Record night for Quenneville as Tigers handle Hitmen

David Quenneville now stands alone in the Medicine Hat Tigers’ record books for points by a defenceman.

The Calgary Hitmen entered the Canalta Centre Friday night looking to end an ugly season-high seven-game road swing on a positive note.

Quenneville and the Tigers had different ideas, as he entered the fourth of six meetings between the two Central Division rivals one point behind Kris Russell.

After a scoreless first period that didn’t see the Hitmen (16-31-5-2) record their first shot until 12 minutes post puck drop, it didn’t take long for the Edmonton product to tie the team record. The Tigers torched the Hitmen for three goals in a 2:40 span in the second stanza en route to the 4-0 shutout.

Elijah Brown got the ball rolling 1:16 into the second when he chipped a pass from Gary Haden for his first of two on the evening.

The following shift, Calgary native Mark Rassell pounded in a rebound for his 44th of the season, bringing him within two goals of 100 in his brilliant career. Rassell was on the doorstep when he punched in Quenneville’s shot, tying him with Russell.

Not holding anything back, the Tigers (28-22-7-0) popped in their third goal in what felt like a blink of an eye, when Brown cut across the crease and tipped in a shot from affiliated defenceman Daniel Baker, who picked up his first career point.

Quenneville surpassed Russell in the third when Ryan Chyzowski finished off a rink-wide feed from James Hamblin.

Typically, the fourth goal of a blowout does not receive that much celebration, but the 3,063 fans in attendance realized that Quenneville picked up a secondary assist.

Quenneville knew it instantly, as he celebrated enthusiastically on the ice. The game momentarily stopped while the rest of his teammates poured off the bench to congratulate the 19-year-old blue liner.

The New York Islanders seventh-round pick from 2016 was also instrumental on the other end. The Tigers were without Joel Craven, Linus Nassen and Kristians Rubins on the back end but still held the Hitmen single digits in shots each period. Michael Bullion only needed 16 saves for his third shutout of the season and second in as many games.

Bullion has now not been scored on in 122:40 and counting.

Quenneville was clearly aware of the record was at stake, as he led the Tigers with 10 shots. He is sure to blow past Russell and add to his 197 career points later this year, and if he is to return as an overager next year, he will obliterate it.

Russell spent four seasons with the Tigers, from 2003-07, requiring 241 games to amass 196 points. Five more games than Quenneville needed.

As far as the Hitmen were concerned, there wasn’t a lot of life emitting from the visitors bench. Rookie centre Zach Huber notched his first fight of his career at the 10:24 mark of the first, when he got the better of Bryan Lockner, but it didn’t seem to do much for team moral.

In net, the former Medicine Hat Tiger Nick Schneider was exposed to 45 shots, stopping 41 of them.

Offensively, Tristen Nielsen led the way with five shots, as he was attempted to extend his three-game point streak.

The Hitmen will return to the Scotiabank Saddledome Sunday afternoon to finish off a brief home-and-home with the Tigers. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. The Hitmen went 1-5-0-1 on their road trip.

Wrapping things up nicely on the evening was Russell, who popped in his fourth of the season as the Edmonton Oilers fell 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks.

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