There is still a chance for the Red Deer Rebels to finish in top spot in the Central Division.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes would have to lose both of their last two games and the Rebels would have to win on Saturday, but with a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings last night there is a chance.
Adam Helewka and Colton Bobyk both had a goal and an assist, while Michael Spacek and Braden Putrill had the other two to seal the win. Luke Philp also had two assists.
Buoyed by an early 2-0 lead, Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said they played how they wanted to play.
“We played a more sound game tonight, our overall game was much better than it was the other night,” said Sutter.
“We need everyone playing well. Everyone has to get their game in order, playoffs start in a week. We have to make sure we are where we need to be as a team.”
Helewka got it started with his 41st goal of the year. Helewka then assisted on defenceman Bobyk’s 18th goal of the year on a five-on-three power play.
After giving up a goal less than five minutes into the second period to narrow the score to 2-1, the Rebels turned to Spacek who responded half way through the frame, restoring the two goal lead.
Rebels Goalie Trevor Martin made 30 saves in the game. Edmonton started slow with four shots on net in the first period, but finished with 14 in the second and 13 in the third.
“He made saves when he had to, but I thought we did a good job defending,” said Sutter. “Our transition game was good getting out of our own zone, making plays. He made the saves when he had to, but I didn’t think anything had to be spectacular. Defensively we were much better tonight.”
Sutter said Tuesday’s loss hurt the team’s chances of finishing first, but with some breaks they still have a chance in taking top spot at the division.
“We have to get help and you never want to be in that position,” said Sutter. “All you can do right now is focus on our own game and see how it unfolds.”
Edmonton’s lone goal came from Davis Koch.
The Oil Kings are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot, ahead of the Medicine Hat Tigers by two points. The Tigers have one game in hand.
Putrill put in the empty net goal late in the third to ice the game for the Rebels, 4-1.
Notes: After two starts, the Rebels benched defenceman Carson Sass in favour of Ethan Sakowich … A crowd of 11,104 packed into Rexall Place to see the Oil Kings last home game of the regular season.