Title defence comes home

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

Hockey playoff fever lingers in Vancouver, even after the eliminated Canucks went golfing and fishing.

WHL Eastern conference champion Medicine Hat Tigers visit the Pacific Coliseum tonight as they continue to challenge defending champion Vancouver Giants in the Western Hockey League final series (7 p.m., AM 730/Shaw TV).

The Giants won the opener 1-0 in Medicine Hat on Friday, but the Tigers gained the split after agitating Vancouver in Game 2. Tiger Jordan Bendfeld and Giant Kenndal McArdle fought moments after the opening whistle. Medicine Hat eventually scored first on a two-man advantage and ended up with a 3-2 win.

"Any team would love to get the top scorers on other teams in the penalty box because that's where they're least effective," said McArdle, who leads Vancouver with 10 playoff goals. "I don't think that is a hidden agenda by any means. Each team will try to antagonize the other top guys."

Head coach Don Hay is preaching self-discipline to his players for tonight's game three.

"You cannot take a lot of penalties against Medicine Hat because they're so effective on their power play," Hay said.

Game 4 is tomorrow (7 p.m.) and Game 5 on Friday (7:30 p.m.). The series would revert back to Medicine Hat for Games 6 and 7, if necessary.

Both teams are assured of berths in the May 18-27 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Giants as hosts and Tigers as next-best WHL team.


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