Rebels get rare home win
Rebels 3 Pats 2
The Red Deer Rebels figured they owed their fans a 60-minute performance, and most importantly a victory.
With just one win in five home games prior to Tuesday’s Western Hockey League date with the visiting Regina Pats, the Rebels were eager to show the Centrium faithful that they were still fond of home cooking.
“It was good. The boys knew that we needed to get a win finally at home here. It was good to show our fans that we could win for them too,” said Rebels forward Charles Inglis, who potted his 10th and 11th goals of the season in a 3-2 victory before a recorded gathering of 4,196.
The Rebels followed up on Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice at Cranbrook with contributions from all four lines. The fourth unit of Jesse Miller, Marc McCoy and Cody Thiel didn’t get on the board but the threesome was a physical presence throughout the contest.
“I think it was just a carryover from the game on Sunday,” said Inglis. “All the boys were really fired up. We played with relaxed intensity and we were all rolling. Our fourth line was great for us on Sunday and again tonight, banging bodies.
“It’s good when you have that. All four lines played pretty well for us again, as did our defence and Patty (netminder Bartosak), so it was an all-around good effort.”
Inglis opened the scoring just 75 seconds into the game, going hard to the net and banging a loose puck past goaltender Matt Hewitt.
Matt Bellerive upped the count to 2-0 a mere 49 seconds into the middle frame when he finished a nifty passing play with linemate Turner Elson and defenceman Mathew Dumba, but the Pats responded three minutes later. Colton Jobke’s wrist shot from the point took a weird bounce in front of Bartosak, who got a piece of the puck but was beaten by Emil Sylvegard on the rebound.
Inglis connected again at 11:17 of the second — crashing the net and burying a rebound of a Joel Hamilton shot — and the Rebels appeared to have a 4-1 lead five minutes later when two Regina players collided with Hewitt and carried the puck into the back of the goal. But following a video review the goal was disallowed, the reason being that the puck — somehow — was not visible to the upstairs officials following the pileup.
Shortly after, at 18:42, defenceman Kade Pilton pulled the Pats to within one with a bullet from just inside the Red Deer blueline.
“It was a bit of turning point when we got that fourth goal that was disallowed, 4-1 to 3-2 is a big sway, but our guys did a good job in the (scoreless) third period,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “It would have been nice to capitalize on an opportunity and get a spread there. We didn’t do that, but we still stuck with it. It was a good, complete-game effort.”
The Rebels certainly created more than their share of scoring chances, directing 40 shots at Hewitt. Bartosak finished with 24 saves.
“I thought we played a pretty good hockey game tonight,” said Wallin. “We had our feet moving, did a real good job of moving the puck and generated some real quality opportunities.
“We did a good job through the neutral zone. We were able to generate some speed and took pucks to the net off the rush. We were able to get to the middle of the ice and we created some opportunities down low off the cycle as well. So it’s good to see those opportunities come when you’re getting the puck to the offensive zone. The last couple of games we’ve really moved the puck well.”
Like Inglis, Wallin praised the Rebels’ fourth line.
“That line has really been a good line for us the last two games,” he said. “They’ve created a lot of energy and zone time.
“Millsy is starting to play with some confidence, McCoy played well tonight and Thiel has really added to that line. He’s a big guy who has been a presence out there. He’s skating well and making good plays with the puck. He’s created some opportunities for himself and his linemates the last couple of games and he’s played physical. When you have everyone going like that you’re not too concerned about matching lines with the other team.”
Inglis and Pats centre Trent Ouellette were engaged in on ongoing feud that culminated with both being assessed a third-period misconduct for chirping at each other from their respective benches.
Inglis insisted he won’t be exchanging Christmas cards with Ouellette.
“I think I’ll be exchanging fists and black eyes with him,” he said.
l Rebels defenceman Kayle Doetzel and forward Wyatt Johnson remained out of the lineup with injuries . . . Defenceman Devan Faford and forward Austin Ferguson were scratched . . . Forward Colten Mayor, who along with defenceman Stephen Hak was traded to Regina last week, drew the second assist on the Pats’ first goal. Hak was a minus-1 for the game . . . The Molson Cup three stars were (1) Inglis, (2) Rebels captain Turner Elson and (3) Hewitt . . . The Rebels host the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and entertain the Calgary Hitmen 24 hours later.