Array

Array

Rebels can’t hold off Broncos

The Red Deer Rebels were all over their guests in the second period of Saturday’s WHL outing at the Enmax Centrium and seemingly en route to a crucial victory in their quest to land a playoff berth. Appearances, of course, can be deceiving. While the Rebels were the better club though the majority of the contest, they nevertheless suffered a difficult 5-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos after surrendering a 3-1 lead.

The Red Deer Rebels were all over their guests in the second period of Saturday’s WHL outing at the Enmax Centrium and seemingly en route to a crucial victory in their quest to land a playoff berth.

Appearances, of course, can be deceiving. While the Rebels were the better club though the majority of the contest, they nevertheless suffered a difficult 5-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos after surrendering a 3-1 lead.

The Rebels’ downfall started with an offensive zone turnover — which led to a three-on-two goal by Broncos’ forward Coda Gordon — in the final minute of the middle frame and concluded with some rookie third-period jitters from netminder Taz Burman.

“You’re up 3-1 and give up a bad goal in the last minute of the second and give the opposition some momentum going into the third,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “You can’t make a turnover like that in the offensive zone.”

As Sutter noted, the Rebels had plenty of time to regain the momentum, but instead gave up tying a goal a mere 1:12 into the third period and then a tough winning tally 11 minutes later.

Jay Merkley potted the equalizer, beating Burman over the shoulder from the right face-off circle, and Andrew Johnson netted the winner on a bad read by Burman. Johnson, in the corner, beat the rookie stopper with a shot from along the goal line that deflected in off Burman’s stick.

“Taz had a real tough third period. He’s a young goalie, a 16-year-old, and he has to learn from this,” said Sutter. “Yet at this time of the year we can’t be giving away points like that.

“We’re scrambling to get into the playoffs and this was a game we obviously could have and should have won with the way we played. We played well and were really good with a lot of our details. It’s disappointing for the kids. I feel bad for them because they deserved better here tonight, but at the end of the night we didn’t win and that’s the bottom line.”

The clubs were tied 1-1 after period on goals by Red Deer’s Rhyse Dieno at 10:16 and Johnson five minutes later. Dieno beat Broncos netminder Landon Bow over the glove hand after taking a perfect feed from Brooks Maxwell and Johnson responded by slipping the puck through Burman’s pads from close range while on the tail end of a give-and-go with Gordon.

Scott Feser restored Red Deer’s lead at 7:07 of the second period on a great individual effort, putting the puck through Bow’s legs while being slashed from behind on a breakaway. Vukie Mpofu upped the count to 3-1 two minutes later, converting a backhand following some solid work down low by his teammates.

And then it all came tumbling down for the Rebels.

“We were lucky to get that late second-period goal,” said Broncos GM/head coach Mark Lamb. “We came down and put it wide of the net and then they came back with a transition play (leading to the turnover). I had my three best players out at the time and we got a break and got a little momentum for the third period.”

Gordon’s tally was indeed a stroke of good fortune for the visitors, but it paled in comparison to the winning goal.

“It’s a hard game and that was an unlucky break for them,” said Lamb of Johnson’s second goal of the night. “We were really lucky to score a goal like that and get the win. I thought the energy of some of our guys was lacking tonight after a tough game last night (4-1 loss at Edmonton Friday). We’re very happy to get on the bus, get out of here and go home.”

With Burman on the bench, Gordon scored an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining.

The Rebels remain tied with the Prince Albert Raiders, who fell 6-3 at Portland Saturday, for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, and trail sixth place Swift Current by six points and are four back of seventh-place Brandon.

Red Deer can only look ahead to Wednesday’s date with the visiting Kamloops Blazers.

“It feels like that’s what we’ve been doing for quite some time now, trying to put the day behind us and moving on to the next day,” said Sutter. “But really, that’s all you can do. As tough as some days can be we have to stay positive and stay with it.

“If we play every game from here on in like we did tonight, we’ll win our share of games. But we have to make sure we don’t have a period like the third tonight. We have to make sure we get saves and are good with our details.”

Rebels

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

Just Posted

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Alberta says it won’t give out more first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta to stop giving first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as supply dwindles

OTTAWA — Alberta says it won’t give out more first doses of… Continue reading

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Suncor Energy and Atco working together on potential hydrogen project

Atco would construct and operate pipeline and hydrogen storage facilities

Colonial Pipeline joue un rôle de premier plan dans le transport de l’essence, du kérosène, du diésel et d’autres produits pétroliers du Texas vers la côte Est.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Pipeline officials hope most service will be back by weekend

Colonial Pipeline delivers about 45 per cent of the fuel consumed on East Coast

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, tosses the ball for a serve to Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books spot in second round of Italian Open

Shapovalov to face world Stefano Travaglia, of Italy

This picture provided and painted by Bob Dylan in 2020 is called “New York Subways”. The largest collection of Bob Dylan’s artwork ever seen will go on display later this year in the U.S. “Retrospectum” spans six decades of Dylan’s art, featuring more than 120 of the artist’s paintings, drawings and sculptures. Building on the original “Retrospectum” exhibition that premiered in Shanghai, China, in 2019, the new version will include new, never-before-seen pieces and additional artworks from a brand-new series called “American Pastoral.” (Bob Dylan via AP)
Bob Dylan artwork to go on display in the U.S. this year

‘Retrospectrum’ spans six decades of Dylan’s art

FILE - Seth Rogen appears at the “Motherless Brooklyn” premiere in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2019. Rogen is the latest to jump into the podcast world. He’s making a series for the Stitcher podcast company where he interviews people with unusual stories to tell. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
Actor Seth Rogen to tell stories in his own Stitcher podcast

Rogen to invite musicians, actors and comedians

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Most Read