The Medicine Hat Tigers (25-19-5-0) made their way to Edmonton to take on the Oil Kings (13-27-5-2). Earlier before the game, Mason Shaw was cleared to skate by Minnesota doctors, a big boost to Medicine Hat’s playoff hopes. Josh Dechaine got the start for Edmonton, while former first round bantam draft pick Junior Hollett started for Medicine Hat.
The game started slow, with Edmonton scoring the lone goal in the first frame. Trey Fix-Wolansky threaded a pass through traffic to Colton Kehler who buried one on the short side. This was a power play goal that would hold up until the second period. Shots after 20 were 10-9 in favour of the Oil Kings.
Medicine Hat came on in the second period, posting three goals on 21 shots. Ryan Jevne got Medicine Hat on the score board on the power play with a one-timer from above the circles that got over the glove of Dechaine. Dalton Gally then took the lead for Medicine Hat with a shot from the blue line that got redirected by an Oil Kings player and by Dechaine. Shortly thereafter, Brayden Gorda lost the puck behind the net, Henry Rybinski located it and was able to make a play in front to a wide open Josh Williams. Final shots after two were 30-18 for Medicine Hat.
Edmonton was able to tie the game up in the third however, with a strong back-end to the period. David Kope cut the lead in half, finding a loose puck that he got off quickly over Hollett. Edmonton tied the game shortly after as a Matthew Robertson point shot got up high on Hollett and allowed Tomas Soustal to tap it in, with one hand, taking the game into overtime. Final shots in regulation were 39-30 for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Overtime was ended early; Kristian Robins get a rebound on a shot off the backboards that he puts into the wide open net. Medicine Hat taking the game 4-3 and out shooting the Oil Kings 40-30.
Game Notes –
-Outside of the second period I felt that Edmonton dictated the play for the most part. I thought they played stronger in their own zone and played well in front of Josh Dechaine.
Draft Eligibles –
-Cole Clayton – Still fairly raw in terms of development, has some slow feet and isn’t the most fluid of skaters but is quite efficient and assertive. I liked the puck tools that he brings to the table and he possesses a big shot. Plays heavy in puck battles and shows a willingness to compete in front of his net and has strength on the puck. Has the potential to take over the top power play unit next season and produce.
-Elijah Brown – Still needs to get bigger and strong but has quite dynamic and at times can shine with the puck. Hard to contain elusiveness and plays the game with an edge. Quick and skilled, should be an impactful WHL player who an NHL team may take a late flyer on.
-Ryan Chyzowski – A defensive orientated player who played a versatile role. Possess some good size but foot work needs some work. Anticipates the play well and is able to read and break up lanes in the neutral zone. Potential late round pick.
-Trevor Longo – Fairly fluid in terms of skating and puck movements. Thought he has a good gap controls but is not utilized very often and struggles to contain players with speed.