Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Rebels blowout Blades

Wyatt Johnson looks right at home as the newly-minted Red Deer Rebels captain. The 20-year-old forward turned in a multi-point performance for the second consecutive game Wednesday at the Centrium, notching three goals and assisting on another as the Rebels routed the Saskatoon Blades 7-1 in a WHL contest viewed by a recorded gathering of 4,601.

Wyatt Johnson looks right at home as the newly-minted Red Deer Rebels captain.

The 20-year-old forward turned in a multi-point performance for the second consecutive game Wednesday at the Centrium, notching three goals and assisting on another as the Rebels routed the Saskatoon Blades 7-1 in a WHL contest viewed by a recorded gathering of 4,601.

“It’s nice to start getting on the scoresheet. The first 10 games didn’t go as we wanted, but it’s nice to start contributing,” said Johnson, who busted out of his offensive slump with a goal — his first of the season — and two assists in last Saturday’s 6-4 win at Vancouver.

“Obviously it was good to get a win. We had a lot of good players out there tonight and it transferred into a 60-minute effort.”

Johnson, who replaced linemate Conner Bleackley – who still wears a letter — as the Rebels’ captain during the recent four-game B.C. road trip, scored the tying goal and the eventual winner after the Blades opened the scoring on a short-handed marker by Nick Zajac 5:25 into the contest.

Johnson potted a beauty nine minutes later on a short-handed two-on-one with Presten Kopeck, executing a nifty toe drag before beating netminder Nik Amundrud. Johnson cashed a cross-ice pass from Bleackley while left alone at the side of the net and the Rebels early in the second period were well on their way to the one-sided victory.

Red Deer added two more in the period, with Ivan Nikolishin finding the top corner of the net with a power-play point shot and Johnson completing his hat trick.

The Blades took advantage of an unfortunate turnover by defenceman Haydn Fleury at the Saskatoon blueline to pot their lone goal. Zajac pounced on the puck, broke down the left boards and beat Rylan Toth from a shot from the faceoff circle.

“I thought we came out hard and played in their zone most of the game,” said Johnson. “We kind of got a little unlucky with the fanned pass (by Fleury) on the power play, but we regrouped from there and didn’t give them too much after that.”

Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter wasn’t impressed with the goal — which came on the visitors’ third shot — and replaced Toth with Trevor Martin, who stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way. Martin wasn’t busy, but he made a nifty toe save on Josh Paterson in the first period and took a goal away from Nolan Reid with a sliding save in the final frame.

“Obviously, I wasn’t happy with the goal,” said Sutter. “You never want to make a goalie change that soon in a game, but at the same time you can’t leave anything for chance. I had to make sure that I gave the guys an opportunity to get through it and get going, and I thought they handled it really well.”

The Rebels completed their onslaught with three third-period goals, Michael Spacek scoring on a breakaway, Austin Pratt credited with his second of the season on a deflection and defenceman Colton Bobyk busting to the net and converting a feed from Grayson Pawlenchuk, who finished with two helpers.

Amundrud made 25 saves and while he was beaten seven times, he kept the hosts from hitting double figures with a large handful of excellent stops.

“We certainly got our rhythm going after being down 1-0,” said Sutter. “We played hard tonight against a team that played last night (a 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton) and they’re a younger group. But we played the right way, the way we’ve been preaching it. The kids did a lot of good thing here tonight.”

The Rebels boss was encouraged by the play of Johnson’s line, as Bleackley picked up a pair of helpers and Lane Pederson drew an assist.

“That line was really good in Vancouver, they were certainly the best line on the ice that night,” said Sutter. “We need to have four lines going with the way we have to play. It gives other players an opportunity to play in other situations, which is huge for their development. It was good to have a lead like that where you can mix lines and get some of the younger kids playing with some of the older guys.”

Fleury was assessed a major and a game misconduct in the second period for a check to the head and former Rebel Connor Gay was also hit with a maior and banished from the contest when he delivered a cross check to Fleury’s face just seconds later.

• Sutter swung a deal with the Tri-City Americans earlier in the day, acquiring forward/defenceman Braden Purtill in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft.

Purtill, an 18-year-old Winnipeg product, is in his third season in the league and has scored 11 goals and added 10 assists in 111 games. He was a third-round selection of the Americans in the 2012 bantam draft.

The Rebels host the Medicine Hat Tigers and Kootenay Ice Friday and Saturday.

Rebels

Just Posted

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

The Red Deer U18AAA Braves hit the field this weekend for their first games of the Norwest League season. (Advocate File photo)
Red Deer’s U18AAA Braves ready to open season this weekend

It’s been more than a year since many Red Deer Minor Baseball… Continue reading

Traffic signal upgrades are planned for May 30 at the intersection of 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Traffic light repairs set for 49 Ave. and 51 St. over weekend

Drivers in Red Deer can expect delays at the intersection of 49… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… 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’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Embrace the omni-present wonderfulness of corn

OK, this week I’m going to get a little corny. So what,… Continue reading

Most Read