Thursday, March 08, 2007

Round Six

Oh great.

The Medicine Hat Tigers invade the Civic Center Friday night ranked as the #1 team in the nation. The latest CHL rankings have the Tigers at #1, just ahead of the Everett Silvertips.

It's the 6th and final meeting of the season between the two teams with the 'Hat holding a 4-1 series edge. Their last meeting a week ago was a 3-0 Tigers win at the Arena, the last meeting at the Civic Center just after the Christmas break was a 5-2 Broncos win.

Is this the last kick at the cat (pardon the pun) for the Tigers? I hate to say it but their four year dominance could be coming to an end next season. With the losses of Matt Keetley, Derek Dorsett, and Chris Stevens to graduation, plus the expected loss of Darren Helm and Kris Russell to pro hockey, the Tigers could be in for just a good season next year, not a championship calibre year.

Besides the losses, they will also have make some decisions on who their three overagers will be next season between defensemen Gord Baldwin, David Schlemko, Michael Sauer, and forwards Jerrid Sauer, Jakub Rumpel, and Daine Todd.

I've said this before though, and the Tigers have surprised me. I remember a chat I had with Will Desjardins in the summer of 2004 at draft in Raleigh, NC. They had just won the WHL Championship. He asked me my prediction on the Central division for the upcoming season. I said it would be tight but the Tigers I thought would be hard pressed to make the playoffs. What was I thinking? They went on to post the best record in the Eastern Conference only to be upset by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2nd round of playoffs.

The Tigers will be without their top scorer and penalty minute leader. Derek Dorsett (left) is listed as being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. If the timeline is correct, Dorsett will be back at some point in the playoffs. Looks like he will miss the first round and possibly be back for the 2nd provided the Tigers advance.

Medicine Hat lost Wednesday night on Sportsnet to Lethbridge 3-2. It was only the 4th regulation loss of the season on home ice. you can bet they will come in tomorrow night with a chip on their shoulder. The Tigers have the Eastern Conference regular season crown sewn up but losing is still not an option.

The Broncos are coming off a 5-2 loss in Regina. The Leaderpost post-game story fanned the flames with quotes from Pats' Head Coach Curtis Hunt plus enforcer Myles Stoesz. I knew Harder would do his best to have his story appear on the Broncos dressing room wall. Mission Accomplished, in his words.

The Broncos are likely to start Travis Yonkman in goal to give Kyle Moir a break after his record setting night against the Pats. It will be Yonkman's first start in 15 games dating back to January 28th against the Moose Jaw Warriors. I talked to him today about getting back into action. It seems he hasn't lost his confidence, it remains at an all-time high.

It's a big weekend for the Broncos who begin a 3-in-3 (three game in three night stretch). They host Brandon Saturday then head to Prince Albert Sunday. Best case scenario has the Broncos clinching a playoff spot by the end of the weekend.

Did anyone catch the NHL highlights?? Wow. I can't believe what just happened. Here's the link:

Simon almost decapitated former Tiger Ryan Hollweg with a high stick. A suspension is imminent. Let's play "guess how many games" . . . I say, six.

Broncos and Tigers on the Eagle 94.1 FM beginning at 7pm, play-by-play at 7:30.


ernie said...

Jonny, I say 15 games, just because they were just talking about it around the desk at SPORTSNET. They all think 15 games, so hey...HAHAHA! How can I say anything different? LOL Cheating Jonny...I'm cheating. I'll bet you'll still be right anyhow. LOL It looked awful though. However, I don't think Ryan Hollweg was ever any better than guys that do stickwork. I don't like Hollweg. I just don't. We should all be good sports though. Me included.
It'll be a great game tomorrow. If Lethbridge can beat the Tigers, so can the Broncos! LET'S GO SWIFTY!!

Big Ern

Anonymous said...

Looked dirty to me, I say 10 games

CJ said...

He's Out for the rest of the year - CJ

Anonymous said...

Hollweg isn't innocent in this. He checked Simon from behind a la Colin Stone then skated back looking for more from Simon. The slash was vicious and Simon will sit but he couldn't have slashed a more deserving guy. Hollweg has been dirty since pee wee.