MEDICINE HAT, AB - Home continues to be where the heart is for the Medicine Hat Tigers (3-2), staying undefeated at the Canalta Centre with a 4-2 victory over the Regina Pats on Friday night.
It was an evening of reunions, with former Tigers scorer Matt Bradley and current Tigers netminder Jordan Hollett facing their former teams for the first time.
Bradley played three seasons in Medicine Hat colours, before being shipped to the Pats in the off-season for Hollett, who was also making his debut with the Tigers organization.
Also making his season debut on Friday was defenceman and over-ager Kristians Rubins, rejoining the organization after missing the first few weeks of the season recovering from shoulder surgery.
Both teams traded chances in the opening frame, with Medicine Hat drawing first blood with 7:15 remaining in the first. David Quenneville’s point shot was deflected by Tyler Preziuso past Regina’s Tyler Brown, putting the home side up 1-0.
Regina didn’t trail for long however, with Wyatt Sloboshan tapping home a rebound while on the power play just over a minute late to tie the game at 1-1.
That goal wasn’t without controversy, as Tigers captain Mark Rassell appeared to be tied up behind the play but no call was made.
Rassell responded with a little over five minutes to go in the first period, picking up a loose puck and firing a shot on a breakaway. Brown got a piece of the puck, but not enough to stop it for Rassell’s fifth of the season and a 2-1 lead for Medicine Hat at the intermission.
Just over four minutes into the second period, the Pats were able to get the Tigers chasing with their cycle play.
That allowed George King to get into position to tip a Marco Creta point shot home for his second on the year.
Following a stoppage shortly after, Medicine Hat’s Zach Fischer and Regina’s Robbie Holmes dropped the mitts for a heavyweight tilt, with the decision going to the Tigers vet.
King’s goal was the lone marker for the middle frame, sending the contest to the third period tied at a 2-2 score.
Things to a turn for the bizarre midway through the third period, with Tigers forward Ryan Chyzowski scoring along the goal line in the right corner, beating Brown and giving Medicine Hat a 3-2 advantage.
Some breathing room for Medicine Hat at the 11:13 mark of the third, with Fischer putting a shot on Brown, picking up the rebound, and scoring his first of the season to extend the Tigers lead to 4-2.
That would hold as the game’s final score, with the Tigers winning their third game of the season thanks to a strong third period.
Hollett earned his first victory as a Tiger in the process, collecting the win against his former team with only two goals allowed on 21 shots against.
Quenneville was the top scorer on the evening with three assists, while Preziuso also had a multi-point night.
Moving to 3-2 on the season, the Tigers are tied for first place in the Central Division with the Red Deer Rebels and Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The weekend home stand continues on Saturday night for the Tigers, as they welcome the Prince Albert Raiders to the Canalta Centre.
Medicine Hat will be looking for some revenge after suffering a 4-2 loss in Prince Albert last weekend, puck drop goes at 7:30 pm.
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