Special Teams help vault Tigers to opening night win over Hitmen
Calgary, AB – The Medicine Hat Tigers opened the 2023-2024 Regular season
The first period saw plenty of opportunities for both sides but starting goaltenders Evan May (Nanaimo, BC) & Ethan Buenaventura were stalwarts in between the pipes stopping eight and seven shots respectfully keeping the game scoreless through the first 20 minutes of play.
In the second period the Tigers would waste little time to open the scoring in the regular season opener as Brayden Boehm (Nanaimo, BC) would speed in on a 2-on-1 with Andrew Basha (Calgary, AB) at 1:34 to make 1-0 Tigers.
The Tigers penalty kill would be tested five times through the first 40 minutes but with those infractions, the Tigers would make pay-dirt twice thanks to newly named captain Tyler MacKenzie (Red Deer, AB) would bang home a rebound started by Brayden Boehm at 10:43, moving the road lead to 2-0.
Another penalty and another goal for the Tigers late in the 2nd as Shane Smith (Cessford, AB) would keep on a two-on-one and beat Buenaventura at 18:26 and giving the orange & black a 3-0 advantage heading to the third.
Calgary would respond to start the third period to put pressure on the Tigers as Benjamin Kindel would get his first WHL goal beat Evan May on a net-front scramble.at 8:02 but cue the captain one last time for the Tigers. Tyler MacKenzie awarded a penalty shot and at 14:21 seals the victory beating Buenaventura to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead and an eventual 4-1 victory on opening night.
Medicine Hat would go 0/3 on the power play but a perfect 8/8 on the penalty kill. They’d go on to outshoot the Hitmen 37-36.
Next up for the Tigers is the Home Opener Saturday night at Co-op Place. Tickets are available at tixx.ca or walk-up at the Tigers box office.