The Story Coming In
The Medicine Hat Tigers will open their 50th anniversary season with a home and home series against Central Division rivals, the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Tigers have 15 returning veteran players and recently added 20-year-old Parker Gavlas to their roster to help bolster their blue line. The Tabbies will look to veteran forwards James Hamblin, Brett Kemp and Ryan Chyzowski to lead the charge offensively.
Tigers vs. Hurricanes
The Tigers and the Hurricanes are no strangers to opening their WHL campaigns by playing against each other. They have consistently faced off in a home and home series since the 2012-13 season with Medicine Hat boasting a 9-5-0-0 record against Lethbridge in the opening weekend series. Over the past five years, the Tabbies’ regular season record against the ‘Canes is 12-18-1-0.
View from Lethbridge
After finishing second in the Central Division last season, the Lethbridge Hurricanes will have 12 returning players including goaltender Carl Tetachuk who posted a 3-0-0-0 record, a 1.67 GAA and a 0.949 SAV% against the Tabbies last season. The Hurricanes went 1-2-1-0 in preseason play and they were led by 2002 born forwards Alex Thacker (1G, 3A) and Chase Wheatcroft (1G, 3A).
Brett Kemp set new career highs in all offensive categories last season with 33 goals and 27 assists in 64 games played and he will be looking to build on that this season. The 19-year-old Yorkton, SK native is a smart, fast forward that has good hands and a great shot. Look for Kemp to drive to the net and create scoring lanes for the Tigers tonight.
Returning for his overage season, James Hamblin was selected by his teammates to captain the 50th edition of the Medicine Hat Tigers. The former first round bantam pick has played his whole WHL career in Orange and Black, suiting up for 261 games, scoring 79 goals and picking up 113 assists. Hamblin is a fast, skilled, two way forward with a relentless work ethic.
- The Tigers’ posted a 2-2-0-0 record in preseason play and they were led by Bryan Lockner with 4 points (all assists) in 3 games played.
- Carrying over from last regular season, four Tigers are on point streaks. Brett Kemp has 12 points (6G, 6A) in his last 7 games, James Hamblin has 9 points (1G, 8A) in his last 6 games, Ryan Chyzowski has 8 points (4G, 4A) in his last 4 games and Cole Clayton has 3 points (3A) in his last 3 games played.
- Mads Søgaard was drafted in the 2nd round, 37th overall by the Ottawa Senators. He is the third highest goaltender drafted in Tigers franchise history.
- Four Tigers were invited to NHL Rookie Camps, Mads Søgaard (OTT), Ryan Chyzowski (WPG), James Hamblin (TOR) and Brett Kemp (NYR).
- The last time newly returned bench boss Willie Desjardins visited the Enmax Centre with the Tabbies was March 12th, 2010, when the Tigers came out on top of a 5-4 game.
- James Hamblin is the Tigers’ first two-year captain since Wacey Hamilton in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
About the Medicine Hat Tigers
The Medicine Hat Tigers are a junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) who play out of Medicine Hat, AB and were established in 1970. In 49 seasons of playing major junior hockey, the Tigers have won 2 Scotty Munro Memorial Trophies, as well as, 210 playoff games which led to winning 43 playoff series, raising 33 banners, winning five Ed Chynoweth Cups and two Memorial Cups.