It was a 3rd period effort they needed in other periods, like the 1st and 2nd, but it wasn't meant to be; at least in Game 6; as the Tigers edged the Ice 2-1 last night to push the series to a seventh and deciding game in the Hat Wednesday night. Highlights are here.
Goals - The Tigers struck first with a quasi-power play goal in the first when Miles Koules buried a snapshot off a behind-the-net-feed just as Descheneau exited the penalty box on a marginal interference call. 1-0 Tigers.... That score held up until just over four minutes left in the 3rd period when a nice rush by McPhee into the Tiger zone along the boards saw his backhand to the net hit the side post and spring out to a charging Jon Martin who shoveled it past Langhamer. 1-1.... A timeout by the Tigers invigorated the club as they pressed hard from then on. In the last minute a hard forecheck by Levi Cable saw him fall heavily into the boards. Martin then pressured but the Tigers got the puck up the ice for another odd-man rush. Valk finished it off with 35 seconds left with a great shot under the bar for a 2-1 win.
Goalies - Both played extremely well. Langhamer held the Tigers in it in the 3rd and Skapski was spectacular in the 2nd.
Shots - 30-27 for the Tigers. Kootenay finally started firing the puck at Langhamer in the 3rd. Too many passing attempts for me. I'm a keep-it-simple guy when things aren't going your way. Get the pucks to the net and generate chances. Kootenay's only goal was in that vein.
Injuries - D Landon Cross didn't dress for the second straight game. I'd be surprised if he's ready for game seven... D Tyler King played his second straight game and played more minutes but looks like he's playing with a brace as his mobility isn't what it was prior to the knee injury.... F Ast didn't dress for the Tigers.... and looks like the Tigers lost 20-year-old F Jake Doty in the third when he went down hard behind the Ice net. He didn't return.
Game Seven should be a barn-burner, as long as the Ice have anything left in the tank. I thought once in this series that the psychological barrier to bounce back from a six-goal third period to lose the game was hard to overcome. We'll also get to see if if blowing a 3-1 series lead is in the same category.
On the NHL Draft front Sam Reinhart is on top of the International Scouting Services - I.S.S. Top 30 for June's NHL Draft. That's here. What a difference between Calgary and Medicine Hat on how the Tigers have contained Reinhart. I thought they weren't doing much more than pressuring him more and more to make the pass faster and hoping he'll make a mistake but sometimes I wonder how healthy he is and if he's more banged up than it shows.