Hurricanes 7 Rebels 6
Former Red Deer Rebel Brett Davis is enjoying life in his new digs.
The 20-year-old forward was traded by the Rebels to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Jan. 6 and came back to haunt his old club in a big way Wednesday.
Davis, who played 78 games with Red Deer over the last two seasons and was originally drafted by the Hurricanes all the way back in 2014, had a monster night in his first game back at the Centrium.
He scored two clutch goals, including the game-tying and game-winning goals and also added an assist in an absolutely wild 7-6 win over the Rebels.
“Just trying to pushback after a good five-minute penalty kill and we happened to tie it up and get a power play. I think we had good zone time on that and just happened to bury the winner,” said the Oakbank, Man. native, who has seven goals and nine points in seven games with Lethbridge.
“It’s weird, because when I was playing with Red Deer, it wasn’t hard to get up for the games against Lethbridge. Moving forward, I think if we stay focused as a group, we’ll be just fine.”
For Red Deer Rebels bench boss Brent Sutter, whose club had a 4-1 lead midway through the second period and a 6-5 advantage with 3:01 to play, it was a tough loss to take.
“What are you gonna say,” quipped a frustrated Sutter.
“Everything we’ve been working all year not to do, we did tonight. We talk about being better defending and being a better defensive team, we gave up seven goals against again tonight. Score six, you should win the game. You’re not good in your own zone, that’s what happens.”
The Rebels were in fine shape midway through the game, leading 4-1 with a pair of goals from Josh Tarzwell, and one each from Ben King and Keaton Sorensen.
The cracks started to show shortly after the Sorensen tally when Ethan Rowland was whistled for a roughing minor after the whistle.
Lethbridge scored seven seconds into that minor, before Olds product Jett Jones got the visitors within a goal.
“We stopped working. It’s just focus. We take a bad penalty after the whistle. It’s just a selfish penalty. There’s no sense to it at all. It’s unacceptable and you can’t continue to say you gotta learn from it, eventually, you have to learn from it,” Sutter said.
With 1:26 left in the second period, Lethbridge tied the game at four shorthanded, with Dylan Cozens was left alone at the side of the Rebels’ goal.
The tide was significantly turned in the Hurricanes favour at that point, but a nice individual effort from Zak Smith put the Rebels back in front 5-4 one minute into the third.
That advantage only lasted 2:14, when Ty Prefontaine scored for the Hurricanes, on a shot that deflected off a Rebels’ stick and past a screened Byron Fancy.
Undeterred, Ben King collected his fourth point of the night, converting a nice passing play with Arshdeep Bains six minutes into the third, giving the Rebels a 6-5 lead.
Red Deer then had a five-minute power play midway through the final frame after Trevor Thurston took a five-minute major for kneeing on Cam Hausinger. The Hurricanes killed it off and that’s when Davis and Cozens went to work.
On a two-on-one with just over three minutes to go, Davis buried his first of two, on a nice pass from Cozens.
Less than a minute after that, Hausinger took a hooking minor and it proved costly. Davis notched his second of the night with 49 seconds to clinch the win for Lethbridge.
“We talked to our defence about moving pucks up the ice, on that sixth goal, we tried to carry up the ice and it’s a turnover and back in our net. Look at the penalties we took, bad penalties and take a bad penalty with two and a half minutes left,” Sutter said.
“On a backcheck because you’re not moving your feet. Just everything we’re not supposed to do, we did. You get what you deserve. They’ve been shown it, they’ve been told it and we work on it in practice. If tonight doesn’t show them, then I don’t know what does, because tonight was ridiculous.”
Hurricanes defenceman Alex Cotton, who leads all WHL defenceman in scoring, got the game started with an early goal on a point shot that went bar down.
Tarzwell buried his 22nd of the year off the rush to tie the game at one, before putting the Rebels ahead 2-1, 5:24 into the second.
King made it 3-1 near the midway point of the period, on an unfortunate giveaway by Tetachuk. That chased the ‘Canes netminder from the game and on the first shot that his replacement, Bryan Thompson faced, was a rocket by Keaton Sorensen that he couldn’t stop. Thompson finished the game with 15 saves.
Fancy stopped 32 shots in the Rebels net.
Three stars: Ben King (1), Brett Davis (2), Zak Smith (3).