Rebels discipline falters in loss to visiting Warriors
Warriors 5 Rebels 2
The Red Deer Rebels witnessed early in Friday’s WHL game at the Peavey Mart Centrium just how deadly the Moose Jaw Warriors power play can be.
The Warriors struck twice with a man advantage and although the Rebels evened the count shortly after, the home team was assessed too many penalties to give themselves a fighting chance and fell 5-2 before an audience of 3,562.
“One of the keys was to stay out of the box,” said Rebels head coach Derrick Walser, who watched the visitors go two-for-eight with a Red Deer player in the box. “The first two goals were bang bang.”
Indeed, the visitors got a extra man marker from Jagger Firkus — a one-timer from the right circle — 6:08 into the contest and another off the stick of Brayden Schuurman just under three minutes later with Red Deer defenceman Mateo Fabrizi serving a delay of game penalty.
To their credit the Rebels responded quickly, as Jhett Larson redirected Nicholas Andrusiak’s point shot past netminder Jackson Unger, and just 12 seconds later Talon Brigley broke to the net and buried a nifty feed from Ollie Josephson.
“Five-on-five we were doing a good job,” said Walser. “They’re a high offensive team and I thought we limited their chances for the first two periods except on our special teams.”
Moose Jaw got the eventual winner from Brayden Yager midway the second period as the Pittsburgh Penguins prime prospect, from the low slot, beat goaltender Rhett Stoesser to the glove side to cap off a 3-on-2 rush.
The Warriors were zero-for-four on the power play in the third period, but refused to give up the puck throughout. They put game away with a pair of even strength tallies from Atley Calvert, who converted a feed from Lynden Lakovic at the 9:12 mark and then roofed a shot from just above the goal line just under four minutes later.
Plain and simple, the Rebels took too many penalties to get themselves back in the contest, including a pair of infractions with the game pretty much out of reach.
“We can’t take those penalties, we’re not saving goals. It’s nice to be aggressive. We forechecked and banged bodies but we can’t take those penalties,” said Walser.
“You can’t give them that many looks and in the third we lost our composure and there it is, game’s over.
“We want to be on our toes, be aggressive, which we were. But we still have to be smart.”
Notable: The Rebels were minus the services of top six forward Carson Latimer, who suffered a lower body injury in Tuesday’s overtime win over the visiting Calgary Hitmen and will be out indefinitely . . . Stoesser made 32 saves, including a breakaway stop on Lakovic and an outstanding toe denial on Calvert. Unger blocked 30 shots . . . The three stars: (1) Yager, who had a goal and two assists, (2) Calvert, who contributed an assist to go with his two markers, and (3) Josephson, who recorded a pair of helpers and extended his points streak to six games (1g, 7a) . . . Josephson was honoured prior to the opening faceoff as the Rebels Telus Scholastic Player for the Month of November . . . Red Deer was zero-for two on the power play . . . The Rebels, whose winning streak was snapped at five games, entertain the Everett Silvertips Saturday in the annual Toque and Teddy Bear Toss game. When the Rebels score their first goal, fans are invited to toss their winter items onto the ice. There will be items available for purchase at the game for $5. The Christmas Bureau is looking for new toques, mittens, gloves, scarves, and socks.
(Photos by Taylor Lachance)