Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Tigers Claw WHL Title from Giants

by Jes

You'd never know that both the Medicine Hat Tigers and Vancouver Giants were both already guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup as they went the distance to settle the WHL Finals.

Game 7, Double OT...too bad the Tigers came out on top with a 3-2 win. :^(

This series was tremendous, with both teams giving everything they had, and the Tigers fighting back from a 3-2 series deficit to take the final 2 games at home. It didn't help that Cody Franson was out with injury, and the Giants were playing with 5 d-men for most of the final game.

The Giants had a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period of Game Seven, but the Tigers showed a lot of desperation and basically took the tide of the game from then on. The loss prevented the Giants from repeating as WHL champs.

The game featured quite a few fog delays in the overtimes, reminiscent of the Buffalo Sabres foggy playoff games of the 70s. The refs called on the players from both teams to skate around and dissipate the fog.

Matt Keetley, the 20-year old goalie for the Tigers, was named Playoff MVP.

In terms of playoff performances among Giants prospects ...

Michal Repik, who slid in the CSS final rankings, led all playoff scorers with 16 assists and 26 points in 22 games. He was using his speed well to create offence all playoffs long.

Kenddal McArdle and Wacey Rabbit led all goal scorers with 11.

Cody Franson was either injured or not nearly as effective with just 7 points in 19 games. Ever since he came back from the WJC, he hasn't been the same player as he was before. What happened over there?

Mario Bliznak, the late Canucks pick, had 12 points in 22 games and was his awesome defensive self. He's still a long shot, but definitely one for Canucks fans to keep an eye on. He works very hard and showed some offensive ability in tight situations.

Now, both teams need to recover for the Memorial Cup, which starts here on Friday.

So, congrats to the Tigers, and may you have bad luck in the Memorial Cup ;)

PS: Bonus points to the Tigers music director who played Boney M's Rasputin before the first overtime, as well as some other 80s hits. The Giants or Canucks need to hire this guy.

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