By ADVOCATE STAFF
Rebels 4 Warriors 3
MOOSE JAW — The newest member of the Red Deer Rebels made an immediate impact Friday night, as Aspen Sterzer scored once and added two assists in a 4-3 WHL win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“I really liked the way Sterzer played. He got a great goal on a great shot,” said Rebels associate coach Jeff Truitt, in reference to the forward the Rebels acquired Thursday from the Kamloops Blazers.
“He’s a very good player and was very impactful tonight, as was (Presten) Kopeck. I thought we generated some offence and some of our older guys played better for sure.”
Rebels rookie Vukie Mpofu opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season 3:37 into the contest and Sterzer, with his 18th, connected on his very first shift with the Rebels just 20 seconds later.
The Rebels upped the count to 3-0 three minutes later on Conner Bleackley’s first of two goals on the night, his 21st of the season.
Brayden Point responded for the Warriors before the first period ended and the home side cut the deficit to a single goal when Ben Duperreault scored at 4:25 of the middle frame.
Bleackley tallied again at 6:46 and Torrin White replied for Moose Jaw midway through the period, setting up a scoreless final frame in which Rebels netminder Patrik Bartosak stopped all 14 shots he faced, including a penalty shot by Point.
“We found a way to win in a game that was kind of scrambly at times,” said Truitt. “Patty came up big in the third period and got it done on the penalty shot.”
Bartosak finished with 29 saves, while Justin Paulic and Zach Sawenchko combined to block 31 shots.
Despite the win, the Rebels remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two points backs of the eighth-place Kootenay Ice, who earned a single point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.
The Prince Albert Raiders defeated the host Brandon Wheat Kings 4-4 and stayed tied with the Ice. Regina remained five points ahead of Red Deer with a 3-2 win over the visiting Calgary Hitmen.
“We’ll take the two points and kind of keep pace with everyone else,” said Truitt. “We didn’t get a lot of help tonight but as long as we keep putting up points that’s all we can do.”
The Rebels conclude their four-game road trip tonight against the Swift Current Broncos.
Meanwhile, Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter didn’t make another move Friday prior to the noon trade deadline.
Sutter, who on Thursday dealt forward Dominik Volek, 19, to the Vancouver Giants for a pair of bantam draft picks and traded Matt Bellerive and a third-round bantam draft selection to Kamloops for Sterzer in a swap of 19-year-old forwards, was hoping to upgrade his blueline with one more deal.
However . . .
“There was nothing there outside of maybe an eighth or ninth defenceman,” said Sutter. “We could have picked up a depth guy but we didn’t want to do that.”
A deadline deal saw the Everett Silvertips trade the WHL rights to Big Valley native Ty Mappin — a former Red Deer major bantam and midget AAA forward — to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.
Mappin, who played as a WHL rookie last season and was reassigned by the ‘Tips to the AJHL Olds Grizzlys in September, hasn’t decided if he’ll stay with his current club or join the Blades. Mappin was the seventh player taken in the 2011 bantam draft.
Following are the other WHL trades that transpired Friday:
l Kamloops acquired defenceman Austin Douglas, goalie Justin Myles and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 bantam drat from the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for goaltender Taran Kozun.
l The Regina Pats sent forward Geordie Maguire to Swift Current for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft, and dealt forward and former Rebel Marc McCoy to the Kelowna Rockets in return for a fifth-round bantam draft selection in 2016.
l The Medicine Hat Tigers acquired forward Anthony Ast, 18, from Vancouver for a third-round bantam draft pick in 2016.
l The Spokane Chiefs acquired Marcus Messier from the Tri-City Americans for former Rebels prospect Jackson Playfair in an exchange of 19-year-old forwards.
l Regina acquired centre Logan McVeigh and goalie Daniel Wapple from the Tigers in exchange for Nick Schneider and a third-round bantam draft pick in 1016.
l The Lethbridge Hurricanes picked up goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn from the Portland Winterhawks, sending a seventh-round pick in this year’s bantam draft the other way.