Game. Set. Not quite Match though but things are getting close.
On Friday Night, the Oil Kings put the Medicine Hat Tigers on the ropes with a 5-4 win but it was true to fashion an affair that came down to the final minutes and seconds of the third.
The scoring got started before everyone could truly get settled as Andrei Pavlenko would strike first for the home side just 14 seconds into this one. The lead would be short lived as Linus Nassen who’s been on fire for the Tigers in this series would square things up before we could escape the first minute of play.
Andrew Fyten would restore the Edmonton lead and captain Trey Fix-Wolansky would give Edmonton a two-goal cushion as Mads Sogaard would give up three goals on the first six shots he faced. Scott Atkinson would add to the scoring parade with his 1st of the WHL playoffs before the intermission.
Medicine Hat would flip things on Edmonton in the 2nd thanks to Ryan Chyzowski’s 2nd of the postseason to bring the Tigers within two. Fix-Wolansky would restore the three-goal lead. With the Oil Kings up 5-2 things appeared to be in favour an Edmonton route to end the night….but that would not the case in this one.
In the 3rd, James Hamblin would close the gap and Ryan Chyzowski would get his 2nd of the game to make it one goal game. The Tigers would bring all they could in the final few minutes along with being aided with a late power play. The best chance to equalize came from Linus Nassen missing an empty net at point-blank range but in the end, Edmonton would hold on to go up three games to two in this series.
Oil Kings head coach Brad Lauer was pleased to see his guys getting into shooting lanes and blocking shots late to help secure the one goal lead with an extra attacker out for the Tigers.
“That’s what it takes in playoff hockey. If you want to win and move on you’re going to have to sacrifice. Blocking shots as much as it hurts is apart of a way to win hockey games and I thought our guys did a good job down the stretch in that”.
Game 6 goes down tonight back in Medicine Hat and if the Tigers can stave off elimination, Game 7 would take place back in Edmonton on Tuesday night.