Rebels wilt in second half of 6-0 loss to Giants
Giants 6 Rebels 0
The Red Deer Rebels suffered a power outage in the first half of Friday’s WHL’s game at the Centrium, then didn’t have much going for them at all in the second half.
The result, then, was predictable: A 6-0 loss to the Vancouver Giants.
The Rebels were handed every opportunity to set the tone early in the contest, with the visitors assessed four consecutive penalties, including three just over two minutes apart.
But their power play fired blanks, and that continued in the second period when the Giants were penalized twice in the first six minutes.
Even though his club struggled with the man advantage — thanks in part to some impressive goaltending from the Giants’ David Tendeck — Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter was pleased with the five-on-five play.
“For half the game we were fine, even though our power play didn’t give us what we needed for production,” said the Rebels boss.
The game remained scoreless until 12:18 of the middle frame when Alex Kannok Leipert buried a rebound.
It turned out to be the only goal Vancouver would need, but Davis Koch added another late in the period, converting a rink-wide feed from Brayden Watts while breaking to the net.
“We make a bad line change and we don’t pick up a guy coming back,” said Sutter. “We don’t backcheck like we’re supposed to and we’re down 2-0.”
The lead looked safe, especially when the Rebels couldn’t mount any type of attack early in the third and then throughout the remainder of the period.
While the hosts were held to a mere three shots — all harmless — in the final frame, the Giants fired 18 at Rebels netminders Ethan Anders and Byron Fancy and made four count.
“You still have to make a push in the third and we never did,” said Sutter. “We sat back and didn’t have any push back at all in the third.
“Their goalie played really well for them for 30 minutes and our goalie didn’t have much action, and then he wasn’t very good in the last 30 minutes. That’s really it in a nutshell.”
Jared Legien notched the Giants’ third goal and former Rebel Jared Dmytriw made it 4-0 when he converted a bounce off the end boards with the visitors on the power play.
Just 30 seconds later Justin Sourdif broke down the right wing and whipped a high shot to the far top corner, which led to Fancy replacing Anders, and Tristen Nielsen scored another man-advantage tally to close out the scoring.
The Rebels, who encountered penalty problems in the final 10 minutes, finished zero-for-six on the power play.
“It was too perimeter,” said Sutter. “We didn’t have enough guys wanting to be around the net and battling.
“They all wanted to be deflectors or shooters, or whatever. We never showed enough assertiveness that you need to have to be able to capitalize on the power play.”
Notable: Tendeck made 28 saves for his second shutout of the season and was selected as the game’s first star. Anders stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced and Fancy blocked eight of nine over the final 12 minutes . . . Giants defenceman Bowen Byram and Sourdif were named the second and third stars . . . The Rebels were minus the services of top defenceman Alex Alexeyev, who’s with Russia at the World Junior Championship. Rearguard Ryan Gottfried also sat out with a minor injury suffered in practice Thursday, and top-six forward Brett Davis was out with the flu . . . The Rebels host the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday. Edmonton took over top spot in the Central Division with a 7-3 win over visiting Calgary Friday. The Oil Kings are two points up on Red Deer, which has played four fewer games. The Rebels visit Edmonton Sunday . . . Attendance Friday was 4,626 . . . The Giants were two-for-five on the power play.