April 24th, 2024

Tigers hold on for win in 9-7 contest over Oil Kings

By James Tubb on February 19, 2024.

A five-goal second period propelled the Medicine Hat Tigers through a wild contest Monday afternoon.

The Tigers led 8-4 after 40 minutes and held on for the 9-7 road victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Associate coach Joe Frazer spoke with the News from Rogers Place and says they’re just happy to walk away with two points.

“Honestly a crazy game, five on five we were really sharp, we only gave up seven chances at even strength, we were really good,” Frazer said. ‘Special teams were a little off tonight, which hasn’t happened much this year. But overall it’s just great to get two points.”

The Tigers allowed four power play goals on six penalty kills and surrendered two shorthanded goals while only scoring on one of their four power plays.

Medicine Hat opened the scoring early in the afternoon.

Gavin McKenna fired a shot on net at a sharp angle along the boards that found twine. Oasiz Wiesblatt had the lone assist the 1:04 marker.

Just over seven minutes later, Tomas Mrsic took a pass from Andrew Basha in the slot, scoring on a one one-timer for his 16th of the season. Wiesblatt had the second assist on the power play goal.

Edmonton answered back in the frame, tying it up at 2-2 before the period ended. Blade Fiddler batted in a puck that was originally ruled a no goal but after a lengthy review was deemed to have crossed the goal line. The Oil Kings then tied it up on a power play goal from Marshall Finnie with 1:11 left in the second.

With just 22 seconds left in the period, Hunter St. Martin jammed in a loose puck as a Medicine Hat power play expired to re-take the lead with his 21st of the season.

Edmonton scored first in the second with a power play goal from 15-year-old Joe Iginla in his second WHL game. His goal at 2:19 was followed up by McKenna who broke in with the puck off the face off at centre ice and wired a shot past Kolby Hay to put Medicine Hat back ahead. His goal, assisted by Wiesblatt, opened a run of five unanswered Tiger goals.

At the 8:42 mark, Basha took a pass from Reid Andresen who was in the slot, skated in and scored on Hay for his 25th of the season. Mrsic had the second assist on the goal ending Hay’s afternoon in net.

With Hudson Perry between the pipes, a Tiger rush opportunity ended with Vasyl Spilka scoring 21 seconds after Basha’s goal. St. Martin and Bogdans Hodass had the assists. Just over three minutes later, Spilka picked up a puck in the slot and scored his second of the game and seventh of the season. St. Martin and Kadon McCann picked up the assists.

A little under a minute after Spilka’s goal, Wiesblatt created a turnover at the Tigers blue line and McKenna picked up the puck for a breakaway. The 16-year-old broke in and deked his way into an open shot for his hat trick goal and 28th on the season.

The Oil Kings got the final offence of the second period, with Iginla wiring home a shot on a power play, making it an 8-4 game with 5:15 left in the period which stood after 40 minutes.

Edmonton made a push in the third period. They opened the scoring 6:06 into the final frame with a backhand goal from Gracyn Sawchyn to make it an 8-5 game.

Medicine Hat rebounded with a goal from Wiesblatt, jamming in a loose puck for his 24th, for a 9-5 lead with 9:50 left in the game. The Oil Kings scored shorthanded less than three minutes later on a break from Ty Nash. They made it a two-goal game with 53 seconds left on Finnie’s second of the game.

But the Tigers held on for the 9-7 final in front of 12,370 fans in attendance. Eight different Tigers collected multi point nights, with McKenna (3G, 1A) and Wiesblatt (1G, 3A) tallying four point nights. St. Martin had a goal and two assists, Spilka had two markers, MacKenzie and Andresen had two helpers, and both Basha and Mrsic had a goal and an assist each.

Zach Zahara made 18 saves for the win. Across the ice from him, Hay had 21 saves in his 28:42 of action and Perry had 18 saves.

The Tigers (33-17-4-2) are off until Friday when they head to Swift Current to face the Broncos in the first of a home-and-home series.

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