VS. BRANDON – The Medicine Hat Tigers will open the 2018 WHL Playoffs against the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight at the Canalta Centre. Although it will be a rematch of last year’s first round of playoffs where the Tigers swept the Wheat Kings in four games, every regular season contest between these two clubs has been decided in extra time with the Wheat Kings coming out on top in 3 of the 4 meetings.
Who to Watch
Medicine Hat Tigers – Mark Rassell has excelled in his role as a leader for the Tigers this season and he will be counted on to lead the Tigers in the Playoffs. Rassell is a dynamic, speedy forward with an offensive upside who has been able to light the lamp at key moments for his team during the regular season. Look for the 21-year-old Calgary native to help create goal scoring opportunities in tonight’s tilt.
Brandon Wheat Kings – Stelio Mattheos has played well against the Tigers in regular season picking up 9 points (5G, 4A) in 4 games played. Mattheos was also the Wheat Kings’ second highest point producer in the regular season with 90 points (43G, 47A).
Regular Season Memorable Moments
Dawson Heathcote scored a hat trick in his rookie season October 20th, 2017 vs Kootenay ICE.
After beating the Red Deer Rebels at home on December 30th, 2017, Shaun Clouston became the winningest coach in franchise history with 324 wins, surpassing former coach and mentor Willie Desjardins’ mark of 323.
David Quenneville recorded his 197th career point as a Medicine Hat Tiger February 9th, 2018, against the Calgary Hitmen, setting a new franchise record for points by a defenceman, passing Kris Russell’s previous mark of 196 points.
Mark Rassell scored his 100th Career WHL Goal February 24, 2018 vs the Wheat Kings. He is the 31st Tiger to score 100 goals in their career
Mark Rassell scored his 50th goal of the season March 9, 2018 vs. the Edmonton Oil Kings.
David Quenneville was named to the Eastern Conference 1st All-Star Team.
Mark Rassell and David Quenneville had banner years for the Orange and Black while tying for top point producing Tigers with 80 points each. Rassell scored 50 goals and picked up 30 assists while Quenneville netted 26 goals and had 54 assists.
Six other Tigers also reached career highs in goals and assists this season including
Ryan Chyzowski (21G, 31A)
Ryan Jevne (20G, 27A)
Gary Haden (17G, 25A)
Jaeger White (10G, 24A)
Dylan MacPherson (4G, 18A)
Dalton Gally (2G, 10A)
Tyler Preziuso and Kristians Rubins reached career highs in goals and points this season.
Preziuso scored 17 goals, combined with his 16 assists, he reached a career high of 33 points.
Rubins netted 7 goals himself and assisted on another 20 goals for a career high of 27 points.
James Hamblin reached career highs in assists and points this season. Hamblin nearly doubled his assist production picking up 43 on the year and along with his 21 goals, he reached a career high of 64 points.
New Kids on the Block
Hayden Ostir scored a total of 9 goals and picked up 17 assists this season, 6 goals and 14 assists while wearing Orange and Black.
Elijah Brown became a Tiger before the trade deadline and scored more goals (7) in Orange and Black than in his career as Thunderbird (6).
Bryan Lockner reached career highs in goals (14) and assists (12) this season. Lockner joined the Tigers at trade deadline and scored 7 goals while picking up 7 assists in Orange and Black.
Our Tigers Rookies contributed to the success of the season putting up a combined total of 25 goals and 65 assists during the regular season.
Josh Williams 11G, 9A
Dawson Heathcote 6G, 3A
Henry Rybinski 3 G, 9 A
Cole Clayton 2G, 5A
Linus Nassen 1G, 25A
Baxter Anderson 1G, 4 A
Joel Craven 1G, 6A
Trevor Longo 0G, 4A
Protecting the Paint:
During the regular season:
Jordan Hollett sported a 16-13-4 record with a 3.43 GAA and a .896 SV%
Michael Bullion had a 20-15-3 record with a 3.19 GAA and a 0.891 SV%
Mason Shaw – lower body (week to week)
James Hamblin – upper body (indefinite)