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 Medicine Hat Tigers

20 Years Later... the 2004 WHL Championship

May 5, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Medicine Hat Tigers News Release

Medicine Hat, AB - It had been 16 years since the City of Medicine Hat had seen their team, their iconic Tigers franchise win the whole thing in the Western Hockey League. 2004 was quite the year, the Launch of Facebook in February, the Boston Red Sox reversed the Curse winning the World Series, the Calgary Flames had their iconic run to the Stanley Cup Final. The video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the number one video game along with Halo 2. Overage forwards on the current Tigers roster Tyler MacKenzie, Oasiz Wiesblatt and Brayden Boehm were born and the Tigers partied in the USA.

The Tigers lead by Head Coach & Willie Desjardins, took the Eastern Conference by storm being the top seed into the oncoming playoffs with a 40-20-9-3 record scoring the most goals in the regular season with 277. Medicine Hat would be lead by Chris St. Jacques with 92 points, Darren Reid, Clarke MacArthur, Stefan Meyer, Cam Barker, Kris Russell and Ryan Hollweg. With Kevin Nastiuk in between the pipes who played in an astounding 68 of 72 games that season.

During the playoffs the Tigers would open their quarter finals with the Regina Pats winning in four straight, follow by a five game series win in the semis over the Brandon Wheat Kings and then the Conference Finals would see an all Central Division match-up with the Red Deer Rebels. The Tigers won the season series four game to none and it would a six game triumph for the Tigers winning the Eastern Conference title.

The opponent the Tigers would see would be one that did the unthinkable... advance to the WHL Championship as an expansion team in the Everett Silvertips, who played the Tigers once in their entire history as the Silvertips at the Arena on November 8, 2003 would defeat Medicine Hat 3-1. Coming off a seven game war with Memorial Cup host Kelowna to get to the WHL Championship.

The high powered Tigers club would end up sweeping the Silvertips, opening the first two games in Medicine Hat 4-1 in Game 1 & a 3-0 shutout in Game 2. Nastiuk would have another shutout in Game 3 by a 3-0 count for the Tigers at the Angel of the Winds arena in Everett. The deciding game would all Tigers in a 4-2 triumph completing the sweep and bringing in their fourth WHL title in franchise history.

Nastiuk would be named Playoff MVP for the Tigers. As the Tigers would make their way to Kelowna for the Memorial Cup, they would fall to the Gatineau Olympiques in the semi finals unable to advance to the final to face eventual winner the Kelowna Rockets.

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