Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

REBELS VS ICE --sports-- Red Deer Rebels goaltender Travor Martin keeps his eye on the puck as teammate Kayle Doetzel and Roman Dymacek of the Kootney Ice battle for the posession during Saturday night WHL action at the Enmax Centrium. The Rebels defeated the Ice 4-3.

Rebels win battle over Ice

For the second night in succession the Red Deer Rebels didn’t have their ‘A’ game, but still put a ‘W’ in the books. The Rebels were outshot 36-33 by the visiting Kootenay Ice while prevailing 4-3 in a WHL game Saturday at the Centrium, roughly 24 hours after withstanding a strong third-period charge by the Medicine Hat Tiger and posting a 3-1 home-ice triumph.

For the second night in succession the Red Deer Rebels didn’t have their ‘A’ game, but still put a ‘W’ in the books.

The Rebels were outshot 36-33 by the visiting Kootenay Ice while prevailing 4-3 in a WHL game Saturday at the Centrium, roughly 24 hours after withstanding a strong third-period charge by the Medicine Hat Tiger and posting a 3-1 home-ice triumph.

“We found a way to win. It was a battle,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said following Saturday’s contest that was viewed by 5,547 patrons. “I thought we started fine but we got a little bit sloppy. You can tell we haven’t had a lot of practice time the last two to two and a half weeks, just from some of our details, from how we like to play with and without the puck.

“There were times in our zone we had some passive plays. But Marty (Rebels netminder Trevor Martin) played well. This weekend we got good goaltending from both of our guys (including Friday winner Rylan Toth), which is important.”

The Ice led just once in the contest, when Vince Loschiavo — with his first of the season — opened the scoring at 10:38 of the first period.

From there, Rebels defenceman Braden Purtill caught the far low corner of the net with a point shot at 3:12 of the second period and Ivan Nikolishin, with his first of two goals on the evening, gave the hosts a 2-1 lead just over eight minutes later with a power-play slapper from the high slot.

Luke Philp pulled Kootenay even with a man-advantage marker at 13:48 of the middle frame, beating Martin over the shoulder, setting the stage for a third period in which the Rebels scored twice to nail down the win.

“I think we started playing pretty sloppy, but during the game we picked it up and in third period we were almost playing our best. We were happy we got the win,” said Nikolishin, who snapped a 2-2 tie with a second power-play marker at 8:45 of the final frame.“Both of them were power play and both times were very nice screens,” said Nikolishin. “First it was Bleacks (Conner Bleackley) in front screening the goalie and the second time it was Pawly (Grayson Pawlenchuk). I think that’s why I scored, because of them. I want to say thank you for screening the goalie that well.”

Pawlenchuk sniped the eventual winner at 13:35, whipping a feed from Michael Spacek to the top of the net, and Philp netted his second of the evening with 21 seconds remaining and netminder Wyatt Hoflin on the bench in favour of an extra attacker.

“You have to find a way to win games,” said Sutter. “You go through times during the year when you have to do that, and if you’re a good team you usually do find a way.

“It comes down to the group having confidence in the dressing room, knowing that if things aren’t going exactly how we want to play, that we have to weather through it. We have to stick to the basics and try and find a way. Tonight was another of those examples.”

The fact that the Rebels were two-for-five on the power play was a definite positive.

“We moved the puck well and got some quality looks, but their goalie saw every shot in the first period. We weren’t battling to get into the tough areas and were allowing soft plays at the same time,” said Sutter.

“But as the game went on we started moving pucks and having net front presence. Both of Nik’s goals were scored through traffic.”

The Rebels return to game action Friday when the Spokane Chiefs make their first visit to the Centrium since Oct. 12 of 2013.

• Rebels forward Jeff de Wit was struck in the throat by the puck in the second period and experienced problems getting back to his feet. He stayed down on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the playing surface and taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital.

“Obviously something like that is really concerning,” said Sutter. “But when he left the doctors didn’t seem to be too concerned. It was more precautionary getting him to the hospital.

“He’s going to be sore, the puck hit him right in the neck. Hopefully he’ll be OK.”

• Red Deer winger Evan Polei sat out Saturday’s contest after taking a high hit from Medicine Hat’s Ryan Jevne Friday.

“He got his bell rung and it’s a situation where he’s on (concussion) protocol,” said Sutter. “He had initial symptoms but by the time the game was over he was fine and he said he was fine today.

“He wanted to play, but we wanted to make sure we were careful with that and manage it properly.”

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Liberals table proposal for expanded Commons COVID-19 meetings, summer sittings

OTTAWA — The Liberals have tabled a proposal that would see expanded… Continue reading

Most Read