April 12th, 2024

Tigers shutout 2-0 Sunday, first time this season

By James Tubb on March 3, 2024.

NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB Calgary Hitmen goaltender Ethan Buenaventura stops Medicine Hat Tigers captain Tyler MacKenzie on a net front opportuntiy in the first period of a 2-0 Tigers loss Sunday at Co-op Place.

The Medicine Hat Tigers couldn’t find the back of the net Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers were shutout 2-0 by the Calgary Hitmen at Co-op Place, the first time this season they’ve been held off the score sheet. Calgary net minder Ethan¬†Buenaventura made 32 saves for his first career WHL shutout.

That was good battle by the Hitmen,” head coach Willie Desjardins said. “They came out of Red Deer last night, a disappointing loss and we didn’t start very good. They were down and if we started quick, we maybe we turn that game around right away. But we didn’t start quick, we gave them some life and they took advantage of it.”

The Tigers came into the contest off a there-goal comeback win Friday, beating the Edmonton Oil Kings 7-4. They also clinched a playoff spot Saturday with the Hitmen’s 2-1 loss to the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday.

Calgary opened the scoring 5:53 into the game on a clean shot from Oliver Tulk that beat Zach Zahara for the 1-0 lead. Medicine Hat outshot the Hitmen 14-10 in the frame.

After a second period where the Tigers pushed for a goal and missed on opportunities, Calgary struck with 27 seconds left in the period. Carson Wetsch knocked at a loose puck off a face off that was stopped by Zahara but the Hitmen forward knocked in the rebound for the 2-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Medicine Hat pushed in the third but the Hitmen held them at bay, with both teams only recording five shots each in the period. As the buzzer sounded the Hitmen celebrated the milestone game with their goaltender as the crowd of 3,191 headed for the exits, handing the Tigers the 2-0 loss. Zahara made 21 saves in the loss, Medicine Hat outshot the Hitmen 32-23.

Neither team capitalized on the man advantage, with the Tigers killing off three penalties and the Hitmen killing two. The road team won the face off battle, 42-27.

The Tigers (34-19-5-2) are off until Tuesday when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings at Co-op Place.

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