The Red Deer Rebels will be glad to know there’s no three-on-three overtime in the playoffs.
With six games left in the season, the Rebels played their second straight overtime game on Tuesday night and suffered a 2-1 loss to the Saskatoon Blades at the Centrium in WHL action.
The Rebels haven’t won in overtime since Dec. 3, with six straight losses in the extra period since.
“We played hard tonight. Goaltenders played well. We had lots of opportunities we could have scored on. In the end, overtime got us,” Polei said.
“Seems to be the trend the last two games. Maybe it’s a part of our game we need to work on. Practice some three-on-three and maybe get our heads wrapped around it a little better.”
Blades forward Jesse Shynkaruk scored his second of the night and game the winner with just 16 seconds left in the game on a shot that deflected off a Red Deer player and past Riley Lamb.
“In overtime, it’s three-on-three, who knows what’s going to happen. We had our chances there too, we just got outside the dots in our own zone and allowed a guy to get in the slot on us,” Rebels GM/ head coach Brent Sutter said.
Shynkaruk now has 30 goals on the year and five against Red Deer.
Lamb had 35 saves Tuesday and now has reached that mark in back-to-back starts.
Polei scored the only Red Deer goal midway through the second period to tie the game at one.
Blades goalie Logan Flodell let up a juicy rebound on a Jared Freadrich point shot and Polei crashed home the loose puck. It was the Wetaskiwin native’s team-leading 29th goal of the year.
Polei said before the point, the Rebels struggled to get their feet underneath them but picked up momentum after the goal.
“It was a slow start,” Polei said.
“We have to get our feet moving quick. In the second we got our feet moving and got pucks behind them and started hitting them more. Then we got opportunities and we capitalized on one.”
Sutter also thought his team progressed as the game went on, but the two teams tightened up late in the game and scoring chances were hard to fine.
“It was a tight-checking game,” Sutter said.
“One of those nights were teams did have some chances but I thought both goalies played well. I thought in the third period, the last ten minutes there really wasn’t a lot of offense created on either side. Teams are keeping it pretty tight.”
Tuesday was the first game of what could be a long run for the Rebels without captain Adam Musil, as Sutter speculated he might be out for the year.
“Your guess is a good as mine,” Sutter said about a timeline for Musil. “I expect him to be out for the season.”
Musil was seen at the rink with a walking boot on his ankle Tuesday night and was announced as “week-to-week” with a lower body injury on Monday.