Tigers 3 - Giants 2 - Final
MH Goal - Brennan Bosch (Glass)
Brennan Bosch scored the game/series/championship winning goal in double overtime to give the Medicine Hat Tigers the WHL crown for 2007. What an unbelievable game, great series, this is bare bones hockey. I feel sorry for those of you who could not watch these kids go end to end, shot for shot. Congrats to the Tigers, on to the Memorial Cup.
Tigers 2 - Giants 2 - End of 1st Overtime
Shots on Goal
The Tigers (IMO) really took it to the Giants in the first overtime period but Tyson Sexsmith was excellent making several key saves and getting the Giant out of the period. The Medicine Hat Arena is reminding me of the 1990 Stanley Cup final in Boston as there is fog billowing from the ice. The game was stopped on at least three occasions so that the players could come out on to the ice as skate around to help disipate the fog. The Medicine Hat arena was built in 1970 when hockey season ended by the end of April so the arena is not updated with the latest technology to prevent such occurances. There is a new arena in the works however it has been greatly contested in city council. Regardless, these kids continue to pour everything they have into every shift.
Brett Festerling is showing why he is the captain of the Giants. Derek Dorsett, Darrin Helm and Tyler Ennis all have had glorious opportunities to end the game. As mentioned Tyson Sexsmith has made me eat crow with his play in this game and throughout the playoffs. I thought all through this season that goaltending may do this team in but not from what I have seen tonight. Time for period 5....
Tigers 2 - Giants 2 - End of Reg.
MH Goal - Daine Todd (Chris Stevens, Derek Dorsett)
Shots on Goal
The Giants dominated the first half of the period according to the telecast (I was watching 'How I Met Your Mother') and just as I joined the game the Tigers got their first scoring opportunity of the period and they scored. As I mentioned in the pre-game, these kids are playing for pride and pride alone. Sure the WHL Championship is there but its the Memorial Cup next week that they all want and both these teams have been guaranteed their spot in the tournament for the past two weeks. I don't know how much these kids are gonna have come tournament time because they have left everything on the ice tonight in Medicine Hat. These two teams hate each other and they hate to lose. As a spectator you have to have respect for both teams and I am sure that the players have respect for their opponents in this case as well. That probably contributes to the hatred.
Chris Russell, Derek Dorsett, Darrin Helm, Tyler Ennis and Matt Keetley are outstanding players for the Tigers. Wacy Rabbit, Brett Festerling, Kendall McArdle, and Tyler Sexsmith are having unreal games. Several of the players are drafted but there are also quite a few that will be looking to scholarships for next season or they may hang up the skates and become regular people. This experience is one that they will never forget, game seven; league championship, overtime looms....
Tigers 1 - Giants 0 after 1st period
Van Goal - Wacy Rabbit (Michal Repik, A.J. Thelen)
Van Goal - Michal Repik (Milan Lucic, Wacy Rabbit)
Shots on Goal
Second period was dominated by the Giants with the Tigers only begin able to must a few odd man rushes. Giants were only able to muster the tying goal while on the power play. Tigers took control with about 5 mins remaining in the middle frame with Sexsmith holding the fort. Darren Helm dangled through the Giants D and rang one off the post before Michal Repik was able to put home a wrap around attempt from Milan Lucic.
MH Goal - Tyler Ennis (8) - Assists Darren Helm, Brennan Bosch
Shots on Goal
I thought I would update those less fortunate ones out there. This game is incredibly intense, the crowd is going crazy the players have put it all on the table. Great saves at both ends, physical everthing that the NHL is not especially at this time of year. It makes you seriously wonder what happens to the intensity that some players lose once they get the big paycheck.
With the OHL and QMJHL reps having been determined with the Plymouth Whalers and Lewiston Maineiacs winning thier respective league titles, the Vancouver Giants and Medicine Hat Tigers have decided to play hard ball with one another. As previously mentioned both the Tigers and Giants were guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup the moment they advanced to the WHL Championship. Now, in most cases you would expect the two teams to take the series rather lightly and gear themselves up for the big tournament which this Friday.
Not these two heavyweights. Both the Giants and Tigers have had moments throughout this series that make you wonder how they got this far, but for the most part these two teams have shown exactly why they are the class of the WHL.
This series has been nothing more than a battle for pride. Pride brings out the best in hockey players. To enter the tournament as 'the team that didn't win their league championship' would bring serious sting to the ego. These kids are learning what it means to play for the crest on your jersey and the other 18 guys in the room.
Game Seven goes in about two hours time, in the barn in Medicine Hat. The winner goes on to the Memorial Cup, mind you...so does the loser. Pride is all they have left to play for.