MOOSE JAW — They are the Western Hockey League version of Jekyll and Hyde.
One night after turning in a sour performance in an 8-5 loss to the Regina Pats — which followed a 4-0 win Wednesday at Brandon — the Red Deer Rebels were back in top form Saturday while skating to a 4-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“It was a solid game from everyone, from our goaltender on out,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “Everyone played well. They played hard and stayed with it for 60 minutes.”
Noah Gregor got the hosts off on the right foot with a power-play tally at 7:03 of the first period, but that was it for the Warriors, who directed 21 shots at Rebels goalie Rylan Toth.
Red Deer defenceman Colton Bobyk, selected as the game’s first star, replied with a man-advantage marker late in the opening frame and Reese Johnson — with his first goal of the season — notched the eventual winner midway through the second period.
“We didn’t get rattled when they got the first goal, we just stayed with our game,” said Sutter. “It was another good response from the game before, yet we have to find a way to get some consistency in our game.”
Grayson Pawlenchuk scored a power-play tally at 13:42 of the second period and Adam Musil sealed the deal with an empty-net, short-handed goal with 1:26 remaining in the contest. Rebels forward Presten Kopeck was serving a five-minute kneeing major at the time.
“We played four lines and six ‘D’ all night,” said Sutter. “The players just did a really good job and now we have to find a way with stay with it … keep our focus on what we have to do and how we have to play.”
Zach Sawchenko made 28 saves for the Warriors and was named second star of the game. Rebels defenceman Haydn Fleury earned third-star status.
The Rebels were two-for-two on the power play and two-for-three on the penalty kill.
• Sutter is bringing blueline prospects Ethan Sakowich and Carson Sass in to practise with the team this week. Sakowich, who is with the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers, and Sass, a midget AAA Yorkton Maulers defenceman, were both selected in the third round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft, 46th and 47th overall.
“They’re both good players. We’ll have them practise with the team just to see where they’re at with their development,” said Sutter.
The Rebels return to action Friday against the visiting Saskatoon Blades.