SPOKANE, Wash. — The Red Deer Rebels opened a five-game Western Canada Hockey League road trip on a positive note on Friday.
The Rebels coughed up an early goal to Brenden Kichton, who tallied just 4:18 into the contest, then scored twice in the second period and added a goal in the final frame for a 3-1 win over the Spokane Chiefs before a crowd of 5,118 at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Turner Elson pulled the Rebels even with his fifth of the season — a power-play marker — at 6:19 of the middle stanza and Wyatt Johnson, with his first in three games with Red Deer, potted the eventual winner just over three minutes later.
Defenceman Brady Gaudet scored his second of the season at 5:33 of the third period.
“We just played a really strong road game. Everyone battled hard and it was a good, complete effort,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin.
After being outshot 12-5 in the first period, the Rebels held a 26-18 advantage in shots the rest of the way.
Red Deer netminder Patrik Bartosak made 29 saves, while Eric Williams stopped 28 shots for the Chiefs.
Red Deer was one-for-four on the power play while Spokane was zero-for-four with a man advantage. The three stars were (1) Elson, (2) Johnson and (3) Williams.
“Our special teams were strong tonight and we did a good job of pressuring them in their own zone,” said Wallin. “And when we had the puck in their zone, we were able to grind them down.”
The Rebels are in Kennewick, Wash., tonight for a date with the Tri-City Americans, then are off until Tuesday when they face the Portland Winterhawks. Red Deer visits the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday and close out the nine-day trip with a Friday meeting with the Kelowna Rockets.
The Rebels’ next home game is Nov. 17 versus the Swift Current Broncos.
l Rebels prospects Brayden Burke, Grayson Pawlenchuk and Meyer Nell figured in the scoring as Alberta buried Manitoba 8-1 in the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup on Friday at Calgary.
Burke scored once and added an assist and Pawlenchuk also had a goal for the winners. Nell potted the lone Manitoba marker.
In the other game, Rebels prospect Taz Burman made 18 saves as B.C. defeated Saskatchewan 4-1. B.C., with a 2-0 record, is guaranteed of a berth in the gold-medal game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
On Thursday, B.C. overcame a 3-0 deficit to down Alberta 4-3 in a shootout, while Saskatchewan doubled Manitoba 6-3.
Heading into today’s final round-robin games — Saskatchewan versus Alberta and Manitoba versus B.C. — Alberta and Saskatchewan are both 1-1 and Manitoba is 0-2.
The winner of the Saskatchewan-Alberta game will meet B.C. in the gold-medal match, with the loser taking on Manitoba for the bronze medal at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.