CALGARY, AB - The Medicine Hat Tigers got the last laugh against their former netminder on Friday night, doubling up Nick Schneider and the Calgary Hitmen 4-2.
Coming into Friday night’s contest at the Saddledome with back-to-back wins over Saskatoon and Seattle, the Tigers were trying to get a jump on the Hitmen in the first of a home-and-home set.
Medicine Hat held the early shots advantage, but were found short-handed midway through the first period with Cameron MacPhee in the box.
Jakob Stukel was able to show off some night moves in front of Jordan Hollett, beating the Tigers goalie on the power play to give the Hitmen a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers trailed Calgary by a 1-0 count until the final minute of the period, when Jaeger White got one to trickle past Schneider for his first of the season and his first in a Tigers uniform.
Tied heading to the second period, once again Medicine Hat had to mount a comeback with Calgary’s Luke Coleman tipping home a point shot 4:35 into the second to put the Hitmen ahead 2-1.
Cue captain Mark Rassell, who was sent on a partial breakaway from James Hamblin and David Quenneville, and sniped on Schneider to knot the game at 2-2 just before the end of the second period.
Moving to the third frame, it was Medicine Hat getting some early period offence from the point as Kristians Rubins fired home his second of the year 2:30 into the third to give the Tigers their first lead of the game.
Late in the third, Schneider made a big stop on a Tigers breakaway to keep it a one-goal game, but Rassell added an empty net goal late to secure a 4-2 win for Medicine Hat.
Rassell was named the game’s first star with two goals and three points, while Hollett made 23 saves on 25 saves for the Tigers.
Friday’s game was also the first WHL contest for rookie Nick McCarry, who was held off the scoresheet.
Winners of their last three games, the Tigers have improved to an 11-6 record and sit five points ahead of Kootenay and Red Deer for first place in the Central Division.
Medicine Hat will try to run their win streak to four on Saturday night, when they welcome the Hitmen to the Canalta Centre for the back half of their series.
Game time between the Tigers and Hitmen is set for 7:30 pm.
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