Rebels lose 5-4 to Giants in shootout

Giants 5 Rebels 4 (SO) There was a time, not so long ago, when the Red Deer Rebels looked like one of the top teams in the Western Hockey League. Now they can’t beat the bottom feeders.

Giants 5 Rebels 4 (SO)

There was a time, not so long ago, when the Red Deer Rebels looked like one of the top teams in the Western Hockey League.

Now they can’t beat the bottom feeders.

Case in point: Friday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Giants in front of a recorded gathering of 5,073 at the Centrium, a setback that followed negative results versus lowly Brandon and Kootenay in the previous six days.

The bottom line? No. 1 netminder Patrik Bartosak can’t return from the world junior hockey championship soon enough, and he’s scheduled to be back next week for Red Deer’s three-game trip into Saskatchewan.

“It’s tough, because you need better goaltending than we got from our veteran tonight,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, clearly upset with the performance of starter Bolton Pouliot, who was yanked after surrendering a horrid power-play goal to Cain Franson late in the second period and replaced by rookie Grant Naherniak.

Sutter, in fact, wasn’t impressed with any of the three goals that were scored on Pouliot, although he re-inserted the second-year stopper for the shootout.

That was a decision that seemed to make sense, considering Naherniak had never competed in a WHL shootout, but Pouliot was beaten by three of the four Giants shooters.

“You put him in for the shootout because you want that experience versus a young kid who has never faced a shootout at this level before and you’re hoping that ‘Pouls’ will respond to that,” said Sutter. “But obviously he wasn’t sharp tonight and that hurt us.

“At the end of the day, this is major junior hockey and the next level is pro. I know people will say that Sutter is hard on goaltenders but you need goaltending to have some success.

“But it is what is is and we’ll take the single point and move on. We were good enough to win tonight but we never got the two points.”

Rebels captain Turner Elson opened the scoring off a fine feed from Matt Bellerive midway through the first period, but Brett Kulak pulled the visitors even five minutes later when his wrist shot from the point eluded Pouliot.

Trevor Cheek potted a man-advantage marker 51 seconds into the second period and Franson scored from long range 15 minutes later to give the Giants a 3-1 lead and spell the end for Pouliot.

The goaltending switch seemed to ignite the Rebels, who got back-to-back goals from Dominik Volek at 18:18 and 19:59, and Joel Hamilton gave Red Deer a 4-3 lead at 4:34 of the third period.

But Jackson Houck pulled the visitors even at 9:13 of the third period, setting the stage for a scoreless overtime in which Rebels forward Tyson Ness rang a shot off the post.

“We battled back and got the lead and then made a mistake in our zone and the puck was in the back of our net,” said Sutter. “Then we hit the crossbar in overtime and when you get into a shootout anything can happen.”

The win was huge for the Giants, who have struggled big time this season while in a rebuilding phase.

“We’ve had trouble finding ways to win so getting these two points is very important for us,” said Giants head coach Don Hay.

“I really liked our work ethic tonight and our sacrifice. We blocked a lot of shots and when you do that it shows how much you want to play and how much you want to pay the price.

“We have five hard games in the next little while and to get this win is very important to us.”

The Rebels host the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight at 7:30 p.m.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell is hoping to pick up where he left off last season as the 2020-21 WHL season kicks off Friday in Red Deer against the Medicine Hat Tigers. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels set to host Tigers in WHL season opener

24-game WHL Alberta only season kicks off night Friday at the Centrium

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal's Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Quebec starts COVID-19 vaccination bookings for seniors; those in Ontario must wait

Quebec starts COVID-19 vaccination bookings for seniors; those in Ontario must wait

Most Read