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Tigers break 13-game losing stream in overtime

January 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

There you have it, the Tigers win for the first time in 14 games.

The Aurora Tigers snapped their winless streak with a thrilling victory in double overtime against the Georgetown Raiders.

Head coach Jim Wells Jr. was exceptionally proud that his team earned a victory, given their hard work and efforts over the last few weeks.

“Well, the number one thing I was really happy with is we talked about, regardless of what was going on on the ice, to work their hardest,” said Wells. “They worked their hardest for 60 minutes.

“I was really happy to see the team, that their hard work paid off and they were rewarded with a win.”

In practice earlier in the week, Wells focused on two-on-one and two-on-two situations, how isolating one defender can lead to goals. He emphasized creativity, carrying the puck in the zone and ended the session with goal-scoring activities.

It seems last week’s practice transmitted over to the games.

In the first period against the Raiders, the Tigers offence daunted the Raiders defence, especially on the power play.

An excellent chance for Kaleb Nelson to end his nine-game goalless drought was denied by Alex Vendette, who slid across his crease stacking the pads on the young forward.

In the second period, the Tigers fell into some trouble, conceding two goals in the first five minutes.

Yet, nobody on the bench was despondent to the situation the boys faced.

“The older guys were staying positive on the bench,” said Tigers forward Braedon McKinnon.

The resilience and positivity from the boys paid dividends.

McKinnon passed the puck to the point to defenceman Tyson Lambert, whose point shot was tipped in by Jalen Balbosa.

In the third period, Steven Li got his first goal since returning from injury with a hard-fought effort in front of the net, jamming the puck past Vendette. The Tigers outshot the Raiders 10 to eight in the third, forcing overtime.

With the first overtime devoid of goal scoring, the second overtime finalized the story of the night.

McKinnon forced the turnover in the neutral zone and broke free on goal just over a minute into the frame. The forward jammed the puck in beneath the pad, sealing the victory.

The Raiders protested a non-call on the play of the goal, in which the officials did not feel obligated to accommodate it.

“Lots of relief, it was like, 20 games since I last scored too, and we haven’t won in a while too so it felt good,” said McKinnon, after scoring his fourth of the season.

Recently, it’s seldom the Tigers earn a victory; there was a new feeling on a Friday night after the game. Music was blaring from the dressing room and the coaches left the arena with a smile.

The next night against the Markham Royals would be a tough test. The Tigers have defeated the Royals twice this year out of the six wins the team has accumulated.

The Royals trounced the Tigers 8-3. When a team desires revenge that much, they’ll do anything to accomplish it.

The Tigers face the Wellington Dukes this Thursday night on the road, before returning to Markham to take on the Royals this Friday night. Both puck drops are at 7.30 p.m.

By Robert Belardi



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