The Red Deer Rebels didn’t get off to the start they wanted on their road trip but were able to get the win thanks to great goaltending from Patrik Bartosak.
The Rebels netminder made 50 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped the two shooters he faced in the shootout to help his team pull out the 4-3 win over the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday at the CN Centre. The Rebels were badly out shot in the contest but a goal midway through the third period by Christian Stockl allowed the team to force the extra frame which is what the Rebels needed.
The Cougars got the first goal on the powerplay four minutes into the second period after a scoreless first period. Jari Erricson scored his eighth of the season as Devin Fafard was in the box on an interference penalty. The Rebels bounced back as Joel Hamilton got his eighth goal of the season just before the eight minute mark of the second with the assist going to Kayle Doetzel.
The Rebels then took the lead as Tyson Ness got a powerplay goal at 14:23 to give the Rebels their first lead of the game. Rhyse Dieno and Mathew Dumba had the assists on Ness’ 12th goal of the season.
The Cougars responded quickly as Zach Pochiro scored his first of a pair goals 40 seconds later to tie the game again. Pochiro, the game’s first star, then gave his team the lead with another goal 40 seconds later to put the Cougars up 3-2 after two periods.
The Rebels were able to score the only goal in the third period as Stockl got his third of the season from Dumba and Brady Gaudet.
Both teams couldn’t muster much offence in the extra frame only producing one shot each despite the Rebels having to kill off a Stockl delay of game penalty for the last two minutes of the period.
In the shootout, the Cougars’ Pochiro and Chase Witala were stoned by Bartosak while the Rebels countered with a goal each from shooters Dieno and Dominik Volek.
Bartosak finished as the second star of the game as he faced 17 first period shots, 15 second period shots and 20 third period shots. The Rebels did get some chances and threw 31 shots at Cougars goaltender Mac Engel who was chosen as the second star of the game.
The Rebels went one-for-three on the powerplay while the Cougars ended the game one-for-seven on the powerplay. Pochiro
The Rebels now head to Seattle on Friday for the second game of the three-game road trip which will finish off in Kamloops on Saturday.