Black 6 White 5
It was goals galore for the finale of Red Deer Rebels training camp on Wednesday night at the Centrium.
The annual Black and White game had more of an offensive flair than the majority of main camp scrimmages with seven goals in the first period.
Team Black eventually pulled out the win 6-5 in overtime. Veteran Mason McCarty scored his second of the night in the extra frame to clinch the victory.
”I liked the compete level,” the 20-year-old forward said.
“It gets physical out there, sometimes they’d score and right after we’d answer back with a goal. Guys picking each other up on the bench and lots of communication. When you’ve got that camaraderie, it makes things a lot easier.”
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said that there was plenty to like as training camp came to an end, from the young players stepping up to skill and speed taking over the game.
”Little bit of offence, we saw some things we wanted to see from both the young kids and veterans alike,” Sutter said. “There was traffic, you like to see that. There was some good plays made, there’s some speed on this team and they like to use the attack through the neutral zone which we want. I was impressed, it was a good black and white game.”
Sutter credited his scouting staff for the talent that was on display during training camp, saying they’ve really been able to adapt and find players that fit the Rebels style of play while also playing with skill and a high tempo.
“Shaun (Sutter), Randy (Peterson) and the scouting staff just far as finding the talent that we want and how we want to play,” he said.
“The game is getting to be a lot about speed now and skill and the good thing about it is we’ve got some guys that can do that but they’re also big bodies. It’s nice to have.”
Import forward Kristian Reichel made maybe the two saves of the night in overtime with his skate when Austin Pratt twice tried to slide the puck past him into an empty net.
Defenceman Jacob Herauf started the trend of back end scoring early in the first before Brandon Schuldhaus, Ethan Sakowich and Jared Freadrich all added opening frame goals. Fifteen-year-old defenceman Jace Isley also scored in the second.
Herauf went short side on team white goalie Ethan Anders to give Team Black a 1-0 lead in the first.
Blake Sydlowski tied it on a pass from River Fahey but Schuldhaus quickly took back the lead for Team Black on a point shot that was redirected. Sakowich tied the game at two, 11:37 into the first before Austin Schellenberg was able to thread the needle with Jordan Borysiuk and made it 3-2 Team Black. Akash Bains doubled up the lead late in the first until team white defenceman Freadrich scored from the point. Isley’s goal came midway through the second on a point shot that hit a Team Black skate.
River Fahey appeared to tip a point shot late in the third for Team White, but the goal was given to Reilly Funk. Austin Pratt tied it up at five for Team Black to send the game into overtime.
It was the incumbent goaltending duo of Lasse Petersen and Riley Lamb who shut the door in the second half of the game only allowing a goal a piece in regulation. Anders played the first half for White while Byron Fancy was in net for Team Black.
Veteran forward Brandon Hagel took a hit to the knee early in the third period and went to the dressing room but Sutter said Hagel was fine post game.
Red Deer reassigned six players after the game, Jordan Borysiuk (Mannville, AB), Reilly Funk (Portage La Prairie, MB), Kyler Kovich (Coquitlam, BC), Jayden McCarthy (Morris, MB) and Alex Morozoff (Saskatoon, SK), along with defenceman Jace Isley (Grande Prairie, AB).
The Rebels trimmed their roster to 35 players before beginning the five game exhibition season Friday at home against the Calgary Hitmen.