Rebels battle to win over Ams
Rebels 4 Americans 3
KENNEWICK, Wash — Brandon Hagel scored at the 13-minute mark of the third period to give the Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 WHL preseason win over the Tri-City Americans Friday.
Defenceman Alex Alexeyev gave the Rebels an early lead with a power-play tally 6:48 into the contest, but the host Americans struck for a pair of unanswered second-period goals — off the sticks of Vladislav Lukin and Kyle Olson, who connected on the power play.
The Rebels roared back in the third period as Michael Spacek connected at the 40-second mark and Grayson Pawlenchuk — with Josh Mahura and Spacek drawing assists — potted a go-ahead power-play marker at 8:17.
Michael Rasmussen pulled the Ams even with a man-advantage goal at 11:49, setting the stage for Hagel’s winner.
“It was kind of like Game 35 of the regular season,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “It was fast-paced with big-time hits . . . a very physical game.
“For the most part I was happy with how hard we played. We skated and we were quick in a lot of battles. It was good for our younger players, it showed them how hard we have to play.”
The Rebels take on the Spokane Chiefs today in their second — and final — game of the Tri-City tournament.
The Rebels will wrap up their exhibition schedule next weekend with two games versus the Medicine Hat Tigers — Sept. 16 at Ralston and Sept. 17 at the Centrium.
Red Deer’s regular-season opener is Sept. 23 against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.