Rebels listless in 4-1 loss to Hitmen

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The Red Deer Rebels just plain weren’t good enough against the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday.

In their final road game before a five-game homestand, the Rebels were listless from shift number two and never recovered in a 4-1 loss at the Scotiabank Saddldedome.

“Not good,” Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter said bluntly of his team’s performance.

“We didn’t play well at all tonight.

“As individuals we had a lot of guys not even close to how they have to play for us. Our team game was terrible. There was not a lot of emotion that we needed to have.

“We gave up way too many scoring chances against. I guess when you’re not focused and not dialed in like you need to be that’s what happens. You get beat, you get beat handily.”

Facing their old friend, goalie Trevor Martin, who joined the Hitmen on WHL deadline day but played parts of the past three seasons with the Rebels, Red Deer looked like they wanted to give him a warm welcome back into the league. The visitors only had six shots in the first period and they weren’t able to generate very much pressure five-on-five.

The Hitmen scored just 5:44 into the game, the fourth time in as many games that Red Deer has allowed an early goal. The slow start has forced the Rebels to chase the game and Wednesday, they were never able to close the gap.

“It starts with preparation,” Sutter said. “I thought on the road trip we played well. Outside of the first period in PA I thought we were a good team. We dropped our guard tonight and we didn’t compete. We had too many average players.

“We didn’t play with the urgency that we need to have in our game. You get what you deserve. We got what we deserved here tonight. We didn’t deserve to win the hockey game, and we didn’t deserve it to be close.”

Matteo Gennario scored three times for the Hitmen and has been on fire in the past two weeks with 14 goals and five assists in his past nine games.

Perhaps the only bright spot was Lane Zablocki, the 18-year-old had a game high five shots and scored the Rebels only goal at 4:15 of the third period.

The Rebels only have two wins in their past 10 road games, one of which came against Prince Albert on Saturday and the other, all the way back on Nov. 22 against Calgary.

They now own a 7-13-2-3 record on the road, compared to their 13-6-2-0 at the Centrium.

In the Red Deer net Lasse Petersen was also facing his old team in Calgary, where he played seven games last season. Petersen was beat four times on 26 shots.

The Rebels are back home on Friday against the Prince Albert Raiders and will back at the Centrium for their next five games.

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