Fancy helps Rebels hang on for win over Brandon Wheat Kings

Red Deer back on the ice Nov. 20 against the Prince Albert Raiders

Rebels 4 Wheat Kings 3

The Red Deer Rebels tried to give another game away in the third period, only to have their goalie bail them out this time around.

A night after squandering a 3-1 lead and losing in a shootout Friday, Byron Fancy finished the Saturday with 37 saves in a 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. That effort including 19 saves in the third period and five massive stops in the final minute to preserve the 4-3 victory.

“We need those saves. A couple of goals I’m sure he would have liked to have back. He made the big saves down the stretch when we needed it, especially in the last minute and 36 seconds. He played big,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

“But we have to continue to work on that. As far as our third periods, again it was almost an identical to (Friday), we played well for two periods and then in the third– we were fine for the first seven or eight minutes and then we just started retreating too much. That’s something we’ve got to work on.”

It was another case of a 40-minute effort for the Rebels, as they had a 4-1 advantage through 40 minutes, but allowed the Wheat Kings to score twice in the final 10 minutes and were forced the hang on for dear life in the final minute.

Cole Reinhardt scored on the power play with 9:51 to play, then with the goalie out and the extra attacker, split the Rebels defenders and dove to tap a shot five-hole on Fancy.

From there, the 18-year-old netminder from Claresholm shut the door, stopping an onslaught from the Wheat Kings in the final 60 seconds to close out the win. It was one of his best performances of the season.

“He’s been working his butt off lately and it’s been showing that he’s ready to be a player in this league and he’s got every right to, he’s been playing great,” said Arshdeep Bains, who was first star with a goal and an assist.

Bains opened the scoring in just 86 seconds into the contest when he redirected a Christoffer Sedoff point shot past Patera. The goal extended his point streak to three games.

Midway through the period, Bains was in on the action again. On the power play, he drew an assist on a Dawson Barteaux goal.

His line, along with recently acquired Ben King and Chris Douglas, has been buzzing since they were put together last week in Prince Albert. King had two assists in the victory.

“I think we all just compliment each other. We all work together and there’s no selfishness. We move pucks and there’s no problems, we love to play together and it’s been good so far,” said Bains, who has five points in his last three games.

With 4:05 left in the second, right off a faceoff, Ethan Rowland crashed the net and tapped in his second goal of the year.

Red Deer didn’t let up as after a good forecheck, Josh Tarzwell found a loose puck in front and slipped it in on the backhand to open up a 4-0 advantage.

After three straight Rebels penalties, Brandon finally capitalized. Ben McCartney deposited a rebound for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

Penalty trouble was once again a big factor in the Rebels losing momentum, as Brandon scored twice on five man-advantage chances in the loss.

Red Deer improved 7-11-0-3 on the year with just their second victory on home ice Saturday.

“We played pretty well, then we started taking penalties and it took the momentum away from us,” Sutter said.

“You sit in the box and they score one to make it 4-2 and we had the 5-on-3 and we don’t capitalize and didn’t make much of our power play and they get an unfortunate goal against us and all of a sudden it’s a tight game. We’ve been in a lot of those going into the last minute and a half this year… found a way to win. We’ll take the points, every point is big.”

The Rebels host the Prince Albert Raiders on Nov. 20, with puck drop set for 7 p.m. at the Centrium.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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