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Tigers Hockey Team Sees Strong Season Start

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The puck dropped on another season of SVRSS Tigers’ High School Hockey and it didn’t take them long to let the league know they will be a force this year.
Having their first two games of the season last weekend (Oct. 25 and 27) the Tigers walked away scoring 21 goals and only allowing four against.
On Sunday (Oct. 27) the team set out for their second game on home ice in three days where they met the Birtle Falcons.
After a two year absence from the league, little information was known to prepare the team. However, they seemed to do just fine.
“Birtle came out hard in the first few shifts but the Tigers had the staying power to match that,” said Tigers Manager Cory Grandfield.
Less than three minutes into the contest, Trey Sauder stole the puck and slipped one past the Birtle goaltender, giving the Tigers the early lead.
Cole Turton followed up – making no mistake on the play – with a shot off the post and in to extend the lead to two.
Less than five minutes later, Nick Baskier capitalized with his first goal in the league before Sauder added his second and third goals while short handed.
Turton cashed in his second of the game before Birtle pulled their starting goaltender.
The change wouldn’t help the Falcons as Sauder would strike again before the first period buzzer would ring.
“When a team comes out and scores seven goals in the first that should be plenty to win,” said Grandfield. “I expect some of these guys to lead us in scoring but wasn’t expecting what we saw.”
If the Falcons were expecting the Tigers to ease off in the second they were sorely mistaken as Cody Eisner struck early.
Eisner went on to score a hat trick in the second period alone while Sauder racked his tally up to five and Turton completed his own hat trick in the contest.
The Tigers lead the game 12 - 1 after two periods.
In the final frame, Eisner would strike again before Zach Boychuk would cash in his first goal of the season to round out the scoring.
“When the dust settled the Tigers ran away with a 14-1 decision,” said Grandfield.
“The shots seemed to go in and the team moved the puck very well throughout the game. Even though he wasn’t tested as much as Birtle’s goaltender, I thought Kristen Moshenko was very sharp in net for us.”
Previously, on Friday (Oct. 25) the Tigers opened their season at the Swan River Centennial Arena against the Roblin Raiders.
Early in the first, Sauder would make his presence known with a back hand shot that eluded the goaltender.
Just two minutes later Eisner finished a tic-tac-toe passing play to notch his first of the season before setting up Sauder for his second of the game.
“That flurry of goals was a big factor in our success,” said Grandfield.
Roblin bounced back with a goal of their own to slow the Tigers’ momentum for a short time but it wouldn’t be enough to stop them as Eisner restored the lead to three with a power play marker that gave the Tigers th a 4-1 lead after the opening period.
In the second, the game was even in scoring but not in shots or puck possession.
“I have to give Mitch Grasby credit,” said Grandfield. “He was very good in net for Roblin. We had 59 shots and lots were quality chances.”
Despite their goaltender’s efforts, Eisner potted his third of the night before Jordan Gray added a goal of his own.
Roblin bounced back once again, scoring twice to get within three goals after two periods.
“In the third the scoring slowed but the shots continued,” said Grandfield.
With four minutes left, Sauder completed his hat trick and gave the Tigers a 7-3 victory.
“I thought the team was a bit rusty early,” said Grandfield. “The passes were off a bit. You have to remember we weren’t able to schedule any exhibition games because nearly half of the team is playing multiple sports right now. That does help with conditioning though."
Eisner, Sauder and Joel Campbell found themselves busy this past weekend as they also played a semi-final football game between the two hockey games.
“The week will go fast,” said Grandfield. “With football and hockey sharing athletes, the guys will be busy.”
Practices for both sports will continue this week.
The football Tigers take to the SVRSS field to play in the league championship game on Saturday before the hockey team hits the ice at the Centennial Arena on Sunday at 1 p.m. to face the Major Pratt Trojans from Russell.
“I expect the Major Pratt game will be a very good test to see where we stand in the league,” concluded Grandfield.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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