July 24th, 2024

Tigers win 3-2 in overtime Wednesday

By James Tubb on October 18, 2023.

The Medicine Hat Tigers capitalized with some theatrics Wednesday night.

Oasiz Wiesblatt scored 2:24 into overtime as the Tigers beat the Vancouver Giants 3-2 in the extra frame. Medicine Hat came into the contest off a 4-1 win Tuesday at Victoria against the Royals.

Medicine Hat opened the scoring late in the first period. Brayden Boehm picked up a loose puck in his own end while shorthanded and scored on a breakaway for the 1-0 lead with 2:30 left in the period. Tyler MacKenzie had the lone assist on Boehm’s fourth goal of the season and the Tigers’ fifth shorthanded goal of the season.

Medicine Hat outshot the Giants 14-6 in the first period.

The Giants answered back in the second frame, grabbing a lead just over the halfway point of the frame. Jakob Oreskovic picked up a puck that bounced off the end boards behind the net and banked it in for his first WHL goal, making it a tie game. Vancouver took the lead at the 11:41 mark as Skyler Bruce, while falling, put the puck up and over Medicine Hat starter Zach Zahara for the 2-1 lead.

Zahara, making his first WHL start, held the Giants at bay after that goal. The Rocky View, Alta. product turned aside 25 shots for the win, his second career victory in the WHL but first as a starter. The game was Zahara’s fourth appearance in the WHL, having come into three different games in relief over the last three seasons. He picked up his first WHL win making one save in the Tigers’ 8-7 OT win at Swift Current on Oct. 6.

The Tigers evened it up late in the second period. Tomas Mrsic, with a large amount of friends and family in attendance from Surrey, B.C., cradled the puck in the circles on a power play and wired a shot shot shelf for the 2-2 score. Wiesblatt and Gavin McKenna had the helpers on Mrsic’s third goal of the season.

Medicine Hat led the contest in shots through 40 minutes, outshooting the Giants 33-15.

Neither team found the back of the net in the third period despite pushes from both clubs. Vancouver outshot the Tigers 11-8 in the frame and had multiple high danger chances late with Zahara turning them aside to force overtime.

In the extra frame, with the Tigers coming off an expired power play, Wiesblatt straddled the blue line with the puck and just kept it onside before skating in and firing a shot top shelf for his first of the season and the game winner. Bogdans Hodass had the lone assist on the goal that sent the Vancouver faithful into a booing frenzy and the Tigers over the boards to celebrate.

Offside challenges on goals were removed from the WHL rulebook ahead of this season, giving the Giants no opportunity to question whether or not the puck crossed the blue line.

Across the ice from Zahara, Vancouver net minder Brett Mirwald stole the Giants a point with 45 saves in the contest.

The Tigers (6-3-1) continue the latter half of their B.C. road trip as they head to Kamloops on Friday to face former Medicine Hat head coach and GM Shaun Clouston and the Blazers. The road trip comes to a close on Sunday when Medicine Hat heads to Prince George to battle the Cougars.

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