Tigers fall to Wheat Kings in OT on Teddy Bear Toss night

By Scott Roblin
December 2, 2017 - 10:53pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB - One night after engineering a late comeback against the Victoria Royals, the Medicine Hat Tigers had the tables turned on them Saturday against the Brandon Wheat Kings on their Teddy Bear Toss night.

Michael Bullion got the start on Saturday after Jordan Hollett was scratched after taking a knee to the head against the Royals.

2017 Tigers first-round pick Garin Bjorklund was called up for the first time in his WHL career, backing up Bullion against the Wheat Kings.

Brandon wasted no time getting the early advantage, stripping the Tigers from the puck in their own zone, with Evan Weinger scoring 1:50 into the game.

Medicine Hat began to press the issue shortly after, heavily outshooting the Wheat Kings but were unable to beat Logan Thompson.

Both Mark Rassell and Ryan Jevne came extraordinarily close to sending the teddy bears over the glass, but the crossbar and post eluded the pair from tying the game.

With 4:42 left in the period, Brandon defender Braden Schneider was sent to the penalty box for hooking, putting the Tigers on the power play.

On the man advantage, David Quenneville ripped home his ninth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 and made it rain teddy bears at the Canalta Centre.

After a few minutes of cleaning up all the bears, the call was made for a full flood of the ice with the remaining 3:59 of the first to be played ahead of the second period.

Brandon captain Tanner Kaspick was able to give the Wheat Kings the lead once again with just 41 seconds left in the period, getting behind the Tigers defence and sniping on Bullion to make it a 2-1 game.

Medicine Hat was able to get that goal back early in the second however, as Dawson’s Heathcote’s shot was stopped but Thompson allowed a juicy rebound in the crease.

Settling into the feet of Jaeger White, he shovel the puck into the open cage to knot the score at 2-2 with 16:33 left in the period.

With less than five minutes to play in the second, the Tigers got their first lead of the game off the stick of Ryan Chyzowski, showing great patience with the puck on the power play to open up Thompson’s five-hole and score.

Medicine Hat made it a 4-2 contest in the final minute of the period off an odd-man rush, as Tyler Preziuso kept the puck and sniped for his eighth of the year.

The ‘Wheaties’ were able to get it back to a one goal contest less than three minutes into the third, with a puck shot along the goal line bouncing off a Tigers defender before hitting Baron Thompson and sliding past Bullion.

Stelio Mattheos was able to find the tying goal with 4:11 remaining in the third, batting at a loose puck to score his 20th of the season to knot the game at 4-4.

Seconds later, Bullion came through in the clutch with a monster save on the doorstep to keep the game locked up.

For the second straight night the Tigers needed overtime, but this time they weren’t able to maintain their perfect record in the extra frame.

After killing off a penalty, Mattheos was able to snap home a one-timer past Bullion 1:35 into the fourth period to secure a 5-4 comeback win for the Wheat Kings.

Medicine Hat outshot Brandon 45-30 over the course of the evening, while Bullion was credited with his sixth loss of the year.

Back into the loss column, the Tigers now hold a record of 16-10-1 and remain in first place in their division.

Medicine Hat hits the road for a Saskatchewan/Manitoba expedition on Tuesday, when they face the Warriors in Moose Jaw.

Bandits take third straight, beating Canucks 4-2 at home