By Ryan McCracken on February 10, 2019.
Mads Søgaard extended his hot streak on Sunday evening at the Moda Center.
The 18-year-old Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender stopped 32 shots and five straight shootout attempts to stymie the Portland Winterhawks and collect his fourth consecutive victory in a 2-1 thriller.
The victory sends the Tigers back to Medicine Hat after collecting seven of a possible eight points in their four-game swing through Cranbrook and the US Division.
Joachim Blichfeld broke Sunday’s early stalemate when he found a loose puck on the doorstep and beat Tigers goaltender Mads Søgaard just past the halfway point of the opening frame. The tally pushed Blichfeld to 45 goals and 93 points on the season — both WHL bests.
The Tigers came to the ice with a stronger effort in the second period, outshooting Portland 13-7 in the frame, but they were unable to get anything behind Winterhawks goaltender Shane Farkas.
Portland put 13 pucks on Søgaard in the first, then sent another eight shots his way in the middle frame, but the Hat netminder held firm to keep the Tigers within reach after 40 minutes.
Ryan Jevne finally snapped Portland’s shutout bid when he cut in on goal and chipped Ryan Chyzowski’s rebound over Farkas four minutes into the third — crashing into the Winterhawk netminder, but tying the game with a shorthanded tally in the process.
Portland pushed the pace into overtime, but Søgaard held the door shut then Chyzowski stole the win away by scoring the lone goal of the shootout in the fifth round.
Søgaard stopped Blichfeld, Reece Newkirk, Seth Jarvis, Jake Gricius and Cross Hanas.
Farkas stopped 38 shots in the loss — dropping Portland to 33-16-3-3 — then prevented James Hamblin, Brett Kemp, Ryan Jevne and Bryan Lockner from scoring in the shootout before allowing Chyzowski’s game-winner.
Medicine Hat improved to 31-18-3-2 with the victory.
The Tigers return to the Canalta Centre Wednesday to host Max Gerlach, Gary Haden and the Saskatoon Blades (34-13-8-0) at 7 p.m.
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