Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Rebels assassinated by Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels recovered from a slow start in Saturday’s 6-2 win over the visiting Swift Current Broncos; they weren’t so fortunate Tuesday. The Rebels coughed up five unanswered goals in a brutal first period, and although they were the better team the rest of the way, the disastrous start was too much to overcome.

The Red Deer Rebels recovered from a slow start in Saturday’s 6-2 win over the visiting Swift Current Broncos; they weren’t so fortunate Tuesday.

The Rebels coughed up five unanswered goals in a brutal first period, and although they were the better team the rest of the way, the disastrous start was too much to overcome.

The end result was a 9-5 Western Hockey League loss to the Calgary Hitmen before a recorded audience of 4,168 at the Enmax Centrium.

“The first period was terrible, a reflection of the same kind of start we had the other night,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “We had to take a timeout six minutes into that game and instead of doing that tonight I thought I’d change our goalie.

“Obviously that didn’t work.”

The Hitmen connected on their first two shots, with Beck Malenstyn and Chad Lang pulling the trigger barely three minutes into the contest. Rebels starting netminder Rylan Toth was yanked in favour of Taz Burman at that point, but the visitors struck for three more before the first intermission, two by Connor Rankin and another by Adam Tambellini.

Both teams had 10 shots in the opening frame, yet the visitors went into the first break with a huge lead.

The hosts got one back when newcomer Riley Sheen, acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes Monday, connected at 5:05 of the middle stanza, but Rankin completed his hat trick three minutes later when the puck bounced off his body and past Toth, who was back in net when the period started.

Brook Maxwell cut the deficit to 6-2 late in the second frame and Presten Kopeck, on the power play, and Sheen, with his second of the night and fifth of the season, got the Rebels back into the contest with goals in the first seven minutes of the third period.

“We battled and got ourselves back into it, but as soon as we got close they’d come down and create some pressure in our end, get a shot on net and it would go in,” said Sutter.

Calgary’s seventh goal was a reflection of the way the night went for the Rebels, as defenceman Jake Bean wristed a point shot that drifted past a half dozen bodies and found the top of the net, putting a large dent in Red Deer’s momentum.

Red Deer, though, didn’t fade away and Brett Cote made it a 7-5 game with a power-play point shot, but Terrell Draude notched an empty-net goal at with 1:10 remaining and Malenstyn scored his second of the night 22 seconds later.

Toth stopped 13 of the 18 shots he faced and Burman blocked five of the eight directed his way during his 17-minute stint.

“There was no fire here tonight. You have to play with a level of passion in a divisional game and we just didn’t play that way,” said Sutter.

“Defensively we were horrendous. We didn’t get saves, but you can’t put it on the goalies. They (Hitmen) had some top-notch, quality scoring chances. You look up at the clock and see three goals on four shots, but they were all quality chances.

“We didn’t do a good job defensively tonight, our defence really struggled. To a man, they all had a terrible night. We also had a few forwards that way and I think both of our goalies would have liked to have some (goals) back.”

On a positive note, Sheen, with two goals and an assist, was highly impressive in his Rebels debut and was arguably the best player on the ice.

“Unfortunately we played like we did as a group but you could see the importance of having a player like that on our team,” said Sutter. “He’s tremendously gifted, tremendously skilled. We made a trade to make our team better. He’s going to bring that skill set that we needed and he’s also a guy who can quarterback our power play”

l Hitmen netminder Mack Shields finished with 31 saves . . . With the win, Calgary moved a point ahead of Red Deer and into a second-place tie with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Central Division . . . The Rebels are idle until Friday when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors. Red Deer travels to Lethbridge Saturday to face the ‘Canes.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Team Ontario skip Rachel Homan, centre, makes a shot against Team Wild Card 1 as second Sarah Wilkes, left, and lead Joanne Courtney sweep at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Ontario's Rachel Homan kicked off play in the championship pool Friday with a 7-6 victory over Chelsea Carey of Team Wild Card One at the Canadian women's curling playdowns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Homan and Einarson improve to 8-1 at Canadian women’s curling championship

Homan and Einarson improve to 8-1 at Canadian women’s curling championship

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
New vaccine brings optimism amid rising threat of variants, high case counts

New vaccine brings optimism amid rising threat of variants, high case counts

Most Read