Rebels 3 Oil Kings 2 (OT)
EDMONTON — Scott Feser and Patrik Bartosak were front and centre for the Red Deer Rebels in a crucial 3-2 Western Hockey League overtime victory Friday over the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Feser notched all three Red Deer goals and Bartosak turned aside 50 shots as the Rebels snapped a seven-game losing streak.
“There was a lot of things we were better at tonight,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “Edmonton takes a lot of shots and their power play moves the puck well, but we were resilient here tonight.
“This was more the way we want to see our team play as far as the emotion and intensity we need to have.”
The Rebels never led in the contest until it really counted — when Feser took a feed from Conner Bleackley on a two-on-one break and potted his 10th of the season two minutes into overtime.
Oil Kings rearguard Dysin Mayo opened the scoring at 12:02 of the first period and Feser pulled the Rebels even just over three minutes later.
Edmonton led 2-1 after 40 minutes thanks to a second-period goal from Edgars Kulda, but Feser converted passes from linemates Adam Musil and Evan Polei 5:35 into the third period.
The Red Deer native then completed his hat-trick performance in the extra frame.
“Scotty scores three and Patty plays well . . . both guys were big for us tonight,” said Sutter. “A lot of guys were better tonight than they have been, so that’s encouraging.”
While the Rebels were zero-for-three with a man advantage, their penalty killers came up big as the Oil Kings were zero-for-five on the power play.
“Your best penalty killer is always your goalie,” said Sutter.
The visitors blew a golden opportunity to take control of the game when Edmonton forward Mitch Moroz was assessed a five-minute major — and ensuing game misconduct — for charging just 42 seconds into the second period.
“We didn’t generate anything on that power play and they (Oil Kings) were able to get some momentum off the kill,” said Sutter. “But we regrouped and had a pretty good third period.”
The Rebels, who fired 23 shots at Edmonton netminder Tristan Jarry, extended their lead over the Prince Albert Raiders to four points in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Raiders picked up a single point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the visiting Regina Pats Friday.
The Rebels host the Saskatoon Blades tonight at 7 p.m., then head to Calgary Monday for a 4 p.m. meeting with the Hitmen.
From there, Red Deer hosts the Oil Kings Wednesday and the Vancouver Giants and Swift Current Broncos Friday and Saturday.