Portland shuts down Rebels
PORTLAND, Ore. — For the first 40 minutes of Tuesday’s Western Hockey League clash with the Portland Winterhawks, the Red Deer Rebels emitted a foul odour at the Rose Garden.
When they finally kicked their game into gear, it was case of too little, too late.
Down 3-0 after two periods, the Rebels cut the deficit to two on a goal from Cory Millette just 2:09 into the final frame. But the visitors never got within striking distance as the ‘Hawks got insurance goals from Brendan Leipsic at 10:50 (power play) and Ty Rattie just under four minutes later en route to a 5-1 victory before 5,201 fans.
Red Deer was outshot 17-5 in each of the first two periods, yet managed to escape the first in a scoreless tie. The deadlock didn’t last much longer, however, as Danish rookie Oliver Bjorkstrand notched a man-advantage goal 6:35 into the second stanza and defencemen Derrick Pouliot— a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins — and first-year standout Seth Jones connected before the period was out.
“We just gave them way too much respect in the first two periods. We were back on our heels and gave them too much time and space,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “We didn’t assert ourselves well at all. We have to play better, plain and simple.”
Rebels starting goaltender Patrik Bartosak made 31 saves through 40 minutes before being replaced by Bolton Pouliot, who stopped 10 of 12 shots in the third period.
Wallin said the switch was in no way related to Bartosak’s performance.
“He faced a game’s worth of shots in the first two periods,” said the Rebels bench boss. “Patty played very well, he made some big saves. Basically we just wanted to give him a break . . . give him the (third) period off.”
Red Deer directed 22 shots at Portland netminder Mac Carruth, including 12 in the third period.
Portland was two-for-seven on the power play. Red Deer was zero-for-four with a man advantage.
The Rebels are 1-2 on their current road trip which continues tonight against the Everett Silvertips and concludes on Friday versus the Kelowna Rockets.
Red Deer’s next home game is Nov. 17 against the Swift Current Broncos.