By James Tubb on February 9, 2024.
The Medicine Hat Tigers never settled in at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.
The Tigers scored first before allowing four unanswered goals in a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Hitmen.
Shane Smith opened the scoring with his 25th of the season. Tomas Mrsic and Matt Paranych had the helpers on his first period marker. Calgary scored four straight goals across the first and second periods.
Wyatt Pisarczyk found the back of the net just under seven minutes after Smith’s goal to make it a 1-1 game. Just under two minutes later, Ben Kindel intercepted a pass on a Tigers power play and scored on a shorthanded breakaway for the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Calgary’s Carson Wetsch scored 4:11 into the second period for the eventual game winner. With 2:33 left in the middle frame, Carter Yakemchuk scored from the point on a power play for the 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
With the score 4-1, Rhett Parsons scored on a four-on-four power play mid-way through the third period. Gavin McKenna and Oasiz Wiesblatt had the assists on Parsons’ fifth.
David Adaszynski and Oliver Tulk each scored within 31 seconds of each other in the third to make it a 6-2 final.
A penalty filled affair was turned on its head late with 22 different infractions called in the last three minutes, with both teams combining for 152 penalty minutes. Medicine Hat couldn’t capitalize on any of their three power plays, Calgary was 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
Ethan McCallum made 31 saves in the loss. Across the ice from him, Ethan Buenaventura made 20 saves.
The Tigers (30-17-3-1) are back in action Saturday when they host the Red Deer Rebels at Co-op Place. It’s their final regular season matchup against the Rebels and a battle of first and second in the Central division.
Red Deer lost 6-4 Friday to the Moose Jaw Warriors, leaving the Tigers three-point division lead intact.