The Red Deer Rebels haven’t made a habit of coming from behind this season, but they did so on Friday night in WHL action.
The Rebels travelled to Prince Albert and managed just their second win this season when allowing the first goal, this time a 4-3 win at the Art Hauser Centre.
“We battled back. We didn’t have a great first period but we played hard from that point on,” Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter said.
“We got a short-handed goal and a power play goal in the third – you are capitalizing on opportunities. We weren’t great in the first but I thought we played well in the second and in the third we capitalized on our opportunities.”
Red Deer fell behind 2-0 in the first period and looked like a road-weary squad early and it wasn’t until an Alexander Alexeyev power play goal that the visitors woke up.
The first-year defenceman scored his fourth goal of the year five-on-three, with a one-timer from the point. The Moscow native now has multi-point games in three of the last four contests for Red Deer.
Lane Zablocki got his second goal in as many games as a Rebel just 1:31 later to tie it at two as a Raiders penalty expired. Austin Glover assisted on the goal in his return to Prince Albert where he played 103 games over three season with the Raiders.
After the Rebels fell behind again 48 seconds into third, Michael Spacek scored his second short-handed goal of the season at 7:01 to tie the game.
With a goal and an assist on Friday, the Winnipeg Jets draft pick now has 17 goals and 29 assists this season. He’s also just a goal behind the 18 he scored last year.
With just 3:08 remaining in the game, Adam Musil got the puck in the slot on the power play and found a hole stick side to beat Ian Scott. It was the 16th goal of the season for the St. Louis Blues draft pick, putting him just one behind Spacek for the team lead.
The Rebels power play also continues to improve with their trade deadline additions. It went two for five on Friday and Sutter is starting to see some chemistry.
“We shot the puck more tonight and we created some more opportunities. Alex (Alexeyev) being on the half board helps us a little bit there and Spac on the other side and the other unit you have more skill on it with Glover and the other guys we have on it. It’s just more depth.”
Riley Lamb made 33 saves for his 11th win of the season and first since Dec. 27.
Chris Douglas, a 16-year-old from Richmond, B.C. played in his first career WHL game after joining the Rebels earlier this week from the Greater Vancouver Canadians BC Major Midget Hockey League.
Dawson Barteaux, the Rebels newest 16-year-old defenceman also made his debut after being acquired from the Regina Pats at the WHL trade deadline.
Red Deer is back on the ice against the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night.