Hitmen 4 Rebels 3 (OT)
The Red Deer Rebels came oh so close to snapping a 12-game losing streak.
A few bad bounces in regulation and overtime quickly became the 13th straight loss for the Rebels at the Centrium Thursday against the Calgary Hitmen.
Red Deer had nearly all the possession time in the extra frame, but it was the visitors who broke through 40.9 seconds left.
Cael Zimmerman buried the dagger, on a nice feed from Sean Tschigerl who got the puck after some nice work down low from Jackson van de Leest.
Calgary snagged a 4-3 victory from the jaws of defeat, despite being outshot 35-29. Red Deer dropped to 2-16-2 on the year.
“I thought we deserved a better fate. In overtime, 40 seconds left, there was just one little mistake. I thought as a group we were good,” said Rebels assistant coach Ryan Colville.
“We battled, we played hard. We outchanced them. I think there were times when it was back and forth and a little bit more wide open than we wanted. I thought as a group we played well and we deserved a better fate.”
Hitmen forward Josh Prokop opened the scoring on an odd-man rush shorthanded three minutes into the first.
From there, Red Deer responded just past the midway point of the first. A Shot from the point hit a few different bodies and bounced right to Carter Anderson and he banged in a shot through a crowd. It was Anderson’s second goal of the year.
After Calgary took a 2-1 lead, a Jace Weir point shot hit a Calgary Hitmen player and bounced in past Jack McNaughton with only 7.5 seconds left in the second period.
Calgary restored its advantage midway through the second after a good cycle led to a one-time goal by Riley Fiddler-Schultz.
Red Deer kept pushing and finally broke through with 7:12 left in the game.
Kyle Masters made a beautiful feed to veteran Chris Douglas late in the third and he tied it at three. Douglas made no mistake on his sixth goal of the year, playing in his 247th game in a Rebels uniform.
“For a team like ours, we’ve been struggling the last little while. We’ve been playing well but not winning. In that third period, (Douglas) goal gave us a chance to take us to overtime. It was a huge goal,” Colville said.
McNaughton finished with 32 saves in the victory, while Byron Fancy stopped 25 shots in the loss.
Red Deer hosts the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday, before finishing off the season with a home-and-home against the Hitmen.