Rebels end road trip with a win

The big guns started firing Saturday and the Red Deer Rebels concluded their four-game WHL road trip with a break-even 6-4 win over the Vancouver Giants. “You kind of figured it was just going to be a matter of time,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, in reference to the impressive offensive production from key veteran forwards Conner Bleackley and Wyatt Johnson, who combined to collect six points.

VANCOUVER — The big guns started firing Saturday and the Red Deer Rebels concluded their four-game WHL road trip with a break-even 6-4 win over the Vancouver Giants.

“You kind of figured it was just going to be a matter of time,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, in reference to the impressive offensive production from key veteran forwards Conner Bleackley and Wyatt Johnson, who combined to collect six points.

In fact, the line of Bleackley, Johnson and Lane Pederson erupted for nine points. And Brandon Hagel, who rotated in and out of the forward unit, contributed another three points with a goal and two helpers.

“Between Bleacks, Johny, Pedey and Brandon … they all had big nights,” said Sutter. “But we need that. We need scoring from different guys and last night their line, with Brandon included from time to time, was hot.”

Indeed, Pederson tallied twice and assisted on Johnson’s lone marker, and Bleackley — selected as the game’s first star — helped set up three goals.

The Rebels roared out to a 2-0 first-period lead while outshooting their hosts 19-3 before a crowd of 4,311 at Pacific Coliseum.

Johnson and Colton Bobyk supplied the opening-period goals and Hagel upped the count to 3-0 at 7:11 of the second period.

The Giants replied 45 seconds later when Jakob Stukel beat Rebels goalie Trevor Martin, pulled to within one when Jackson Houck connected during a power play at 12:27 of the final frame and drew even on a goal from Carter Popoff at 15:12.

That set up a wild finish, as Pederson restored the Rebels’ lead at 15:34, Ty Ronning responded for the Giants at 15:49 and Red Deer got the winner from Haydn Fleury at 17:37 and sealed the deal with Pederson’s second of the evening — an empty-netter — at 19:47.

“When you’re playing your fourth game in five nights you always worry about the third period of your last game,” said Sutter. “It wasn’t an easy day for the guys. We packed up and got away from the rink (in Victoria, where the Rebels beat the Royals 3-1 Friday night) and got on the ferry at 1 p.m. to go across to Vancouver.

“The players had only 45 minutes on the bus to get some rest between the ferry and (Pacific Coliseum). But they handled it well.

“The first period was the best first period we’ve played all year, it evened out in the second and I thought we looked somewhat tired in the third. I knew Vancouver would make a push then and they tied it up twice in the last seven to eight minutes. But our guys stayed with it and we got a couple of big goals after that. They didn’t get in a panic mode and that’s a credit to the kids.”

The Friday/Saturday triumphs were huge considering the Rebels opened the jaunt with losses at Kamloops and Kelowna, where they fell 5-4 despite outshooting the host Rockets 34-27.

“We got behind the eight-ball with those two losses,” said Sutter. “We got what we deserved in Kamloops but we deserved better in Kelowna.

“We had a mindset heading into the last two games that we would treat them like playoff games and try and tie the series and get back to .500 for the trip.”

Martin finished with 19 saves while recording his first win of the season. The Rebels fired 32 shots at Giants stopper Payton Lee.

The Rebels were slated to engage in a brief skate today at the Centrium and will get back to their regular practice schedule Tuesday to prepare for a home-ice date with the Saskatoon Blades Wednesday.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Most Read