SWIFT CURRENT — The Red Deer Rebels broke from recent tragic tradition Wednesday night while en route to a one-sided Western Hockey League win over the Swift Current Broncos.
The Rebels, who were in the bad habit of connecting on a mere sample of their scoring opportunities, scored a half dozen times on 30 shots while posting a 6-2 victory in front of 2,132 fans at the Credit Union i-plex.
“We played well tonight,” said Rebels associate coach Jeff Truitt, whose club was outshot 19-7 in the opening frame — thanks to five minor penalties, including a double minor to Brooks Maxwell — but held a 23-17 advantage the rest of the way.
“The first period was a little hairy just because of the penalties we took,” Truitt continued,
“We got outshot badly in the first but then we kind of took over the puck possession game a bit in the second and third and our power play was outstanding for us.”
Indeed, the Rebels were four-for-five with a man advantage, including a game-opening goal from Scott Feser at 9:06 of the first period.
Red Deer, which led 2-1 after one period and 6-2 after 40 minutes, got two more power-play markers from Presten Kopeck and another from Maxwell, as well as an even-strength tally from Riley Sheen and a short-handed tally from Wyatt Johnson.
The Rebels also got a strong outing from netminder Taz Burman, who turned aside 34 of the 36 shots he faced — including a second-period breakaway by Zac Mackay — while giving up first- and second-period goals by Coda Gordon.
“Taz Burman played an outstanding game for us. He helped us take it over in the second and third periods, which was great,” said Truitt.
The Rebels performance, as Truitt suggested, was a mere carryover of a decent effort the night before that resulted in a 4-0 loss at Medicine Hat.
“We talked about being able to finish our opportunities tonight,” said Truitt. “We had those chances in Medicine Hat but we had to capitalize on the ones we had tonight when we were around the net.
“We had some great shots tonight, Maxie buried one . . . Kopeck batted one out of the air on the power play,” said Truitt. “We were opportunistic tonight. It sure was great to see those chances go in.”
• Broncos starting netminder Landon Bow, who was replaced after two periods, made 20 saves, while back-up Travis Child stopped four of the six shots he faced . . . The three stars were (1) Johnson, (2) Maxwell and (3) Gordon . . . The Rebels close out their three-game trip with a Friday meeting with the Kootenay Ice at Cranbrook, then entertain the Regina Pats Saturday at the Enmax Centrium.