Rebels get burned up by Blazers

The Red Deer Rebels’ insistence on playing a perimeter game was the perfect tonic for a Western Hockey League team looking for its first victory. The Kamloops Blazers posted their initial win of the season Tuesday, downing the Rebels 3-1 before 3,015 fans despite being outshot 32-21 overall. Naturally, winning netminder Connor Ingram was named first star of the game.

KAMLOOPS — The Red Deer Rebels’ insistence on playing a perimeter game was the perfect tonic for a Western Hockey League team looking for its first victory.

The Kamloops Blazers posted their initial win of the season Tuesday, downing the Rebels 3-1 before 3,015 fans despite being outshot 32-21 overall. Naturally, winning netminder Connor Ingram was named first star of the game.

“We had scoring chances tonight but we’re not scoring goals because we’re not bearing down enough and we’re not getting dirty enough and greasy enough in the offensive zone,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

“We had some quality scoring chances, we just didn’t capitalize. It was ridiculous, especially in the second and third periods. There are nights we make the other goalie look good because we’re not heavy enough around the net. We’re not paying the price.”

All the scoring came in the opening period, with Blazers forward Colin Shirley connecting first at 7:15.

Michael Spacek answered for the Rebels 54 seconds later, converting a feed from Ivan Nikolishin. But three consecutive penalties to the visitors, including a double high sticking infraction assessed to Kayle Doetzel, led to a pair of Blazers power-play markers just under two minutes apart.

Dawson Davidson connected at 12:49 and Nick Chyzowski followed at 14:28, spelling the end of Rebels goaltender Rylan Toth’s night. Toth’s save percentage took a beating as he stopped just two of five shots before being yanked.

“The penalties were costly,” Sutter conceded. “But it’s still three goals on their first five shots of the hockey game. I didn’t think Tother was particularly sharp and I had to take him out. You don’t want to have to do that, but he wasn’t sharp and we weren’t sharp as a team.”

Trevor Martin replaced Toth and stopped all 16 shots he faced the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Rebels failed to solve Ingram despite directing 25 shots at the Kamloops stopper over the final two frames.

As Sutter noted, it was the lack of aggression in the offensive zone that kept them off the scoresheet.

“That’s why certain individuals haven’t scored and some guys have one goal eight games into the season,” said Sutter, whose club dropped to 5-3-0-0.

“If they’re being scored against, that’s where it becomes a problem. If you’re not scoring goals, you better be really good in the other end and in the neutral zone, and some guys are fighting it in those areas right now.”

Special teams favoured the Blazers, who were two-for-five on the power play and five-for-five on the penalty kill.

The Rebels continue their four-game B.C. Division trip tonight with a date with the defending league champion Kelowna Rockets.

• Earlier in the day, the Blazers named former Edmonton Oilers director of amateur scouting Stu MacGregor as the club’s vice president and general manager.

MacGregor replaces Craig Bonner, who resigned and then joined the Dallas Stars scouting staff.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read