The Red Deer Rebels fell 5-4 in a shootout loss to the Broncos on Sunday.
Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter said after three games in three nights he was happy with the resiliency his team showed by battling back to tie the game four times on Sunday.
“I thought we played hard. We battled, we competed,” Sutter said. “We were really happy with out effort. Some of the goals they got are going to happen – young player mistakes on the back end. We’re probably better for it. Overall I thought we played really well.”
Michael Spacek scored twice in the third period to help Red Deer earn one point.
Riley Lamb made eight saves in overtime to help force the shootout but no Rebel was able to solve Swift Current goalie Jordan Papirny in the skills session. Lamb finished the game with 33-saves. Aleksi Heponiemi scored the Broncos goal in the shootout.
The Rebels picked up three of a possible six points on the road trip.
“Outside of the odd spot here and there – the odd period, I thought overall we played hard and we played well,” Sutter added.
“Tough on the road to play three in three but at the same time our work ethic was pretty good. I thought our worst period of the whole road trip was the first in PA. Other than that, we were pretty good last night, third period we gave up some goals but we still competed and played hard.”
While Red Deer managed to battle back to tie the game four times on Sunday, it was also the third straight game they fell behind in the first period.
“You’re going to give up goals in the first period but it’s how you respond from it,” Sutter said. “You would like to have the lead but at the same time you have to fight through it and I thought we were pretty resilient tonight.”
Almost overshadowed in the Spacek performance was the effort of former Prince Albert Raider Austin Glover, 21, who scored twice on his birthday Sunday. The 21-year-old has 15 goals on the year and three in seven games since joining the Rebels.
Colton Bobyk sat out Sunday’s game after a costly penalty on Saturday.
“Based on lack of discipline and taking bad penalties,” said Sutter.
“We have a lot of young players on this team, and our older players have to do things the right way. It’s not the first time for Bobs, it’s occurred at different points over the last few years.
“He has to understand being a 20-year-old player, you can’t put yourself in that position. When you take those type of penalties it hurts the team and you put yourself ahead of the team. He understood. We need solid leadership from our older guys and they need to do things the right way.”
The Rebels play the Hitmen on Wednesday in Calgary.