It was a listless second period that cost the Red Deer Rebels Tuesday in Brandon.
With the game tied at one, the Rebels allowed three straight tallies from the Wheat Kings in the middle frame on the way to a 5-2 loss at Westoba Place in front of 3,074 fans.
Wheat Kings netminder Ethan Kruger turned aside 23 shots and Ben McCartney scored twice as Brandon handed Red Deer its ninth loss of the season.
It was the Rebels eighth loss in their last nine games.
First, Luka Burzan buried 82 seconds into the second period, then McCartney notched his second of the night on the backhand on a breakaway. Nolan Ritchie extended the advantage with 4:37 left in the frame.
Arshdeep Bains scored for Red Deer after the Rebels fell behind 1-0 on McCartney’s first of the contest 4:40 into the game.
Early the third, Duncan Pierce scored his first goal as a Wheat King on a shorthanded penalty shot, ripping a shot past Byron Fancy.
Late in the period, Rebels defenceman Mason Ward notched his first career WHL tally with a wrist shot past Kruger.
Fancy stopped 33 shots in the loss and Jaxsen Wiebe had two assists. The Rebels finished 0-for-4 on the power play while the Wheat Kings went 0-for-6 on the man advantage.
Red Deer will hit the ice Wednesday night for their first game against the re-located Winnipeg ICE, formally the Kootenay ICE. Friday the Rebels are in Saskatoon to take on the Blades, before taking on the Prince Albert Raiders Saturday.
Three stars: Ben McCartney (1), Duncan Pierce (2), Ethan Kruger (3).