Rebels bounce Pats from playoffs with Game 7 win

Some of the most important goals are not the prettiest. On Tuesday night, it wasn’t a pretty goal that put the Red Deer Rebels into the Eastern Conference Finals. But it was the most important goal, a Game 7 winner. Despite being outshot in the third period 15-4, the Rebels took a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes in regulation in Game 7 of their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal against the Regina Pats.

Some of the most important goals are not the prettiest.

On Tuesday night, it wasn’t a pretty goal that put the Red Deer Rebels into the Eastern Conference Finals. But it was the most important goal, a Game 7 winner.

Despite being outshot in the third period 15-4, the Rebels took a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes in regulation in Game 7 of their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal against the Regina Pats.

Evan Polei, coming in on the right wing, skated hard towards the net and got a shot off, Pats’ goalie Tyler Brown couldn’t squeeze the puck. With the puck loose in the crease, Adam Musil was there on the doorstep to bang home the loose puck.

“Look at the type of goal that happens to get the game winner,” said GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “It’s not a pretty goal by any means, but it’s just the way it works. We were fortunate and I’m happy and relieved we were the ones that got it.”

The goal came on one of only four shots the Rebels got in the third period. The Pats came out flying and controlled the action for much of the third frame.

“We didn’t come out hard enough in the third,” said Musil. “They had a little more jump than us and we just had to regroup. The goal helped us quite a bit. A great team effort by everyone, Rylan Toth stood in there.”

Polei blocked several shots in the third period, keeping the Pats furious onslaught at bay.

“It’s been seven games of hard fought hockey,” said Sutter. “Full marks to Regina, they played hard and did a lot of good things. They’re a young team and they have nothing but great upside there.

“Our group, outside of Game 6, I thought we played well too. Game 7 was a hard fought, with battle after battle.”

It was Rebels goalie Toth, making just his third start in the post-season, who shut the door in the third period. A key save came halfway through the third when he kicked out his leg to stop a Sam Steel shot into what he thought was a wide open cage. He had earlier stopped Wagner on a breakaway with a quick blocker save.

“Two of the last three games, Tother was exceptional,” said Sutter. “Tonight he was solid. Overall I’m proud of the whole group, we rebounded like we needed to.”

Musil called it the toughest playoff game of his life, noting he hadn’t played in too many series yet.

First blood didn’t come until late in the second period when the Rebels, on the PP, started cycling the puck in the attacking zone. Michael Spacek and Jake DeBrusk got the assists, but it was Helewka who wired home the one-timer that caught Brown on the far side of the crease, giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

Pats’ forward Adam Brooks, WHL playoff point leader with 23, sniped his seventh goal of the post-season. He beat Toth five-hole to tie the game with 12.6 seconds left in the second period.

Pats coach John Paddock said Brooks’ goal took a lot of pressure of his club.

“The pressure of being the so-called favourite was on (the Rebels),” said Paddock. “I think that helped us take the play to them.

“Cole Sanford, can’t say enough about his play and leadership, and Coby Williams has been basically playing with one hand.”

The Cinderella Pats made the playoffs as a wildcard and upset the Lethbridge Hurricanes in five games in the first round before pushing the Rebels to the full seven.

“This 12 games of playoff experience is going to bode well for us,” said Paddock. “We have lots of guys coming back, but you don’t win anything on paper.”

Aaron Macklin was sent off on a minor penalty for a knee-on-knee collision with Josh Mahura with about three minutes to go in the first period. Mahura, who was out for 70 games this year with a knee injury was on the ice in pain. With some help from the trainer he made it back to the bench, but stayed in the game.

The Rebels now draw the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 2 is on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The series returns to Red Deer on April 26 and 27 for Games 3 and 4 at 7 p.m.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… 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 Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

Most Read