Rebels take foot off gas in third period, fall to Hurricanes in shootout
Hurricanes 3 Rebels 2 (SO)
The Red Deer Rebels let the Lethbridge Hurricanes hang around for two periods Saturday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium and their inability to put the visitors away proved costly in the end.
Despite carrying the vast majority of the play for the first 40 minutes, the Rebels carried a meagre 1-0 lead into the final frame, then sat back somewhat and watched the visitors score twice.
To their credit, the Rebels responded with a tying goal, as Arshdeep Bains batted the puck out of the air and past netminder Bryan Thomson during a power play scramble with just under four minutes remaining.
Overtime solved nothing, as it turned out, and the Hurricanes were one goal better in a shootout and headed home with a 3-2 WHL victory.
“I was happy with our first two periods. I thought we pushed the pace we like to push and had some scoring chances,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
The first half of the third period, however, wasn’t to his liking.
“I know we didn’t intentionally go out to just kind of defend the one goal lead. Instead of pushing the pace a bit we were not forechecking and playing the game we want to try and create that second goal,” said Konowalchuk.
Instead, Yegor Klavdiev notched a breakaway goal just 1:38 into the third and Tyson Laventure retrieved a bouncing puck in the low slot and put a quick release past Rebels goalie Chase Coward midway through the period.
The goal seemed to waken the Rebels, as they put together a few strong shifts before notching the tying goal.
“They scored a couple and I thought we got back to pushing the pace as time was running out,” said Konowalchuk. “We got back to the forecheck and had a couple of chances before we got the power play.”
Kalan Lind accounted for the lone goal through the first two periods, connecting at the midway point of the opening frame. Jackson van de Leest fired the puck off the end boards and it came around to Lind, who, from the side of the net, spun and tucked it to the far side of the net.
But that was all the Rebels could muster — despite outshooting their guests 29-15 through 40 minutes — due to a combination of some stellar play from Thomson and a sprinkling of unfortunate puck luck.
The overtime produced basically no top end scoring chances and the shootout featured 22 shooters in total.
Briley Wood, who has a grand total of two goals this season, ended it, the third Hurricane to beat Coward. Ben King and Jhett Larson were the only Rebels to solve Thomson.
“An exciting shootout for the fans . . . it’s always fun for the team when you win and not so fun when you lose,” said Konowalchuk. “I guess we’ll take the good 50 minutes out of this.”
The loss to the ‘Canes was the second in two nights, following a 5-2 setback Friday in Lethbridge.
“I told our guys it was two different games from yesterday to today,” said the Rebels bench boss. “We came out and played a lot of the style of hockey we want to play.
“We’ll take the good from that and keep building over the next week.”
The Rebels are idle until Friday when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Swift Current Broncos will visit the Centrium the next night.
Notable: Thomson was selected as the first star for the second game in succession. He made 35 saves, including several of the difficult variety. Coward made 23 saves and couldn’t be faulted for the goals he allowed. “Their goalie play well. Our goalie played well too, have to give him some credit too,” said Konowalchuk . . . Lind and Bains were picked as the second and third stars of the game . . . Bains picked up two points to take over sole possession of the WHL scoring lead with 94. He’s one point up on linemate Ben King, who assisted on Bains’ goal . . . The Rebels were minus two everyday defencemen in Blake Gustafson and Kyle Masters, both out with injuries . . . The Hurricanes were zero-for-one on the power play, the Rebels one-for-two . . . Attendance was 3,780.