Medicine Hat, AB — The WHL season is finally here. The Tigers start the season with the annual home and home series with their arch rivals from down the highway, the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Medicine Hat is sporting a young roster, with 8 rookies dressing for the Tabbies tonight. Starting goalies for tonight’s game – for the Tigers, Michael Bullion and for the Hurricanes Stuart Skinner.
The first period was played with lots of pace as both teams would try to take control of the game early. Medicine Hat would look to get the games first goal, but Ty Prefontaine looked to have pushed the net off, they would go upstairs and the goal would be disallowed. Dalton Gally would get caught for interference just 4:10 into the opening frame. On the Hurricanes power play, Ryan Chyzowski would break in shorthanded as Stuart Skinner would reach out and catch that one. Still on the powerplay, Jake Elmer would come down the wing, as Michael Bullion sticks out the blocker and makes the save. Newly named captain Mark Rassell would score the first goal of this Tigers season. Rassell with a burst of speed up the wing, would show lots of patience as he would wrap around the net and fired one past Stuart Skinner at 15:44 in the first period. The Hurricanes would tie the game up on powerplay. Jordy Bellerive would find Giorgio Estephan as he would get one past Bullion to tie this game 1-1. Bullion would stop 14/15 shots he faced in the 1st. Lethbridge would hold a 15-13 shot lead after one.
The tempo would continue into the 2nd period. Gary Haden would find some ice in the middle of the slot and blast one past the Hurricanes netminder at 3:23 into the 2nd period as the Tigers would take a 2-1 lead. Henry Rybinski would get called for hooking at 13:22. On the powerplay Dylan Cozens would raise one over Michael bullion to tie this game at 2-2. Tempers would flare up a bit later as a scrum would ensue, facewashes, pushes and shoves would be exchanged. After everything was settled the Hurricanes would go back on the powerplay. On the powerplay Igor Merezhko would take a point shot from the blue line, Bullion would be equal to the task but Jadon Joseph would be there as the rebound comes right to him. The Hurricanes would take a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd period.
In the 3rd period, a defensive battle would take place as the ice would shorten up. Jadon Joseph would be all alone on a breakaway and would get tripped up and be awarded a penalty shot. Michael Bullion with great patience, as he out waits Jadon Joseph and makes the huge pad save to keep it a one-goal game. Zane Franklin would add to the Hurricanes lead as he fires one through a maze of bodies in front of Bullion as it sneaks by the Tigers netminder to take a 4-2 lead. With 3 minutes left in the game, the Tigers would pull the goalie for the extra attacker looking for a spark. Jadon Joseph would seal this game into the empty net as the Hurricanes win this game by a score of 5-2.
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