April 24th, 2024

Tigers lose Game 4 in last second, face elimination Friday

By James Tubb on April 3, 2024.

NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB Medicine Hat Tigers forward Andrew Basha gets stopped while taking a shot by Red Deer Rebels defenceman Jace Weir in the second period of a 3-2 Game 4 loss Wednesday at Red Deer.



Another heartbreaking loss has the Medicine Hat Tigers on the brink of elimination.

Medicine Hat lost 3-2 Wednesday night with the Red Deer Rebels scoring with 0.9 seconds left in the contest, winning Game 4 and taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Head coach Willie Desjardins liked his team’s start and he says they knew it wouldn’t be an easy series.

“We played hard, we were kind of lucky to get a power play to get us going a little bit but I thought we played well after that,” Desjardins said. “We carried the game for parts of the third.

“They’re a good team, they’re resilient and they play hard. We knew this was going to be a close series and it’s a close series.”

For the first time in the first-round matchup, Red Deer opened the scoring.

After Medicine Hat went on a four-minute power play, a turnover in the Red Deer end found Jhett Larson’s stick and he raced down the ice to score on a breakaway. His shorthanded goal, the second in as many nights for Red Deer, put them ahead 8:30 into the game.

Medicine Hat answered back with the hometown kid. Captain Tyler MacKenzie scored on a wrap around just as the same extended power play ended, tying the game at 1-1 3:12 later. Hunter St. Martin had the lone assist.

The two teams traded goals in the second.

Red Deer kicked it off 6:54 into the frame with Carson Birnie’s first goal of the series. Samuel Drancak and Talon Brigley had the assists.

Medicine Hat answered back just 43 seconds later. Oasiz Wiesblatt carried the puck into the Rebels end on an odd-numbered rush and sent a pass ito Hunter St. Martin who redirected it past Chase Wutzke for the 2-2 tie. Dru Krebs had the second assist.

Both teams pushed in the third before the Rebels capitalized on a late power play. With the clock dwindling down and the puck in the Tigers end, Ollie Josephson collected a rebound and shot, Kai Uchacz sent a pass to Kalan Lind back door and he found twine with 0.9 seconds left in the game.

After a lengthy review on a potential high stick earlier in the sequence, it was ruled a good goal, sending the crowd of 4,367 into a frenzy.

Wutzke made 33 saves in the Rebels net and across the ice from him, Ethan McCallum stopped 31 shots.

The Tigers couldn’t capitalize on any of their power plays, Red Deer was one-for-three on the man advantage. Medicine Hat led the game in shots 35-34.

After being a late scratch in Game 3, Cayden Lindstrom was back in the Tigers lineup. 

The series turns back to Medicine Hat for a potentially decisive Game 5 on Friday.

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