tigers a two-man advantage.

Linden Vey scored on the 5-on-3 to tie the game 2-2 and Emerson Etem scored just four seconds after the Pulock penalty ended to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Goals by Cole Grbavac and another power-play marker by Kale Kessy completed the quick strike by the Tigers.

“Trailing after the first period, we scored to tie it and scored to take the lead and I thought we really had the game going the direction we wanted it to go,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We were soft on our shift after our second goal, which led to a bad line change, which led to the on Stone, then the 5-on-3 call…tie game, and we just didn’t respond.”

Etem had two goals and an assist for Medicine Hat while Vey and Tigers’ captain Wacey Hamilton added a goal and two assists each.

Michael Ferland, Matt MacKay, Shayne Wiebe, Scott Glennie and Brodie Melnychuk scored the goals for the Wheat Kings.

McCrimmon feels his club needs to play more intelligently to avoid the momentum shifts that they’ve seen over the last two games.

“Thinking the game, positionally being responsible and managing the puck, more often than not, is a big part of playing the game intelligently,” says McCrimmon, “I just really think that we’ve some decisions that have really hurt us and then, in turn, that leads to chances against or goals against or time spent in the defensive zone.”

The series now moves back to Winnipeg, where Game #6 will take place on Monday night at the MTS Centre.

Chaff…Glennie two points Saturday give him 37 for his playoff career, one shy of Bob Brown and Kelly Smart for 15th-place on the Wheat Kings’ all-time list…tickets for Game #6 are on sale through TicketMaster (www.ticketmaster.ca) outlets. This reporter also managed to unearth the fact that tickets are available at the Keystone Centre Box Office, with the Box Office closed on Sunday but open Monday morning at 8 a.m.

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