Rebels rally for win over host Oil Kings, off to a 2-0 start
Rebels 5 Oil Kings 3
EDMONTON — It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
The Red Deer Rebels didn’t exactly bust out of the gate Sunday afternoon at Rogers Place, but they got their act together in the second half of their WHL clash with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The Rebels trailed 3-1 at one point in the contest before potting the next four goals and pulling out a 5-3 victory before 8,118 fans.
“I thought we were sloppy in some areas through the first half of the game,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, whose squad — coupled with Saturday’s 7-3 win over Edmonton at the Centrium — improved to 2-0 to start the season.
The Oil Kings were up 2-0 before the game was five minutes old, thanks to goals from Trey Fix-Wolanski and Kobe Mohr, but Mason McCarty responded for the Rebels with a power-play marker midway through the opening period.
Ty Gerla made it 3-1 for the hosts with a power-play goal at 11:48 of the second period, but Rebels alternate captain Brandon Hagel closed the gap once again when he connected late in the frame.
“When they made it 3-1 we were actually playing pretty good,” said Sutter. “And we just kind of kept going and kept going and our power play was big for us.”
Indeed, for the second night in succession the Rebels were effective with a man advantage, finishing three-for-five.
And for the second night in succession, Reese Johnson came through with a big goal, knotting the count at 3-3 with a power-play tally a mere 49 seconds into the third period.
“It was a big goal, and for ‘Dmys’ to score was also nice to see,” said Sutter, in reference to Johnson’s goal and the eventual winner off the stick of Jared Dmytriw, who notched the eventual winner at 9:21 of the final frame.
Hagel sealed the deal with an empty-net marker with 1:07 remaining.
“I thought our resiliency was impressive. We kept with it,” said Sutter. “I really thought that the way we want to play really helped us take the game over as it went on.
“The guys stuck together and played hard.”
Just notes: The Rebels were down to 10 forwards when Austin Pratt suffered an upper-body injury late in the first period. The extent of the injury won’t be know until Pratt sees a doctor Monday . . . Rebels netminder Lasse Petersen came up with 18 saves to post his second win in as many nights. Travis Child blocked 27 shots while suffering his second loss . . . The Oil Kings’ power play was two-for-four. . . Red Deer will embark on a three-game road trip later this week which will include stops in Brandon, Moose Jaw and Regina Friday, Saturday and Sunday . . . The Rebels’ next home game is Oct. 7 versus Brandon.