Rebels stun Oil Kings with two late goals to complete weekend sweep
Rebels 5 Oil Kings 4 (OT)
EDMONTON — The Red Deer Rebels’ character has never been in question this season and it was at the forefront of a 5-4 WHL win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday at Rogers Place.
The visitors gave up a go-ahead, five-on-three power play goal to former Rebel Jaxsen Wiebe with less than two minutes remaining in the third period, but rallied to draw even with less than 10 seconds remaining and then got an overtime marker from Jhett Larson and emerged with the victory.
The triumph capped a weekend sweep of the Oil Kings following the Rebels’ 4-3 victory on Friday at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
“They just kept playing. After their late goal we still had some time and you could hear the guys on the bench,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk of his team’s late heroics. “We had energy and we still had a chance.”
Arshdeep Bains scored off a faceoff in the Oil Kings zone with to pull the Rebels even with 9.2 seconds left.
LATER DRAMA! ARSHDEEP BAINS TIES IT FOR THE @Rebelshockey!
WE'RE GOIN' TO WHOAVERTIME!
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 4, 2022
Then, in the extra time, Larson hauled in a breakaway pass from Liam Weir and beat netminder Kolby Hay through the five-hole.
We did the tie-it late then win it thing! pic.twitter.com/3s3w6ZLsJ6
— Red Deer Rebels (@Rebelshockey) April 4, 2022
“The guys really dug in,” said Konowalchuk. “A good job by Grubs (Jayden Grubbe) winning the draw on our tying goal. Guys did their assignments and these were two big wins.”
The Rebels built themselves a 2-0 first-period lead on Talon Brigley’s redirect of a point shot by Blake Gustafson and Liam Keelers’ 24th of the season from a power play goalmouth scramble.
Jakub Demek pulled the hosts to within a goal in the final minute of the opening period and Justin Sourdif evened the count early in the second frame, connecting from the top of the right circle following an unforced turnover in the Rebels end.
Cole Miller gave Edmonton a lead six minutes later when his shot from deep along the end boards somehow got past Rebels netminder Connor Ingram, who was otherwise stellar while making 35 saves.
With Red Deer on the power play late in the period, Ben King buried a rink-side seam pass from Bains and the score held until Wiebe’s late-game marker. It was King’s league leading 48th goal and 22nd power play tally of the season.
The Oil Kings were minus the services of injured key players Jake Neighbours and Kaiden Guhle during the weekend, but still had a potent lineup.
“I’m not worried about what they have and what they don’t have. They still have some good players on that team,” said Konowalchuk.
“It’s more important that it’s about us. We played with passion and enthusiasm and for the most part on our toes for the two games. That’s what you want coming down the stretch, that’s what you want for the playoffs.
“You just have to stick with it and believe in the process and let the results be what they will be. That’s what I take out of the weekend. Both games were good lessons. Our guys were competing and working hard for each other. It was a good two wins.”
Notable: Hay made 28 saves in a losing cause . . . Attendance at Rogers Place was 7,704 . . . The three stars: (1) Larson, (2) Bains and (3) Sourdif . . . Bains finished with a goal and two assists for a league leading 101 points on the season . . . The Rebels were two-for-six on the power play, the Oil Kings one-for-six . . . The Rebels are idle until Friday when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Red Deer visits the Oil Kings the next night.