DECKED OUT TIGERS RALLY PAST REBELS
ARTICLE COURTESY RYAN MCCRACKEN / MEDICINE HAT NEWS
The Medicine Hat Tigers were dressed for success on Saturday night at the Canalta Centre.
Decked out in dapper orange plaid for the Western Hockey League Suits Up with Don Cherry promotion, Ryan Jevne and Gary Haden each potted a pair to lead the Tabbies to a resounding 6-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels while increasing their lead in the Central Division standings to four points.
The stands were packed to watch the Tigers hit the ice in themed jerseys for the first time in the franchise’s history, and Haden used the energy they brought to the building by pouncing on a rebound just over two minutes into action and beating Riley Lamb for the early lead.
Medicine Hat kept the pedal down and peppered Lamb with 18 shots in the opening period. While they were unable to get another puck past the Rebel netminder in the first, the floodgates opened up in the middle frame.
Hayden Ostir kicked off the second-period surge by sneaking a wrist shot through Lamb in his second game back after missing 32 games with a hand injury. While the Tabbies were forced back onto their heels when David Quenneville was nabbed for high sticking midway through the frame, Jevne took it upon himself to triple up on the lead with a shorthanded breakaway goal, then Haden tacked on two minutes later to bring the crowd of 3,920 to their feet and chase Lamb from the crease in favour of Ethan Anders.
Red Deer finally mustered a response in the dying minutes of the middle frame when Hunter Donohoe beat Tigers goaltender Michael Bullion from the point, but Medicine Hat’s offence went back to work in the third.
The Rebels attempted to generate some momentum in the final frame, but Bullion kept the lead intact with three stops in the period — including a highlight reel glove save on a Kristian Reichel breakaway.
James Hamblin and Jevne put the game away by striking for a pair of goals just five seconds apart in the final two minutes of regulation.
Bullion turned aside a total of 17 shots to lock up the win push the Tigers to a 33-24-8-0. Anders made 22 saves in relief of Lamb, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 29 shots. Red Deer fell to 24-29-10-3 with the loss.
The evening was focused on promoting organ donation and raising money for the local Kidney Foundation. Medicine Hat auctioned off their game-worn jerseys from the evening, with captain Mark Rassell’s going for highest value in the live auction at $4,600. The jersey auctions brought in a total of $49,735 for the Kidney Foundation,
The Tigers head to Cranbrook to take on the Kootenay Ice (25-37-3-1) Sunday at 4 p.m.