Tigers Claw Out Win Over Hitmen

Candice Ward/Photo

It’s back to the drawing board.

The Hitmen fell to the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2 Friday night at the ‘Dome and saw their record drop to 6-11-1 on the year.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Hitmen, while the Tigers have now won three straight.

“They just wanted it more than us,” Jakob Stukel said. “It’s what it came down to, they were hungrier.”

“It’s really disappointing.”

Stukel and Luke Coleman scored the two markers for the Hitmen. Nick Schneider made 26 saves against his former team.

Mark Rassell led the way offensively with two goals while Jaeger White and Kristians Rubins also found twine. Jordan Hollett made 23 saves for his seventh win of the season.

“We have to do a little bit more to get some second and third chances in front,” head coach Dallas Ferguson said. “We’ve been in situations like this before. The thing you look back at are the little things that make a difference.”

“There’s a fine line to winning and losing.”

The Hitmen would open the scoring in the first on the powerplay when Stukel would show off both patience and soft hands to tuck it around Hollett for his seventh and snapped a seven game goalless drought.

White would then tie things up with just a minute left in the period, squeaking a shot in the slot by Schneider for his first.

The middle stanza saw both sides trade goals once again.

Coleman got things started when he tipped an Andrew Viggars point shot past Hollett for his  fourth to give the Hitmen a 2-1 lead. They were able to hold onto the lead till the last minutes until the Tigers once again score late, this time courtesy of Rassell scoring on the breakaway high glove side.

With things deadlocked at two, the Tigers broke the tie two minutes into the final frame with a Rubins point shot that beat Schneider through a crowd. Rassell would then seal the deal stealing the puck at the Hitmen blueline just when Schneider was headed off for the extra attacker. The 20-year-old desperately tried to get back in time but couldn’t stop the wrister.

“We need to throw more pucks on net,” Stukel said on one of the reasons they came short. “That’s what they did and they got rewarded for that on that third goal of the game.”

The two clubs will faceoff once again tomorrow night back in Medicine Hat for the tail end of a home-and-home set. The contest marks a five-game road swing for the Hitmen which includes a series of four games in five nights starting on Nov. 14.

“It’s pretty much a four point game we lost tonight,” Stukel said. “We have a really good chance of getting those two points back tomorrow and turning it into a four point swing.”


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