By Ryan McCracken on February 8, 2018.
The injury bug has caught back up to the Medicine Hat Tigers.
While the Tigers picked up a convincing 6-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings Wednesday at the Canalta Centre, they did it with their least intact roster of the season after losing three more players to various injuries over the past week.
The Tigers lost defenceman Joel Craven to an upper body injury in last Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors, then go-to goaltender Jordan Hollett and overage blueliner Kristians Rubins were adding to the growing list of injured Tigers in Saturday’s 5-4 setback to the Giants in Vancouver.
Thankfully, says Tigers head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston, they’re all expected to return for playoffs.
“We’ll make sure they all have plenty of time to heal up but there’s nothing major,” said Clouston. “We expect it all to be fairly minor.”
Hollett opted to stay behind in his hometown of Langley after suffering his lower-body injury while making a save of Giants forward Ty Ronning during an odd-man rush. Hollett — who boasts a 16-12-0-0 record with an .896 save percentage —is expected to miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with the injury.
“His knee extended on a save where he got his pad clipped,” said Clouston.
Rubins suffered his upper-body injury during a play in the same game. The Latvian defenceman has six goals and 19 assists on Medicine Hat’s back end this season, but he’ll be on the shelf for the next 3-to-4 weeks.
Craven suffered his injury in a head check from Warriors winger Barrett Sheen and did not travel with the team for their four-game B.C. Division trip last week. Sheen was suspended five games for the check. Craven is listed at week-to-week.
The injuries bring Medicine Hat’s injured reserve to six players. Forward Hayden Ostir is expected to miss 3-to-5 more weeks with a hand injury, defenceman Linus Nassen is still 2-to-3 weeks away form a return after breaking a bone in his wrist and centre Mason Shaw’s timetable remains indefinite after tearing his ACL in the pre-season —though Shaw has resumed skating and will hit the ice at the Canalta Centre prior to this afternoon’s practice.
The Tigers did return forward Tyler Preziuso to the lineup for Wednesday’s win. Preziuso missed five games after taking a puck to the head in Medicine Hat’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Kelowna Rockets on Jan. 26, but opened the scoring Wednesday with his 12th of the year.
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