Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staffRebels  2 --- Red Deer Rebels Scott Feser

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staffRebels 2 --- Red Deer Rebels Scott Feser

Rebels surprise Oil Kings with solid effort for the win

The defending WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings brought out the best in the Red Deer Rebels Thursday at the Centrium.

Rebels 4 Oil Kings 1

The defending WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings brought out the best in the Red Deer Rebels Thursday at the Centrium.

“Obviously they’re a great hockey team and we have to play to our maximum abilities to have success and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter following his club’s 4-1 win before a recorded gathering of 5,161.

The Rebels got a hat-trick performance from Rhyse Dieno and a stellar 36-save performance from Patrik Bartosak while improving to 25-18-3-2.

Bartosak was sharp throughout the contest and came up with some game-saving stops in the third period with the Rebels up 2-1. Included was a brilliant glove save on T.J. Foster.

“Our goaltender made some great saves, some highlight-reel saves with the game on the line,” said Sutter. “That was the TSN turning point, Bryce (assistant coach Thoma) said.”

Meanwhile, the Rebels turned in one of their best efforts of the season, getting a first-period goal from Dieno — who tipped in a pass from Brady Gaudet — and surviving a difficult second period in which they were outplayed for the first 10 minutes.

“Getting the first goal was huge for us in terms of allowing us to play with the lead,” said Sutter.

“We knew we were facing a big test tonight and we were prepared for it.”

The visitors ruled the first half of the middle frame and finally pulled even when defenceman Keegan Lowe jumped up into the play and slid the puck under Bartosak during a goalmouth scramble.

“For the first 10 minutes of the second we were on our heels. We turned the puck over 11 times in the defensive zone when we had a chance to make a play or get it out,” said Sutter.

“You’re playing with fire when you’re playing like that against the Oil Kings and we had to rely on our goaltender. But after that we played well.”

Indeed, the Rebels came on in the second half of the middle frame, then got a trio of third-period goals.

Dieno potted the eventual winner at 8:20 of the third period after taking a breakaway stretch pass from Scott Feser, and captain Turner Elson accepted a feed from Brandon Underwood and scored from the high slot six minutes later.

Dieno sealed the deal with an empty-net marker with one minute remaining.

“On my first goal (Edmonton netminder Laurent) Brossoit had just robbed me so I had to get one on that shift,” said Dieno. “Feser send me in with a nice pass on the second one and on that last one Maxie (linemate Brooks Maxwell) made a nice play to get the puck out.”

While Dieno was fully deserving of his first-star status, he was quick to credit Bartosak for the victory.

“He was unbelievable and he’s been that way night in and night out,” said Dieno. “I can’t say enough about him.

“He came back from the world juniors and he’s even better now than he was in the first half of the season. He’s been unreal.”

Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal refused to give Bartosak the entire credit for the outcome.

“I won’t say it was a matter of a hot goaltender, I’d say it was a lack of work ethic on our part,” said Laxdal. “We had 37 shots tonight but a lot were from the perimeter.”

Instead, Laxdal credited the Rebels as a whole while defending Brossoit, who also came up with a series of big-time stops.

“Red Deer probably had 10 or 15 quality scoring chances and they had a bigger compete level than we did tonight,” he said. “It’s not sitting well with me right now but Red Deer definitely deserved the win tonight.

“Our goalie was outstanding and I can’t fault him on any of the goals. It could have been a lot uglier than it was.”

Laxdal felt that his club was harbouring too many fond memories of their last game at the Centrium, a 6-1 thumping of the Rebels Dec. 28.

“Our guys thought it was going to be as easy as that game and Red Deer gave us a bit of a lesson in work ethic tonight,” said the Oil Kings bench boss.

The Rebels return to action Saturday at the Centrium against the Prince George Cougars.

° Advocate’s three stars: (1) Rhyse Dieno — Hat trick performance; (2) Patrik Bartosak — Rebels MVP was up to his usual tricks; (3) Laurent Brossoit — Oil Kings netminder was rock solid in defeat.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read