Rebels set franchise record with comeback win over Warriors
Rebels 4 Warriors 2
MOOSE JAW — And on it goes.
The Red Deer Rebels battled back from a 2-0 deficit Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre to down the host Warriors 4-2 before a recorded gathering of 2,778.
The victory was the Rebels’ 15th in succession to start the season, establishing a new franchise-best winning streak.
“They don’t quit, they have a lot of heart in that room,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk, who got two goals from each of Jace Isley and Kai Uchacz. “You don’t get to be where we are and be in the position we’re at right now without a lot of heart and character and never give up attitude.”
The Warriors led 1-0 after one period on a rebound goal by Brayden Yager and doubled their lead early in the second frame when Atley Calvert buried a high shot from the left circle with the hosts on the power play.
Uchacz finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Jhett Larson — a man advantage tally with Kalan Lind drawing a second assist — at 12:46 of the middle frame and Isley pulled the visitors even on a short-handed breakaway just past the midway point of the third period.
Isley redirected a point shot by Christoffer Sedoff past netminder Connor Ungar three minutes later and Uchacz sealed the deal with an empty-net tally in the final minute.
“It was one of those games where it was a little frustrating, where we just weren’t as sharp and consistent,” said Konowalchuk. “There were little spurts where we had some guys going in different parts of the game but never felt like we totally got in sync.
“Then in the second period we got going pretty good and we carried it into the third. We just tried to get some guys together who were going well.”
Clearly it worked, as the Rebels found a way once again to come out on the positive side of the ledger.
“It’s pretty impressive. You’re not going to win that many games pretty, you’re going to have to find different ways,” said the Rebels bench boss.
“That was a good team we beat. They’re a good hockey team with a lot of good players.”
The Rebels are idle until Tuesday when they face the 15-1-0-0 Winnipeg Ice. The clubs meet again 24 hours later.
“It should be a fun matchup,” said Konowalchuk. “As a coach you’re hoping you don’t have to do a lot of coaching next game. You hope your team has the competitive juices going and is ready to compete.
“It should be a fun matchup for sure.”
NOTABLE — Rebels captain Jayden Grubbe picked up a pair of assists to give him a team-leading 19 points (4g,15a) on the season . . . Rebels netminder Kyle Kelsey made 21 saves while Ungar stopped 24 shots . . . The three stars: (1) Isley, (2) Yager and (3) Uchacz . . . Following the games in Winnipeg, the Rebels will play in Brandon next Friday and wrap up a six-game road trip the following night in Regina.