Powerplay comes through for Rebels

As Star Wars Grand Master Yoda might say, a glorious fate the Red Deer Rebels deserved. The Rebels were the superior team through the better part of Monday’s WHL playoff encounter with the visiting Calgary Hitmen and got their just reward when Mathew Dumba scored in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

As Star Wars Grand Master Yoda might say, a glorious fate the Red Deer Rebels deserved.

The Rebels were the superior team through the better part of Monday’s WHL playoff encounter with the visiting Calgary Hitmen and got their just reward when Mathew Dumba scored in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

Calgary leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal 2-1 with Game 4 set for tonight at 7 p.m. at the Centrium, which attracted 4,819 fans Monday.

Perhaps it was only fitting that the Red Deer power play would decide the contest. The Rebels’ man advantage units — anemic in Games 1 and 2 — were effective during their two earlier opportunities and Dumba wasn’t about to blow his chance.

The rearguard moved into the high slot and blew a laser past netminder Chris Driedger at 6:33 with Hitmen defenceman Spencer Humphries serving a high sticking infraction.

“We lucked out when Diener’s (Rhyse Dieno’s) pass through the seam hit a skate and came right to me,” said Dumba. “I had a lot of time and got to step into one.”

The outcome guaranteed there will be a fifth game Thursday in Calgary, but little else, as Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter noted.

“The win gets us back into the series, but tonight when we leave the rink it’s over with. We have a quick turnaround to get ready for tomorrow night’s game,” he said.

“This was a good hockey game, well-played for the most part by both teams. Both teams created scoring chances and both goalies played well.”

Indeed, Red Deer’s Patrik Bartosak and his counterpart Driedger stood tall.

Bartosak, who stopped 38 shots in total, made a great glove stab on Humphries in overtime and also got his pad on a quick deflection. Driedger, meanwhile, robbed Dieno more than once and finished with 42 saves.

The Rebels were somewhat slow out of the gate and watched the Hitmen open the scoring seven minutes into the game when Peter Kosterman’s point shot deflected off a Red Deer stick and past Bartosak.

Then, with Rebels blueline Devan Fafard off for tripping, Brooks Maxwell created a turnover at the Red Deer blueline, broke in alone and beat Driedger under the glove. The short-handed marker proved to be the only scoring until the extra frame.

“We were a little nervous, a little hesitant early in the game,” said Sutter. “We played on our heels, we played a little robotic you might say.

“This is not the time of year to do that, especially against a good team. You have to be on your toes and you have to go.”

But his squad was able to regroup and, as Sutter suggested, was deserving of the victory.

“We created chances and we did a good job with our details and how we want to play. We were disciplined in our game,” he said.

“In the third period we had enormous chances and their goalie played very well. Once we got to overtime we had to pound pucks and shoot pucks. We got an opportunity on the power play, which we deserved, and we capitalized on it. Our power play wasn’t very good in Calgary but tonight it got us a big goal.”

Dumba was also convinced that the right team prevailed.

“We played really hard. They (Hitmen) are not going to stop at any time in this series. They’re a strong team and they’re going to battle and just work for everything and that’s what we did tonight,” he said.

“I think we were deserving. It was a great feeling to win and yet we know it’s just one game. There are four more to play in this series and we just have to come out with that same compete level and aggressiveness and just keep on battling, keep on working and sticking to our structure.”

While Dumba felt the Hitmen brought their hard hats Monday, the feeling wasn’t similar outside the other dressing room.

“We didn’t work as hard as we should have tonight, especially coming into this rink” said Calgary defenceman Jaynen Rissling. “We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and I thought once we got that first goal we thought it might be a little easy. We didn’t really keep up the hard work and that’s why we lost.”

However, as he noted, the Hitmen lost Game 3 of their conference quarter-final versus Swift Current after winning the first two at home and ended up prevailing in five games.

“We bounced back pretty well from that loss at Swift Current. I’m just glad that we can come right back in here tomorrow,” he said.

l Rebels forward Matt Bellerive was suspended for two games Monday for a kneeing major he was assessed in Game 2 of the series . . . Forwards Scott Feser and Adam Musil saw their first post-season action with Bellerive serving the first game of the suspension and Cory Millette a healthy scratch . . . Advocate’s three stars — (1) Dumba . . . played a strong, two-way game and scored the winner; (2) Driedger . . . Hitmen goalie was the main reason the game got to overtime, making 13 of his 42 saves in the third period; (3) Bartosak . . . was sharp throughout and made a couple of game-saving stops in the extra period.


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

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read