Rebels shut down Oil Kings

EDMONTON — One almost expects teams to be a little sluggish following the Christmas break. That wasn’t the case with the Red Deer Rebels, and in particular goaltender Bolton Pouliot, as they jumped into a 3-0 lead and went on to down the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-3 in Western Hockey League action before 9,297 fans at Rexall Place Thursday.

EDMONTON — One almost expects teams to be a little sluggish following the Christmas break.

That wasn’t the case with the Red Deer Rebels, and in particular goaltender Bolton Pouliot, as they jumped into a 3-0 lead and went on to down the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-3 in Western Hockey League action before 9,297 fans at Rexall Place Thursday.

And while the Oil Kings may have started slow they didn’t finish that way as they poured 56 shots on Pouliot, who was key in the Rebels shutting down the potent Edmonton power play that finished the night zero-for-six.

“It was one of those chance for chance games and speciality teams were huge,” said Rebels president/general manager/head coach Brent Sutter. “We were two-for-four wioth the man advantage and shut them down as Bolton played very well.”

The Rebels made some mistakes, then again so did the Oil Kings, who allowed 40 shots on goal.

“We were loose at times, but the first game after Christmas you don’t know what to expect. We gave them 50 some shots which on most nights is enough top win, but we had 40 some ourselves which should give us a chance to win. We got good goaltending and scored five goals. It was a good start after Christmas.”

The Rebels jumped on the Oil Kings 1:18 into the first period on Wyatt Johnson’s eighth goal of the season and his third in as many games. Turner Elson connected at 3:30 and Matt Dumba notched his first of two power play markers at 9:37. That resulted in a time out by the Oil Kings, who responded with goals by Michael St. Croix, his 20th of the season, at 12:17 and Travis Ewanyk at 18:36.

Brooks Maxwell scored what proved to be the winner for Red Deer at 3:27 of the second period before TJ Foster made it interesting with his 17th at 16:28.

Then it was the Pouliot story as he all but stood on his head to keep the Rebels ahead until they got a bit of breathing room at 16:32 of the third period on Dumba’s blast from the point beat goaltender Tristan Jarry.

The Rebels increased their record to 22-13-2-1 for 47 points and moved to within three points of the Calgary Hitmen and four of the Oil Kings (23-8-2-3).

“Some guys played well and some not as well as we wanted, but with that said to come in here and find a way to win a hockey game against a very good team was big,” said Sutter. “We have a certain way we have to play to have success and there were certain times tonight when we were on our toes and others we weren’t so good. But credit to them as well as they’re good and they have a group of forwards who are hard to play against.

“Overall I’m proud of the guys as they stuck to it when times weren’t so good. They weathered through it and that’s dealing with adversity. The biggest thing with the group is continuing to get stronger and stronger mentally and knowing how to handle adversity during a game and not allowing it to get to you. You have to rise to the occasion and respond the right way and we did a good job of that tonight.”

The two teams meet again tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Centrium and Sutter knows it will be even tougher.

“That’s our preparation. We did what we had to tonight, now we have to get ready for our game at home and we have to expect a tougher, harder game and be ready for it.”

l Domink Volek played his first game with the Rebels and assisted on Dumba’s first goal . . . Jarry, who lost for the first time in eight decisions, faced 39 shots while Laurent Brossoit made one save while in the game for 16 seconds following Red Deer’s second marker.

Just Posted

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

HELSINKI — With a wink and a slouch, respectively, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Ultra-light helicopter pilot killed in crash near High River

Police say the pilot of an ultra-light helicopter is dead after crashing… Continue reading

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boy

MAE SAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild… Continue reading

Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A liberal woman of colour with zero name recognition… Continue reading

Former UK Cabinet secretary seeks new Brexit referendum

LONDON — A former U.K. Cabinet minister from the ruling Conservative Party… Continue reading

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month