All eyes were on David Quenneville Friday night at the Canalta Centre, and the New York Islanders prospect did not disappoint.
The 19-year-old inked his name in the history books, becoming the Medicine Hat Tigers all-time leader in points scored by a defenceman, in a dominating 4-0 victory over the Calgary Hitmen.
Quenneville's two assists earned him 197 points, eclipsing former Tigers captain Kris Russell's mark of 196.
Michael Bullion earned his second straight shut-out turning aside 16 shots in the Tigers second victory in three nights. Elijah Brown tallied a pair of goals, while captain Mark Rassell and Ryan Chyzowski rounded out the scoring.
With the Tigers dealing with a plethora of injuries and the Hitmen dealing many of their veterans at the trade deadline, both teams iced a relatively young line-up, giving the rookies a chance to shine.
It was muck-and-grind hockey in the first period, with the Tigers outshooting the Hitmen 11-3 through 20 minutes of play. Zach Huber and Bryan Lockner dropped the mitts, with Huber getting a couple punches in before both fell to the ice.
Despite missing three blue-liners with injuries, the Tabbies put on a defensive clinic in the first period, keeping Calgary off the shot clock through the first 12 minutes of play.
Although tested just three times in the first 20 minutes, Bullion came up huge against Tristen Nielsen with two minutes to go on a breakaway.
Much like the first period of Wednesday’s 6-0 win over Edmonton, The Tabbies exploded in the second period with three quick goals in the first 3:36, leading to a Calgary time-out. Brown got things started at the 1:16 mark, Rassell notched his 44th of the season just 57 seconds later. David Quenneville’s shot from the point set up Rassell perfectly, tying him with Russell for the all-time record.
Brown scored his second goal of the period just over a minute later, with Daniel Baker getting the assist, his first point of his WHL career.
Rookie Baker joined the team on a call-up basis Tuesday, after Kristians Rubins joined a long list of injured Tigers.
The Tabbies entered the second intermission outshooting the Hitmen 19-7 in the middle frame, and 30-10 overall.
With just under five minutes remaining, Chyzowski found the back of the net with the assists going to James Hamblin and the man of the night, Quenneville.
Quenneville was given first star honours, and left the ice to a rousing ovation from the Medicine Hat faithful.
Former Tigers netminder Nick Schneider was peppered through all 60 minutes, deflecting 41 of 45 shots in the loss.
With the Hurricanes losing 2-0 to the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Tigers extend their Central division lead to seven points. Lethbridge has four games in hand and play Saturday in Regina (6:00 P.M).
The Tigers take on the Hitmen again in Calgary, this Sunday at (2:00 P.M).
They’ll head back home for the skills competition at the Canalta Centre next Tuesday.
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