Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pats & Tigers Preview

Pats-Tigers preview
By Greg Harder Tue, Jan 25 2011 Slap Shots

MEDICINE HAT (29-15-2-0)
at REGINA (17-23-6-1)
Today, 7 p.m., Brandt Centre
Radio: 620 CKRM

Key injuries: REGINA — F Nils Moser (knee, day-to-day), D Tyler Pavkovich (concussion, day-to-day). MEDICINE HAT — D Jace Coyle (knee, week-to-week), LW Sam Dezman (concussion, indefinite), D Alex Theriau (ankle, 1-2 weeks).

Overview: It’s the second of four meetings between the Pats and Tigers this season. Regina dropped a 6-4 decision in Medicine Hat on Nov. 13 . . . Tigers RW Linden Vey is tied for the WHL scoring lead with 79 points, including 31 goals, in 44 games . . . The Tigers’ high-octane attack also includes C Wacey Hamilton (14-36—50, 45 GP), RW Tyler Pitlick (19-30—49, 43), RW Emerson Etem (27-17—44, 39) and newly acquired RW Kellan Tochkin (18-24—42, 44) . . . Etem played for the U.S. at the world junior championship in Buffalo, during which he was involved in a Tweeting controversy over comments that were perceived as disparaging towards the cities of Medicine Hat and Buffalo. He later apologized and said his words were taken out of context. The native of Long Beach, Calif., was a first-round pick (29th overall) of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2010 NHL entry draft . . . Pitlick, a second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2010, is another top American prospect who joined the Tigers this season after leaving Minnesota State . . . Medicine Hat acquired Tochkin and Theriau from the Everett Silvertips at the Jan. 10 trade deadline for F Ryan Harrison and a second-round bantam pick . . . Pats C Jordan Weal (21-37—58, 47) is the WHL’s No. 10 scorer. Brandon Davidson (6-26—32, 47) is ranked 13th among D-men . . . The Tigers have a 6-6-0 record since the Christmas break. Regina is 7-3-1 . . . Medicine Hat is ranked eighth on the power play (19.6%) and 11th on the penalty kill (81.3%). The Pats are 20th on the PP (15.4%) and 20th on the PK (76.6%) . . . Etem leads the league with six short-handed goals while Vey is second with five . . . The Tigers have a 15-8-1 road record while Regina is 10-12-3-1 on home ice . . . Medicine Hat is a perfect 5-0 in shootouts this season. The Pats have a league-best eight shootout wins, with just one loss . . . Tigers G Tyler Bunz is fourth in the WHL with a 2.58 GAA and seventh with a .912 save percentage . . . The Tigers lost head coach/GM Willie Desjardins in the off-season when he became the associate coach of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. After his departure, the Tigers promoted associate coach Shaun Clouston to head coach and head scout Brad McEwen to general manager. McEwen, a former head coach/GM of the Swift Current Broncos, was the WHL’s top executive in 2001-02.