Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels alternate captain Chase Walker protects the puck in a crowd against the Lethbridge Golden Hawks in the opening game of their best-of-three playoff series with the Lethbridge Golden Hawks Tuesday at Servus Arena. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Bantam AAA Rebels start playoffs with a bang

Rebels 6 Golden Hawks 0 (Rebels lead series 1-0)

The Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels kept rolling right along as the Alberta Bantam Hockey League playoffs kicked off.

In Game 1 of the best-of-three opening-round series against the Lethbridge Golden Hawks, it was all Red Deer from the outset.

Heading into the playoffs, the Rebels were the top team in the AMBHL with a 28-2-3 record, while the Golden Hawks finished fourth in the Ram South Division at 11-22-0-0.

Red Deer won series opener 6-0 Tuesday and dating back to Feb. 8, it was their seventh straight victory. During that span, they’ve outscored opponents 39-4 and also posted four shutouts.

“We’ve built momentum all year, they’ve worked so hard to get here and now we want to prove it. We have the motivation and we have the condition and we’re ready to rock and roll,” said Rebels head coach Justin Jarmolicz.

They got goals from six different players in Tuesday’s win and Mavry Fluet posted a 20-save shutout.

“Absolutely, because it takes the wind out of the sails from the other team,” added Jarmolicz about the defensive effort.

“They get one chance and it doesn’t go in and they’re not going to get many more. On the defensive side of things, they’ve done a great job.”

The home side jumped out to a 2-0 lead Tuesday in the first period, with Harrison Lodewyk and Keith McInnis notching first period tallies. They outshot Lethbridge 22-4 in the opening frame.

In the second, the Rebels converted a pair of nice passing plays, first Owen Callow shorthanded then Josh Perreault late in the period.

Late in the third, Coy Pighin went bar down to extend the Red Deer lead. Emmett Barnett added a goal late in the game to round out the scoring. Chase Walker also had two assists in the win.

“We had six different goal scores, just rolled lines through and those guys all competed hard and everybody played a playoff hockey game. We didn’t really give up much, Mavry made saves when we needed it,” said the Rebels head coach.

Game 2 of the series is Thursday night in Lethbridge.

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