Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King had a pair of goals in the first period of WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)

Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King had a pair of goals in the first period of WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)

Red Deer Rebels snap 13-game losing streak, knock off Oil Kings 4-2

Rebels first win over Edmonton since Dec. 29, 2018

Rebels 4 Oil Kings 2 (Saturday)

Rebels 5 Hitmen 4 (OT) (Sunday)

They could have easily folded it in.

With three games left in an arduous, exhausting and abbreviated WHL season and one of the top teams in the WHL rolling into town, the Red Deer Rebels had all the excuses in the world to not show up.

But, when Ethan Rowland slid the puck into the empty net with three seconds left, the bench erupted – like the weight of a 13-game losing streak that spanned a better part of a month and a half, was finally lifted.

“It feels great to finally get a win under our belt after however many losses it was,” said Ben King, who had two goals in the 4-2 win, the Red Deer’s first over the Oil Kings since Dec. 29, 2018.

“The boys were happy, the staff was happy, hopefully now we can keep it going and get some more.”

Edmonton was missing two of their top scorers in Dylan Guenther and Jake Neighbours for Saturday’s contest, meanwhile, Red Deer got a big boost with the return 21-year-old Josh Tarzwell, who had been out since April 9 with a lower-body injury.

“It’s big. He’s a 20-year-old, veteran. Just brings another element. He’s a big, strong guy and he pushes some offence. Just having him on the bench, he’s a good teammate,” said Rebels assistant coach Ryan Colville.

“He’s an uplifter. Gives us a little bit more balance. It’s huge to have him back.”

Things got started off on the right note for the home side, as King picked apart the Oil Kings with great speed through the neutral zone to open the scoring just 40 seconds in.

He broke into the Edmonton zone and fired a wrist shot before potting his own rebound past Sebastian Cossa for his team-leading ninth goal of the year.

The veteran was back at it again 3:27 later, scoring his second of the night on the power play.

“It helps. That team, once they get one they get rolling. So for us to just get a few and get the lead and get our game going before them, it really helps,” King said.

Edmonton started to rally from there and Logan Dowhaniuk cut the deficit with his third of the year, scooping up a loose puck in front of Chase Coward.

Midway through the second, Chris Douglas scored what turned out to be the game-winner. In his 248th WHL game, the Richmond, B.C. product restored the two-goal lead shorthanded.

Edmonton wouldn’t go away, as Dowhaniuk launched his second of the night on a power play in the second, his fourth of the year, all of which have come against the Rebels.

The Rebels took five penalties in a row after that and killed all of them off. For one of the league’s worst penalty kills, it was a huge lift.

“Just keep playing our way, blocking shots. We ran into some penalty trouble which was kind of nerve-wracking. We killed it. A lot of big blocks at the end,” King said.

“(Blake) Gustafson probably had 10, 20 blocks. He was first star in my mind. Guys are just putting their body on the line and that’s what it takes to win.”

Rebels netminder Chase Coward turned aside all eight Edmonton shots he faced in the final frame, including a five-bell pad stop with 4:22 to go. He made 24 saves for his first career WHL win.

“He made a few big saves,” said Colville.

“He made a glove save there in one of the kills. He was great. Just steady, not a lot of rebounds. Made some huge saves for us.”

Even if it was just the third win of the season for a Rebels club that struggled has struggled this year, it showed something to Colville.

“I felt so good for the guys. There’s been plenty of games this year where we didn’t deserve to win and we didn’t play well. There’s also been plenty of games where we haven’t had the bounces or the calls,” Colville said.

“I felt like our guys deserved a better fate and I think they definitely, definitely earned this one. I’m not sure there is a guy on that bench that didn’t play a part in the win.”

Red Deer continued its winning ways Sunday, topping the Calgary Hitmen 5-4 in overtime. Kalan Lind and Arshdeep Bains both picked up two goals, and Josh Tarzwell scored the overtime winner for the Rebels. Coward stopped 29 of 33 shots in the win.

Red Deer will host Calgary in the final game of the season Tuesday at the Westerner Park Centrium.

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

The Minnesota Wild celebrate their overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Eriksson Ek’s OT goal lifts Wild past Vegas 1-0

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime… Continue reading

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., celebrates after hitting a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Girardi, Segura have confrontation as Phils lose to Jays

Blue Jays 10 Phillies 8 DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The injury-depleted Philadelphia… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Most Read