Red Deer Rebel Scott Feser looks for some room to skate as Kootenay Ice player Tyler King blocks the way during first period action at the Centrium Friday.

Red Deer Rebel Scott Feser looks for some room to skate as Kootenay Ice player Tyler King blocks the way during first period action at the Centrium Friday.

Rebels can’t buy a goal in 5-3 loss to Kootenay Ice

Goals were expensive for the Red Deer Rebels Friday night at the Centrium.

Goals were expensive for the Red Deer Rebels Friday night at the Centrium.

Despite outplaying and outshooting their guests, the Rebels couldn’t buy a goal until Brooks Maxwell connected on a power play at 12:29 of the second period. The Kootenay Ice, meanwhile, were shopping in the bargain bin, making the most of their scoring chances en route to a 5-3 Western Hockey League win in front of a recorded gathering of 4,845.

Ice netminder Wyatt Hoflin played a huge role in the outcome, turning aside 38 shots. Rebels goaltender Rylan Toth stopped 11 of 15 shots before being replaced in the second period by Taz Burman, who blocked eight of the nine he faced the rest of the way.

“Their goalie saw a lot of the shots. We didn’t make it hard on him,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, who wasn’t giving Hoflin all the credit while also being less than impressed with Toth.

“At one point I looked up at the clock and the shots on goal were 30-14 and we’re down 4-1,” he added. “That’s obviously not good enough. Tother needs to be better, he’s fighting it a little bit right now and he needs to get going.”

On a night when they couldn’t get their share of pucks past Hoflin, the Rebels were somewhat snake-bitten. For starters, Ice forward Levi Cable snuck behind the Red Deer defence on a play that appeared to be offside, broke in alone and beat Toth low to the glove side at 12:39 of the opening period.

The Ice were being outshot 10-0 in the second frame when Jaedon Descheneau batted a puck out of the air and past Toth at 8:16 for a 2-0 lead. Jon Martin banged home a loose puck in the crease three minutes later for a 3-0 cushion, before Maxwell finally got the Rebels on the board with a shot from the faceoff circle.

But the Rebels were victims of another bad break five minutes later when defenceman Brett Cote fell after being caught with an undetected high stick, and was caught up the ice when Martin potted his second of the night.

Kootenay’s fourth goal spelled the end for Toth, but Sutter was quick to blame some of his big guns for not bringing the needed intensity in a contest versus a red-hot Central Division rival.

“Tonight our best players weren’t our best players, and their guys were,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, whether it’s this level or pro hockey or midget hockey . . . it doesn’t matter.

“If your best players are going to get outplayed by the other team’s best players you’re not going to win very many games, and tonight we didn’t bring what we had to bring here in a big divisional game. It’s unacceptable, to be quite honest. For whatever reason we’ve let our emotional and intensity levels drop off here at home and it’s cost us.”

The Ice made it 5-1 early in the third period. Martin was denied by Burman after busting in alone, but Ryan Chynoweth buried the rebound.

Red Deer battled back with a pair of goals in the second half of the period as Riley Sheen worked out of the corner and fired a backhand past Hoflin, and Maxwell roofed a shot from close range. But it was too little, too late.

For the Ice, it was their 18th win in a 23-game stretch and pulled them to within two points of the second-place Rebels in the Central Division.

Still, assistant coach Jay Henderson voiced his displeasure with the fact his club was outshot 21-7 in the middle frame.

“Twenty one shots against . . . . that’s way too many for our liking,” said Henderson. “I thought Wyatt did a great job for us and kept us in the game and we executed on a few plays and scored some goals, but that’s still too many shots against.”

Regardless, the Ice found a way to pull out yet another victory in their impressive run.

“It’s a little different for us from the beginning of the year,” said Henderson. “The shots against are still a big concern, but at the beginning of the year we were getting outshot badly every night and weren’t scoring goals. It’s nice to be on the other side of that, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Henderson is unaware of whether Kootenay GM Jeff Chynoweth will attempt to bolster the team’s roster prior to or at the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

“I don’t know what’s in store for us that way,” said Henderson. “You have your fingers crossed . . . you always like to make your team better. I’m hoping he (Chynoweth) is on board for that, but we’re playing well right now and it’s always a concern if you mix up what you have.

“But we also have two guys coming back from the world juniors . . . two huge pieces for us.”

Henderson was referring to Canadian forward Sam Reinhart, who has 27 points in 15 games since being returned from the Buffalo Sabres, and Russian defenceman Rinat Valiev.

• The Rebels travel to Lethbridge today for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Hurricanes.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Nearly five per cent of Alberta businesses did not survive the first 10 months of the pandemic. (Black Press File photo).
Nearly 5% of Alberta businesses closed during 2020 pandemic

Will more closures happen before it’s over?

Red Deer Rebels forward Arshdeep Bains eyes a loose puck in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers net Saturday night in WHL action at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels fall short in 12th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Tigers 3 Rebels 2 (Monday) The Red… Continue reading

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Red Deer property owners will receive their 2019 property assessment notices in the next few days.  (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer awaiting more details on how federal budget impacts city

The City of Red Deer is awaiting more information on how much… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Letters
Letter: Restrictions have nothing to do with religion

Many have framed the closure of GraceLife Church near Edmonton by Alberta… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Thanking volunteers in Red Deer

National Volunteer Week is April 18 to 24. At the Canadian Cancer… Continue reading

Letter to the editor
Letter: Good on MLAs for speaking out

This is a letter in regard to MLAs not standing united behind… Continue reading

Treena Mielke
Family: Happiness can be found in many ways

I’ve heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention. I… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Priestman says her goal is to help Canada move up the Olympic podium after back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Canada's Brendan Bottcher dropped a 6-3 decision to Scotland's Bruce Mouat in the men's final of the Humpty's Champions Cup. Bottcher makes a shot against Scotland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

Most Read