Tigers Claw Wildcats In Home Opener

It took the Tigers little time to show their visitors that they were in for a rough ride in the Tigers’ home opener. The opening ceremony which included player introductions and the presentation of the commemorative banner in tribute of the Humboldt Broncos was barely over when Jared Janke  sank one behind Brent Walters in Valley’s net. Janke  was set up by Tom Callaghan who was first to a dump-in by Joel Walker. Campbellton’s second came on the powerplay off the stick of Coleton Perry. Able to control the play in Valley’s end, the Tigers moved the puck back and forth along the left boards. From there Pascal Valcourt spotted Dylan Coffey alone in the slot and set him up for a one-timer. Walters made a great save on Coffey’s shot but gave up a rebound that Perry banged into the twine. Before the end of the first the Tigers added to their lead again with a man advantage. After Maxime Charest had passed down low to Charles William Gagné, the puck was moved back out to the point where Pierre-Luc Lurette wired a shot towards the net. In front, Mitch Britton tipped the puck changing its direction just enough to fool the goalie.

The second period proved to be equally tough on the visitors. On the powerplay, Valley tried to gain the Tigers’ zone but close checking by Perry caused them to cough up the puck just inside the blue line. Valcourt scooped it up and headed down ice on a breakaway. His shot from just beside the faceoff circle eluded the goalie’s glove and gave the Tigers a four goal lead. The situation worsened for the Wildcats three minutes later when Janke banged home a rebound off a hard shot by Callaghan. The play developed when Britton dropped a pass to Theriault who set up Callaghan for the one-timer. Less than half a minute later, Lurette added his name to the scorers’ list with a wrist shot from the point that found its way through the crowd in front, past the goalie and into the net.  The Wildcats got one back but Valcourt answered by knocking in a rebound of a shot by Coffey. Perry picked up an assist on the play by perfectly setting up Coffey in the slot. Before the end of the period, Valley added to their total on a penalty shot but that was all that Tiger goalie, Tristan Gray was going to allow. The scoring for the night was finished off just past the mid-point of the last frame on a skilled effort by Janke. After picking up the puck near center, he sped across the blue line, deked past a defender, broke in on net and fired the puck into the left side of the net to complete his hat trick.

The Tigers swept the game star selections with Lurette named third star, Valcourt, second and Janke, a well deserved first star. Gray, backstopping the Tigers’ strong defense, stopped twelve shots for the win.