Rebels record eighth straight win over Oil Kings
Rebels 6 Oil Kings 2
EDMONTON — The Red Deer Rebels continued to feast on the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday, dumping their hosts 6-2 before 5,844 fans at Rogers Place.
“Again, our mindset was definitely ready,” said head coach Steve Konowalchuk, pleased with how his club came out of the gate and grabbed a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
“The guys did a real good job of resetting after the last game (Thursday’s 4-1 home victory over the Calgary Hitmen) and in the first period played the right way.
“We were able to create some momentum in their end and stuck with it for the most part the whole game.”
The Rebels opened the scoring 9:22 into the contest when Jayden Grubbe deposited a loose puck following a point shot by Matteo Fabrizi.
Noah Boyko evened the count with a power play marker three and a half minutes later, but Fabrizi restored Red Deer’s lead with just over a minute left in the opening frame with a snap shot from the point that found its way through a crowd.
Then, with 43 seconds remaining in the period and the Rebels killing a penalty, Jace Isley busted down the left side and ripped a shot to the top corner to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
Kai Uchacz made it a 4-1 game with his league-leading 30th goal of the season early in the second period, deflecting a shot from Christoffer Sedoff from the left half boards.
Rilen Kovacevic pulled the Oil Kings a bit closer on a breakaway just under four minutes later, but the Rebels struck back when Hunter Mayo connected with a slap shot from the point — his 13th goal of the season — and Kalan Lind notched his ninth with a redirect of a shot from Jayden Grubbe during a Red Deer power play.
The third period was scoreless.
The Oil Kings are the WHL’s worst team this season with a mere nine points and are winless in eight meetings with the Rebels.
The teams meet one last time, Jan. 13 at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
The old saying that you don’t lose to the free spot on the bingo card would appear to come into play in this scenario, but as Konowalchuk pointed out there are no easy marks in the WHL.
“You have to play hard and you have to play the right way. If you do that you have a chance to score like we have,” he said.
“You have to continue to play the same way. A lot of times in junior hockey you can get up a goal or two and then start to get away from your game and the other team hangs around.
“I think that’s something we’re getting better at, we’re continuing to play the same way. There are certainly no gimmes and if you’re not ready to go the other team scores the first couple of goals, gets some life and it’s a whole different game. You have to go out there and take care of business.”
Notable: The Rebels were one-for-two on the power play, the Oil Kings one-for-seven . . . Grubbe had two assists to go with his goal, while Fabrizi (1-1), Frantisek Formanek (three assists), Lind (1-1) and Uchacz (1-1) also had multi-point games for the Rebels . . . The three stars: (1) Uchacz, (2) Fabrizi and (3) Kovacevic . . . Stoesser made 17 saves while posting his 12th win of the season as opposed to just two losses. Kolby Hay stopped nine of 13 shots for the Oil Kings before being replaced by Logan Cunningham, who blocked 16 of 18 . . . The Rebels return to action Sunday against the host Calgary Hitmen.