Rebels’ rally falls short against Rockets

KELOWNA — The Red Deer Rebels were the better team through the final two periods of Wednesday’s WHL game versus the host Kelowna Rockets. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were dominated in the opening frame and the bad start proved costly as the Rockets struck for four unanswered goals and then hung on for a 4-3 victory before a crowd of 4,621 at Prospera Place.

KELOWNA — The Red Deer Rebels were the better team through the final two periods of Wednesday’s WHL game versus the host Kelowna Rockets.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they were dominated in the opening frame and the bad start proved costly as the Rockets struck for four unanswered goals and then hung on for a 4-3 victory before a crowd of 4,621 at Prospera Place.

Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter decided to start back-up goaltender Taz Burman, who has seen very little playing time this season, and the move didn’t pay off as the 16-year-old allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced before being replaced by veteran Patrik Bartosak just 94 seconds into the contest.

“The two early goals were bad goals on Taz and kind of put us on our heels,” said Sutter. “They came at us and we didn’t seem to regroup until the intermission and then we got going. We dominated the second and third periods and if it wasn’t for their goalie we win that game going away.”

Kris Schmidt opened the scoring 36 seconds into the contest and Marek Tvrdon made it 2-0 a mere 58 seconds later. The Rockets then got goals from Austin Glover and Tyrell Goulbourne before the period ended.

With the Rebels having played the night before — losing 3-2 in overtime at Vancouver — and with games set for Friday and Saturday in Prince George, Sutter gave Burman the start against the Rockets.

“It was a 13-hour trip to Vancouver and Patty played there, and he can’t play every game,” said Sutter. “Taz had to go in there tonight and he had to give us good goaltending. I know he’s 16 and I know he hasn’t played a lot, but he just wasn’t technically sharp on the goals he’s given up lately, just like the first two against Tri-City (in a 4-2 loss to the visiting Americans Saturday).

“It’s hard for a 16-year-old but it’s hard for any back-up goalie, but you have to use your talent. On the first goal their guy had a full net to shoot at from a bad angle. And on the second shot, he (Burman) just froze.”

Still, even with Bartosak between the pipes, the Rebels didn’t get their act together until — as it turned out — it was too late.

“We didn’t respond the way we needed to (after the goalie switch),” said Sutter. “We had to make the goalie change but we still spend too much time in our own zone.

“But then we regrouped and we outplayed and dominated the top team in the league.”

Indeed, the Rebels outshot their hosts 13-9 in the second frame without scoring, then potted three third-period goals while enjoying a 14-9 advantage in shots.

“We’ve found ways to beat ourselves the last four games, now we have to build off the last two periods,” said Sutter.

– The Rebels were zero-for-four on the power play and killed off all three Kelowna man-advantage chances . . . Bartosak made 36 saves after replacing Burman, while Whistle finished with 32 . . . The three stars were (1) Whistle, (2) Schmidt and (3) Sterzer . . . The Rebels’ next home game is next Wednesday versus the Medicine Hat Tigers.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read