MEDICINE HAT, AB – Just a few months ago the SEAC Midget 15 Tigers ended their regular season with just four wins.
Kicking off their 2018-19 campaign on Saturday night, the Tigers made the most of their season opener in the hopes of turning the program around.
SEAC earned a 4-2 victory over the CBHA Blackhawks out of Calgary, rallying with a pair of goals in the third period to secure their first victory of the season.
Tied 2-2 in the third period, the Tigers got goals from Ethan Machan and Jerrod Schrock off strong cycling with the puck below the goal line.
Machan said the team was able to take their strategies worked on in practice and implement them against a strong Calgary squad.
“The coaches got us doing a 2-1-2 and I think we executed it really well,” said Machan. “So, if we execute the coaches’ game plan, I think not a lot of teams will be able to compete with us.”
SEAC struggled against the Blackhawks last year, winning just one of their four meetings against Calgary over the season.
Machan said it’s a big confidence boost knowing this year they can hang with some of the big dogs in the South Division.
“Last year, our team struggled with Calgary,” said Machan. “So, just knowing that we can come out in the first game of the season and beat them like that is obviously great for us.”
Tigers assistant coach Russell Mortlock added the team has increased expectations this year and a victory like Saturday’s goes a long way to achieving that goal.
“It’s a great way on how to start the year,” said Mortlock. “Moving forward, it makes us just more excited to coach these young guys. We’re hopefully going to have a top eight finish, that’s what we’re looking for and play in the top playoff round.”
The Midget 15 Tigers return to the ice on Friday night, playing host to the Lethbridge Headwater Hurricanes at 7:15 pm.
As for the SEAC Bantam AAA Tigers, they split their first two home games of the season over the weekend.
Roman Cherniak scored a pair of goals in the Tigers home opener on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Calgary Northstars as SEAC dropped a 4-3 decision.
SEAC’s third goal was netted by Tyler Broesky, while starter Bodee Weiss allowed four goals on 28 shots.
Quite the rebound for the Bantam AAA Tigers the following day however, as six different skaters found the back of the net in a 6-0 victory over the Parkland Athletic Club Saints from Spruce Grove.
Van Yuhas led the way with a two-point effort, while Dayden Collier, Dawson Seitz, Josh Van Mulligen, Matthew MacPherson, and Broesky also chipped in with goals.
Tigers goalie Kaiden Morin was stellar in the victory, stopping all 29 shots that came his way to earn his first shutout of the season.
Sitting with a 2-2 record, the Tigers are tied with three other teams for first place in the AMBHL’s Ram South Division.
Continuing their five-game home stand, SEAC welcomes the Lethbridge Golden Hawks to the Hockey Hounds Recreation Centre on Saturday at 2:15 pm.
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