The Tigers took on the defending WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings for the first time this season on Wednesday night. Edmonton sat two points ahead of the Tigers in the Eastern Conference standings coming into play. Unfortunately, the Tigers got into an early hole and despite some gritty play were unable to crawl out of it. Edmonton would add to their season point total with a 4-2 win on Tigers ice.
The Oil Kings came out gunning in the first period and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead by the end of the period. Brett Pollock opened the scoring for the Oil Kings at 8:48 of the first off assists from Cole Benson and Brandon Baddock. Henrick Samuelsson would add to the lead a few minutes later with an individual effort while shorthanded for his third of the season. Dylan Wruck made it 3-0 with his second of the season with just over five minutes remaining. Mason Geertsen and Michael St.Croix picked up the assists on the goal. Despite the 3-0 deficit the Tigers actually controlled much of the play outshooting the Oil Kings 12-9 in the frame.
The Tigers responded in the second period and continue to pour on the shots. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Oil Kings would once again strike first in the period. Griffin Reinhart scored his first of the season 7:59 into the frame with a shot from the point while on the power play. The Tigers would respond less than two minutes later with a power play goal of their own. First year Tiger Miles Koules scored his fourth of the season off some nice passing from Hunter Shinkaruk and Dylan Busenius. Koules has played a big role on the Tigers power play this season with three of his four goals coming with the man advantage. The Tigers would add another before the end of the period to cut the lead to two goals. Elgin Pearce scored his first in a Tigers uniform with Trevor Cox and Curtis Valk picking up the assists.
The Tigers continued to battle hard in the third period and once again outshot the Oil Kings in the frame. Laurent Brossoit stood tall in net for the defending champs though stopping all the shots he faced in the third. The Oil Kings would also be shut out by the Tigers in period.
Marek Langhamer shook off the early jitters to finish the game with 17 saves on the 21 Edmonton shots.
The Tigers’ special teams had a bit of a rough night going 1 for 9 on the power play while killing off 2 of the 3 Edmonton opportunities.
Earls Three Stars of the Night:
1) Laurent Brossoit – Edmonton Oil Kings
2) Hunter Shinkaruk – Medicine Hat Tigers
3) Cole Benson – Edmonton Oil Kings
Dickies Hardest Working Player of the Night – Elgin Pearce
The Tigers’ next game is Friday night against the Red Deer Rebels at the ENMAX Centrium. Game time is 7:30 PM (MST) and can be heard live on CHAT 94.5 FM at tigershockey.com or watched via webcast at livestream.whl.ca.