Rebels 6 Rockets 4
KELOWNA — Clearly, the Red Deer Rebels have found their scoring touch.
The Rebels entered Wednesday’s Western Hockey League outing with the Kelowna Rockets having notched 17 goals in their previous three games — all wins.
The visitors then netted an even half-dozen markers and rolled over the Rockets 6-4 before a gathering of 6,038 at Prospera Place.
The victory improved Red Deer’s record to 12-4-0-1. Kelowna suffered its sixth consecutive loss and fell to 5-11-1-1.
The night didn’t start on the best terms for the Rebels as a checking-from-behind penalty to Colten Mayor just 88 seconds into the contest led to a power-play marker by Rockets defenceman Madison Bowey.
“They’re a desperate team and they got a quick jump on us. They’re a well-coached, structured team and this is a hard place to get a win,” said Rebels GM/head coach Jesse Wallin.
Red Deer got that one back late in the period when John Persson potted his eighth of the season on a feed from Cory Millette.
“It took us 10 to 15 minutes to get our feet going and once we got that first goal it relaxed us, we were off of our heels,” said Wallin.
Outshot 15-6 in the opening frame, the Rebels turned the tables in the middle stanza, enjoying an 18-8 advantage in shots while sniping three unanswered goals for a 4-1 lead.
Rookie rearguard Kayle Doetzel scored his first-ever WHL goal on a power play at the five-minute mark, and Turner Elson, with his ninth of the season, connected just over six minutes later with the Rebels holding a two-man advantage.
Red Deer captain Adam Kambeitz was then assessed a kneeing minor, but veteran blueliner Alex Petrovic potted a short-handed tally at 13:43. The Rebels also killed off a 90-second two-man disadvantage late in the period.
The Rockets finally struck for a second goal when Cody Chilke beat Red Deer netminder Patrik Bartosak 4:28 into the third period, but Mason Burr answered back with his second of the season just 46 seconds later.
The Rockets pulled to within one on goals from Colton Scissons and Shane McColgan two minutes apart, but Tyson Ness scored an insurance marker for the Rebels with five minutes remaining.
“The game was a little more exciting that it had to be. But overall it was a good road win and a great way to start our trip,” said Wallin.
The Rebels are in Kamloops Friday to face the Blazers and close out their four-game B.C. Division jaunt with Saturday and Sunday dates with the Victoria Royals.
• The Rebels were minus the services of injured forwards Daulton Siwak (upper body) and Joel Hamilton (lower body). Siwak should be back next week, while Hamilton, who broke his foot in practice last week, will be out a month.