Rebels fall behind 2-0 early in loss to Silvertips
Silvertips 4 Rebels 1
EVERETT, Wash. — The road just keeps getting longer for the Red Deer Rebels.
The Rebels’ Western Hockey League road record dropped to 2-6 on the season with a 4-1 loss — their fourth in succession — to the Everett Silvertips Wednesday.
This one could have been settled early as the hosts were up 2-0 before the game was three minutes old, but the Rebels recovered nicely and held more than their share of offensive zone time the rest of the way.
However, they solved Everett netminder Carter Hart — one of the league’s premier keepers — just once despite aiming 28 shots his way.
“We spotted them a two-goal lead basically before the game started and we were fighting from behind all night,” said Red Deer GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
“They’re a good defensive team and their goalie made some big saves for them. We had opportunities.”
The Silvertips needed just 26 seconds to open the scoring in front of 2,657 fans at Xfinity Arena as Dominic Zwerger wired a high wrist shot past Red Deer goaltender Lasse Petersen from the top of the left faceoff circle.
Just over a minute and a half later, at 2:13 to be precise, Patrick Bajkov connected on a wrap-around with the puck actually deflecting off Rebels defenceman Jared Freadrich.
“It was just one of those nights where we give up two quick goals and it’s an uphill battle,” said Sutter.
The Rebels were being outshot 5-0 at that point, but regained their focus and held a 10-5 advantage in that department over the remainder of the period.
Zwerger struck again — from a goalmouth scramble — at 6:53 of the middle stanza with Red Deer rearguard Colton Bobyk serving a roughing penalty, before the Rebels finally got on the board just over seven minutes later.
Michael Spacek notched Red Deer’s lone goal — and his ninth of the season — with a one-timer off a cross-ice feed from Brandon Hagel.
Everett closed out the scoring in the third period when Eetu Tuulola was granted a penalty shot — which proved to be successful — when he was hauled down by Red Deer blueliner Josh Mahura while breaking to the net.
The play started courtesy of a Red Deer turnover at centre ice, but the Rebels at least didn’t commit as many defensive miscues as was the case in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss at Victoria.
“Actually we played pretty well last night. They (Royals) just scored some untimely goals on us,” said Sutter.
Still, the Rebels were somewhat stingier with the puck Wednesday — despite the final score — and will take at least a modicum of momentum into Friday’s date with the Chiefs in Spokane.
“We just have to build off it and keep our heads to the grindstone and keep working,” said Sutter.
Petersen got his third start of the season — and completed his second game — in the Red Deer net and turned aside 28 shots. His best refusal of the night was on a short-handed breakaway by Connor Dewar.
“He made some saves. He was shaky early but he settled into the game,” said Sutter.
The Rebels finished zero-for-three on the power play. The ‘Tips were one-for-four with a man advantage.