Rebels put losing streak on ice

CRANBROOK, B.C. — Finally. Colten Mayor tallied twice as the Red Deer Rebels’ lengthy Western Hockey League losing run came to a merciful halt Tuesday at the Cranbrook Recreation Complex with a 4-2 win over the Kootenay Ice.

Rebels 4 Ice 2

CRANBROOK, B.C. — Finally.

Colten Mayor tallied twice as the Red Deer Rebels’ lengthy Western Hockey League losing run came to a merciful halt Tuesday at the Cranbrook Recreation Complex with a 4-2 win over the Kootenay Ice.

Tyson Ness notched a goal at 18:48 of the third period to insure the Rebels of their first win since Nov. 12 at Victoria, ending the club’s streak of futility at a franchise-record 13 games.

“It’s nice to get that off our back and get rewarded for our effort,” said Rebels GM/head coach Jesse Wallin. “This is a tough building to come into, always a tough building to play in. And coming in here against a very good hockey team with a full lineup was a little bit intimidating from the outset. But we really dug in and got a solid effort and played a very, very good hockey game tonight.”

Mayor gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game with his 10th goal of the season before Joey Leach pulled the home side even in the final minute of the opening frame.

Elgin Pearce provided the Ice with their lone lead of the game with a power-play tally at 3:31 of the middle stanza, but Turner Elson replied for Red Deer 30 seconds later and Mayor potted his second of the evening late in the period, setting the stage for the third-period insurance marker from Ness.

Defenceman Mathew Dumba was back in the Rebels lineup after being cut from Canada’s national junior team earlier in the day, but the visitors were still minus the services of national team camper Alex Petrovic as well as injured forwards Adam Kambeitz, Josh Cowen and Daulton Siwak and overage defenceman Aaron Borejko.

Meanwhile, with starting netminder Patrik Bartosak possibly out for the season due to impending shoulder surgery, newly acquired 20-year-old stopper Deven Dubyk stepped up to the plate and turned in a solid, soothing performance.

“He’s a proven guy and a 20-year-old player, so he’s got that confidence and that poise,” said Wallin of the former Medicine Hat Tigers back-up netminder, who turned aside 31 shots Tuesday. “He allowed us to settle thing down in our own end of the rink. He played with a lot of composure and made saves look routine. He had confidence playing the puck, he communicated well with his defencemen and he just made those timely saves when we needed them. He gave us a presence back there, for sure.”

The Rebels will attempt to win their second straight tonight when they take on the Tigers at Medicine Hat.

“Medicine Hat is an equally tough place to play, but the good thing is that we get to get right back at it,” said Wallin. “Like I said to the guys after tonight’s game, feel good about this win but hop on the bus now and get prepared for tomorrow night’s game. We’re going to have to get a real good effort from everyone and play a real detailed game like we did tonight.

“It was nice for the guys to be rewarded for their effort tonight and have things go our way. It’s been awhile.”

Kootenay netminder Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves.

The Rebels close out the pre-Christmas portion of their regular-season schedule Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. meeting with the Regina Pats.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com