By Kellen Taniguchi on March 28, 2021.
In a game of lead changes and after-the-whistle battles, the Medicine Hat Tigers needed an overtime period to complete a weekend series sweep of the Lethbridge Hurricanes with a 5-4 win. Oren Shtrom’s first Western Hockey League goal clinched the victory for the Tigers.
“It’s definitely nice to just finally get it, but getting that win was definitely a lot better,” said Shtrom post-game.
The Tigers power play got on the board early on Sunday — Brett Kemp pushed a puck through Hurricanes’ keeper Carl Tetachuk’s five-hole just over five minutes into the game. Tabbies captain, Ryan Chyzowski, shot the puck through traffic and Kemp took care of the rebound.
Medicine Hat kept applying pressure in the first period until Cole Clayton got sent to the bin for interference.
The Hurricanes took advantage of the power play and banged home a rebound of their own with just under five minutes left in the frame. Chase Wheatcroft powered the wrister past Tabbies’ goalie Garin Bjorklund to even the score.
The teams exchanged tallies in the second period, with Noah Boyko’s turnaround wrister finding twine and giving the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead, and a Corson Hopwo wrister tying the score shortly after.
The Tabbies kept putting pucks to the net and Tetachuk made a diving glove save on a Tyler MacKenzie one-timer to keep things tied at two. However, the home team took the lead back with a four-on-four goal 13:47 into the second frame — Chyzowski skated into the offensive zone and sniped a puck top corner over Tetachuk’s glove.
Lethbridge defenceman Joe Arntsen sent a shot through traffic which found the back of the net and evened the score at three just over a minute later.
The Tigers cashed in on a second four-on-four goal eight seconds into the final period. Clayton sent a cross-ice pass to Chyzowski who one-timed his second of the game by Tetachuk.
Two minutes later, the game was tied again — Lethbridge winger Justin Hall found himself on a breakaway where he chipped the puck across the goal line, forcing extra time.
Bjorklund made multiple big saves in the overtime period, before Clayton found a wide-open Shtrom who made no mistake with 49 seconds remaining to give the Tigers the 5-4 win.
“It’s never easy to beat a team three times in three days,” said Tigers assistant coach Joe Frazer. “Lethbridge is a good team, they play hard, physical, they’re hard to play against. The guys battled and it wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win.”
With the win, the Tigers improve to 7-3-0-0, while the Hurricanes drop to 3-6-2-0.
“Throughout my whole career they’ve been a pretty big rival for us and even without the fans you can still feel it. It’s just awesome to beat them, it feels good every single time,” said Chyzowski post-game.
Medicine Hat will take the ice again on Friday at Co-Op place when they face off against the Calgary Hitmen at 7 p.m.