Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff

Hot Hitmen take out Rebels with ease

Hitmen 5 Rebels 1 Jesse Wallin’s mood was as cold as the temperature outside the Centrium following Tuesday’s Western Hockey League mismatch.



Hitmen 5 Rebels 1

Jesse Wallin’s mood was as cold as the temperature outside the Centrium following Tuesday’s Western Hockey League mismatch.

The Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach pretty much said it all with his first comment following a 5-1 loss to the Calgary Hitmen before a recorded gathering of 4,022 that was actually closer to 2,500.

“I thought that was probably our worst game of the year,” said Wallin, whose club was outplayed almost from start to finish.

“We were brutal outside of the last eight minutes of the first period when we got our feet moving and got going a bit.”

The Rebels also showed some spark early in the middle frame, snapping a scoreless tie when defenceman Mathew Dumba took a nifty backhand pass from Turner Elson and beat Hitmen netminder Brandon Glover to the glove side from the high slot.

But the lead lasted all of 39 seconds, as Joe Kornelson buried a rebound past Red Deer goaltender Deven Dubyk after teammate Greg Chase had cut around a Rebels defender.

From there, it was all downhill for the home side. The Hitmen added another marker before the period ended and sealed the deal with three third-period tallies.

“We had the lead and then we just handed the game right back to them,” said Wallin. “Every one of their goals, we handed right to them.

“We allowed them to come through the neutral zone way too easily, we weren’t picking up guys coming through. Our forwards were quitting on the backcheck and our defencemen were getting beat one on one. There were a lot of soft, soft, soft plays tonight.”

Wallin was describing Calgary’s go-ahead goal to a tee. While Hitmen captain Cody Sylvester was cutting across the high slot, two Red Deer defenders went to Alex Gogolev, who still managed to steer a pass from Sylvester past Dubyk.

Chase Clayton upped the count to 3-1 early in the third period, sneaking a shot through Dubyk’s pads. Gogolev followed with his second of the night — converting a centering pass from Sylvester — at 9:47 and Chase potted his second of the season six minutes later following a turnover behind the Red Deer net.

The Hitmen, displaying big-time speed and a junkyard dog work ethic, were full value for their eighth consecutive win. The Rebels, meanwhile, resembled a non-playoff team, which they currently are albeit trailing eighth-place Brandon by just four points in the Eastern Conference standings with a game in hand.

“We have some guys who are playing with a lot of confidence,” said Calgary head coach Mike Williamson. “When we’ve been skating and working hard, that’s when we’ve had success and that’s what we did today.

“That’s how we have to play.”

The Hitmen are one of the league’s hottest teams at the moment, although Williamson said he expected more out of his club — which sits seventh in the Eastern Conference but is a mere four points out of second place — earlier in the season.

“We thought we would be better in the first 30 games that we were, but guys came back after the Christmas break with a great deal of focus and a team-first mentality,” he said.

The Rebels turned in their second stinker in succession, following Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Swift Current.

“We had nowhere near the sense of urgency and the compete level tonight that we needed to have,” said Wallin. “If you don’t have that, everything else falls apart.

“We played a real poor game tonight.”

The Rebels host the Prince George Cougars Saturday and take on the Hitmen Sunday in Calgary.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sustainability audit for Westerner Park suggested 33 changes, including more city involvement. (Advocate file photo)
Westerner Park expands volunteer program

Westerner Park is recruiting volunteers to fill several positions. The new Volunteer… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Appeal Court restores privileges for man who killed five at Calgary house party

EDMONTON — The Alberta Court of Appeal has restored some privileges for… Continue reading

A 19-day trial has been set for June 2022 for Chase Freed, who is accused of shooting to death a shopper outside the southside Red Deer Walmart and firing shots at two other people in the parking lot. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man accused of killing a shopper outside Red Deer Walmart in December 2019 to go to trial in 2022

Chase Freed charged with second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
All adult Albertans to be offered first dose of vaccine by end of June: Premier

Alberta’s premier says the province will be “back to normal” when 72… Continue reading

Black Press Media file photo
Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

EDMONTON — The head of the Alberta Medical Association says many factors… Continue reading

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle
New regulator to stop sexual exploitation of children online: public safety minister

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government will introduce… Continue reading

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sasha/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he will vote against a… Continue reading

Eugene Kwon of Gratia Bakery and Cafe says the business will be relying on take out orders and a small patio. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of the country’s small businesses says… Continue reading

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland’s Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Huawei, HSBC agree on document deal for extradition case

HONG KONG — Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei said Monday that it… Continue reading

The Montreal Police logo is seen on a police car in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

MONTREAL — Hundreds of protestors gathered in Montreal on Sunday in defiance… Continue reading

Most Read