Rebels slide continues with home loss to Moose Jaw
Warriors 6 Rebels 4
The Red Deer Rebels are experiencing difficulty navigating rough waters.
In what is truly a very stormy stretch of their WHL season, the Rebels dropped their sixth straight contest Friday, falling 6-4 to the Moose Jaw Warriors before 4,866 fans at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
The latest defeat was somewhat hard to swallow, considering the Rebels had all the momentum while up 2-1 late in the opening period.
Then Warriors captain Denton Mateychuk cashed in a rebound for a power play goal with half a second remaining in the frame.
The Warriors added two unanswered second period goals and then matched their hosts 2-2 in the final stanza.
“It’s all details. The first period we played real detailed hockey, then we got casual,” said Rebels head coach Derrick Walser. “Four seconds to go in the period and we just throw the puck away and that turned the game.
“It was the turning point in the game. Just details, simple details. You look at the first period and then the third . . . not even the same team.”
The Warriors opened the scoring on the power play 9:08 into the contest on a redirect by Atley Calvert while stationed at the edge of the crease.
The Rebels answered just over a minute later when Kai Uchacz fed Kalan Lind, who was denied by netminder Jackson Unger on his initial attempt but buried his own rebound.
Exactly two minutes had passed when a point shot by Jace Weir found its way through a crowd and past Unger.
But then came Mateychuk’s devastating tying goal, Moose Jaw’s second in as many power plays in the opening period.
“Penalties, the timing of it all, whatever. We’re playing great five-on-five and we’re going to get out of that period up 2-1, and we were just casual on the puck,” said Walser.
“It’s the small things. You give good teams good opportunities, good looks by not getting pucks out and getting pucks deep, and that’s what came back to bite us tonight.”
The Warriors assumed a lead they never relinquished when Matthew Savoie struck from a scramble 3:46 into the second period and made it 4-2 when Martin Rysavy scored on a net front trip in the final minute of the frame.
Talon Brigley scored from a scramble to get the Rebels to within a single goal at 15:32 of the third period, but Calvert notched his second of the evening shortly after and Brayden Yager added an empty net marker.
Carson Birnie potted Red Deer’s final goal with exactly one minute remaining, grabbing a feed from Carson Latimer, cutting to the net and beating Unger to the far top corner.
The Warriors were two-for-four on the power play, the Rebels one-for-three.
Walser wasn’t impressed with the Rebels’ special teams play, nor was he happy with the team’s self control.
“The first thing I wrote on the board today — discipline,” he said. “And the first thing we talked about when talking about power plays is working the puck well and we didn’t do that either.
“You have to man up and sometimes you have to look in the mirror . . . we all have to look in the mirror. It’s unacceptable. Tonight it was not acceptable the way we played.”
The Rebels are in Medicine Hat Saturday (7 p.m. on 106.7 REWIND Radio and CHL TV) to face the Tigers and Walser will be looking for a more consistent effort and performance.
“We as a group have to dig our heels in for a full 60 minutes,” said the Red Deer bench boss. “You can’t win a game in one period.”
Notable: Unger turned aside 25 shots while Rebels netminder Chase Wutzke made 20 saves, including a trio of breakaway stops on Jagger Firkus . . . The three stars: (1) Mateychuk, who had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, (2) Savoie, who had a goal and a helper and (3) Rebels forward Frantisek Formanek . . . Lind extended his points streak to four games with his goal and has registered at least one point — including nine goals — in 15 of his last 18 games . . . Prior to the game defenceman Hunter Mayo was honoured as the Rebels Mitchell and Jewell Player of the Month for January, while Matthew Gard was recognized as the Telus Scholastic Player of the Month.
(Photos by Taylor Lachance)