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Costly turnovers sink Rebels against Wild

Tough loss at home
Red Deer Rebels forward Samuel Drancak looks to pass the puck in the offensive zone on Saturday against the Wenatchee Wild at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Wild 3 Rebels 2

Despite a late push, the Red Deer Rebels were defeated by the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night.

In their first matchup with the league’s newest franchise, formerly known as the Winnipeg Ice, Red Deer fell 3-2 at the Peavey Mart Centrium.

Head coach Derrick Walser said his team was careless with the puck and had too many turnovers.

“That’s something that was preached before… [We were] just too soft around our net. They had two goals right around our paint and not willing to battle hard enough there,” he said.

The Wild scored first just under seven minutes into the period when a shot was redirected off the skate of forward Caelan Joudrey in front of the net.

Less than five minutes later, the Rebels answered to tie it at one. With his back turned to the net, forward Samuel Drancak fired a no-look pass through the crease and Frantisek Formanek was there to bury the shot.

However, it didn’t take the Wild long to respond when forward Miles Cooper pounced on a rebound just over three minutes after the Rebels scored.

After a scoreless second period, the Wild extended their lead to 3-1 early in the third. Wenatchee’s leading scorer Kenta Isogai entered the slot with speed, made a move to split the defence, and fired a shot past goaltender Chase Wutzke.

Following that, the Rebels made a push to tie the game.

They brought themselves within a goal at the midway point of the final period. Drancak notched his second point of the night when he sniped a shot from the slot to beat goaltender Brendan Gee.

The Rebels were awarded a powerplay with a minute and 23 seconds to go but were unable to take advantage.

Gee made a ton of big saves to keep the Wild in the lead. The rookie netminder finished 29 saves and Rebels Wutzke made 22 saves on 25 shots.

“When we get all in sync and keep it simple, get pucks behind their defence, use our tenacity and forechecking, we’re pretty effective,” Walser added.

“Tonight, we just didn’t take care of the puck, and it cost us.”

The Rebels remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, four points behind the Swift Current Broncos.

Red Deer now heads to Saskatchewan for a two-game road trip beginning on Tuesday against the Saskatoon Blades at 6 p.m. mountain time followed by the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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