Red Deer Rebels forward Chris Douglas squeezes past a pair of Moose Jaw Warriors defenders in a 3-0 loss Saturday night at the Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Evanoff shines as Warriors shutout Red Deer Rebels

Warriors 3 Rebels 0

Moose Jaw Warriors goalie Adam Evanoff was locked in on Saturday night.

The Red Deer Rebels threw plenty of rubber at the 19-year-old netminder but were unable to direct anything past him on a frustrating night at the office for the home side.

Evanoff was first star with his 46-save performance while capturing his first shutout of the year. The 3-0 victory was also the Warriors first win since December 10 and only their third road win of the campaign.

“A better effort than (Friday) and I think that showed. We competed a lot harder on pucks and that was an unacceptable effort (Friday) we corrected it and got the result,” Evanoff said, referencing a 5-0 defeat against the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday.

Saturday, Evanoff bailed his teammates out time and time again, including stopping 18 shots in the third period, a number of which came in the final five minutes with his team clinging to a two-goal advantage.

“I’m just trying to stay in the moment, put my best effort forward, doesn’t matter how many shots I get or what time of game it is, just trying to be solid in there for the boys,” Evanoff said.

After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, in which the Rebels outshot Moose Jaw 28-17, the visitors broke the deadlock early in the third. Ryder Korczak found a loose puck and put it bar down on Ethan Anders, who was making his first start since Nov. 23. The goal came just one second after a Rebels’ penalty expired.

“We had 20 something seconds to kill, we don’t win the faceoff and they capitalize on it. Obviously, we were having a tough time in the offensive zone scoring any goals, their goalie was very good,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

Tate Popple extended the Warriors’ advantage 6:54 into the third, on a goal that was assisted by former Rebel Carson Sass and put Red Deer behind the eight ball. Despite firing plenty of shots on Evanoff, most of the chances were not high quality for Red Deer until the dying minutes of the game.

“I thought up until the last 3 minutes, we didn’t have a lot of urgency offensively. We were just kinda soft on pucks and soft, flutter pucks to the net,” Sutter said.

“We had no hardness around the net, we didn’t win battles and there weren’t a lot of second and third opportunities until the last 3-5 minutes. Credit to them, they stayed with it and we broke… we had 40-something shots, but you can dismiss a lot of that because their goal saw a lot of the shots, too.”

The Rebels hit the road for a five-game road swing over the next two weeks and return to the Centrium on Jan. 18 when they host the Prince Albert Raiders.

Three stars: Adam Evanoff (1), Jayden Grubbe (2), Ryder Korczak (3).

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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Red Deer Rebels forward Cam Hausinger tries to flip a puck past Adam Evanoff in the first period of WHL action at the Centrium on Saturday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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