Rebels edge Tigers 6-5

The Centrium resembled the OK Corral on Friday night. The Red Deer Rebels were OK with that, considering the outcome — a wild and thrilling 6-5 Western Hockey League win over the Medicine Hat Tigers in front of 5,008 spectators.

The Centrium resembled the OK Corral on Friday night.

The Red Deer Rebels were OK with that, considering the outcome — a wild and thrilling 6-5 Western Hockey League win over the Medicine Hat Tigers in front of 5,008 spectators.

“We had one more goal than the opposition, so that’s a good thing,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, with a slight grin. “It was a game where the flow went both ways.”

While the Tigers never led in the contest, they refused to go away and in fact fired 41 shots at Rebels netminder Patrik Bartosak and pulled to within a single marker when Elgin Pearce connected with 31 seconds remaining.

“I was pretty excited to hear the (final) buzzer go,” said Molson Cup first star Rhyse Dieno, who blamed himself for the Tigers final tally.

“I kind of coughed one up at the end to make it 6-5. My head was kind of down but I’m glad the boys finished strong.”

The Rebels snapped a 3-3 tie with two goals in the first 69 seconds of the third period. Turner Elson buried a centering pass from Brooks Maxwell just 35 seconds into the frame and Wyatt Johnson connected at 1:09 with a shot that was headed over the net but glanced off the glove of goaltender Cam Lanigan and in.

That spelled the end for Lanigan, who made a handful of dandy stops but otherwise had a rough outing.

The Tigers’ Trevor Cox made it 5-4 at 7:18, leaving the stage for Maxwell to notch the eventual winner nearly 10 minutes later. The Raymond product raced down the right side and ripped a shot over Tigers back-up Marek Langhamer.

Pearce made it interesting in the final minute with Langhamer on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

“We got those two quick ones in the third period and certainly got a break on one of them, but there are areas we need to continue to improve on,” said Sutter. “They are things we work on daily and as you do them you need to have the confidence to believe in yourself and your teammates and go out a find a way to win.”

The Rebels led 2-0 after one period on goals from Brandon Underwood, whose snapshot from inside the blueline somehow got past Lanigan, and Conner Bleackley, who one-timed a feed from Cory Millette.

Curtis Valk got the Tigers on the board early in the second frame, but Millette restored the Rebels’ two-goal cushion midway through the period.

The lead didn’t last long, though, as defenceman Dylan Busenius beat Bartosak through a crowd with a shot from the blueline at 15:45 and Valk potted a power-play marker at 18:09, setting up an eventful final period.

“That’s my favourite kind of game,” said Dieno, who picked up three assists, of the old-fashioned, wide-open shootout. “It seemed like the puck was getting to the net for both teams tonight.”

The victory was Red Deer’s sixth straight and the Rebels will be gunning for seven in a row when the Saskatoon Blades — 4-0 winners at Calgary on Friday — visit the Centrium tonight.

“It’s not always going to be pretty and it’s not always going to be perfect, and a lot of nights it’s not perfect,” said Sutter. “But you just stay with it and be a mentally strong group and prevail.”

The game marked the debut of Slovakian forward Filip Vasko, whom Sutter acquired from the Kelowna Rockets on Thursday.

Vasko, quick on his feet, showed flashes and earned passing marks from the Rebels bench boss.

“I thought he was good,” said Sutter. “He’s strong with the puck, he’s good down low and he has some skills. He’s a player who adds a skill level to our team and is capable of playing in our top nine (forwards).”

Lanigan stopped 19 of the 24 shots he faced, while Langhamer blocked six of seven shots over the final 18 minutes and change.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie pose for a photo at the Mirror restaurant. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Alberta Health Services delivers ‘closure order’ to Mirror restaurant

Alberta Health Services says it has delivered a closure order to a… Continue reading

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in this October file photo. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left to right, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, of Sweden, during second period NHL hockey action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — It took Sean Monahan breaking out of his goal-scoring slump… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia's opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan's government, but they say Monday's throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province's economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented… Continue reading

A grizzly bear walks on a treadmill as Dr. Charles Robbins, right, offers treats as rewards at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center in this undated handout photo. Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails like those commonly used by people, which can affect land management practices in wild areas, says an expert who has written a paper on their travel patterns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Carnahan *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Grizzly bears prefer walking on gentle slopes at a leisurely pace like humans: study

VANCOUVER — Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails… Continue reading

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, its COVID-19 shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus that's surging in the U.S. and around the world. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

OTTAWA — When Ottawa Public Health officials are trying to decide whether… Continue reading

Most Read