Rebels 7 Ice 3
CRANBROOK — The Red Deer Rebels opened a six-game Western Hockey League road trip with some offensive fireworks Friday, burying the Kootenay Ice 7-3 for their seventh win of the season.
“We got some offence. We capitalized on some opportunities,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, following the contest played in front of 1,901 fans at Western Financial Place.
The visitors stormed out to a 4-0 lead by the 2:17 mark of the second period. Adam Musil and Meyer Nell (power play) struck in the opening period and Brooks Maxwell and Scott Feser (short-handed) connected in the first two minutes and change of the middle stanza.
The Ice got back into the contest with a second-period marker from Levi Cable and Rinat Valiev’s goal 1:50 into the final frame.
“We had control of the game and then we started getting into some penalty trouble,” said Sutter. “We were taking penalties in the offensive zone and allowed them to get momentum on their power play and get the game to 4-2.
“Then we got back at it. We started doing things right again and capitalized on some opportunities.”
Nell potted his second goal of the evening — and sixth of the season — at 8:59 of the third to give the Rebels a 5-2 lead. From there, Vince Loschiavo replied for Kootenay at 9:44 and Rebels forwards Grayson Pawlenchuk and Evan Polei closed out the second with an even-strength tally at 11:58 and a man-advantage goal at 17:13.
“We wanted to come in here and get two points tonight and start off the road trip the right way,” said Sutter, who gave netminder Rylan Toth a thumbs-up for his 28-save performance.
The Rebels fired 29 shots at Kootenay goaltender Wyatt Hoflin.
Red Deer defenceman Brett Cote picked up four assists and was named first star of the game. The second and third stars were Nell and Ice forward Austin Vetteri, who had two helpers.
Other Rebels enjoying a multiple-point night were Feser (1-2), Austin Strand (0-2), Maxwell (1-1) and Pawlenchuk (1-1).
The 7-7-1-0 Rebels are in Spokane tonight to face the Chiefs, then have two days off before taking on the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks and Tri-City Americans over the following five days.
• The Ice will regain the services of forward Sam Reinhart in short order after the Buffalo Sabres reassigned their first-round pick — second overall — in the 2014 NHL entry draft Friday.
• The Prince Albert Raiders fired head coach Cory Clouston Friday. Associate coach Dave Manson was the interim head coach during the Raiders’ 6-3 win over the host Moose Jaw Warriors Friday night.
Clouston joined the Raiders on June 1, 2013 and was in the second year of a two-year contract with the team. He had an overall record of 41-41-3-2 with the Raiders.