Although the Broncos picked up the 5-3 win and outshot the Tigers 46-37, it was my opinion the Tigers had the better chances and missed some big opportunities over the course of 60 minutes. Colton Grant's fanning of the puck into an empty-net on a 2nd period 3-on-1 was evidence of that. The Tigers can take some positives out of this loss but the Broncos showed a lot of heart and determination in this one without a doubt.
That was playoff hockey. What a game. What a series.
A few fans said without a doubt it was the most entertaining game of the season... and maybe a couple years.
Travis Yonkman was stellar making 34 saves while Cody Eakin made his presence known in this series with the hat-trick for his first goals of this opening round best-of-seven.
For the 5th time this series, it was the road team opening the scoring... in fact the Tigers led 2-0 just five minutes into the game before Cody Eakin evened the series with back-to-back goals later in the first frame.
Dillon Wagner's goal at 6:14 into the third period would hold up as the winner as the Tigers pushed hard for the equalizer to no avail.
Eakin's empty-netter in the dying seconds salted the game away giving the Broncos a hard-fought 5-3 win and the upper hand in the series.
2710 was the announced attendance - the largest crowd of the the three home games. You could sense the tension in the building. Fans of both respective teams were into it.
The officiating in the game drew the ire of Bronco fans, but at the end of the night, the powerplays were even at five apiece and the officiating wasn't a factor in the game.
As colorman Tim Tisdale said during the broadcast "it's not necessarily the referees who haven't been consistent in this series it's been the linesmen.... missed offsides and blown icing calls have been an issue."
Both teams were missing a key defenseman. Eric Doyle missed the game with an apparent head injury after taking a hit to the head from the Tigers Matt McCue. McCue served game one of a league imposed two game suspension for the hit.
There is some concern for Keegan Dansereau who left the game late in the 2nd period and didn't return until six minutes into the 3rd. He played one shift before shutting it down for the night with a suspected lower-body injury.
His status along with D Eric Doyle is unknown for game six. The Broncos face the possibility of playing without their regular season MVP (Matt Tassone), their leading scorer (Keegan Dansereau) and their top defenseman in Eric Doyle. Talk about adversity.
To the Broncos credit, others have stepped up.
On a lighter note, the Broncos win inched them closer to winning the series and closer to CHAT TV's Rhonda Carlson wearing a nice looking Broncos jersey on the 6 o'clock Medicine Hat news.
Longtime voice of the Tigers Bob Ridley gave the bet a thumbs up as we chatted on-air during the intermission. Rids called it harmless fun and a good way to promote the series.
Game six is tomorrow night in Medicine Hat. We're on the air at 5:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 6pm.
Enjoy the weekend,