The Red Deer Rebels fell behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and never recovered.
In a crucial WHL Central Division game in Lethbridge, the Hurricanes came out of the gate hot and didn’t look back in the 6-2 victory.
For Red Deer, it was their fourth loss in the last six games.
“I thought it was a big game and we weren’t ready to play off the hop,” said Rebels assistant coach Brad Flynn.
“It’s too late in the season to file it away and forget about it. We have to have more of an anger and fire in us that we’re embarrassed about an effort like that, especially at this time of the year… the disappointing thing is our veteran guys didn’t play up to our team identity and that’s what takes us into the playoffs.”
The power play continues to be a big concern for the Rebels, as it went without a goal in six more opportunities Friday and is 0-for-17 in the last four games.
“Their four guys are outworking our five guys. Their four guys are winning the battle at the crease and inside the dot and our guys are playing outside the dots,” Flynn said.
“They aren’t committing to win the battles to score rebounds. They want to be really pretty. We need to be a little more gritty.”
Former Rebel Jake Leschyshyn opened the scoring for Lethbridge on the power play less than six minutes into the game.
Late in the frame, Nick Henry notched his 19th of the year to open up a two-goal advantage.
Josh Tarzwell buried against his old team to cut the deficit 2:03 into the second, but that was as close as the visitors got in the contest.
Leschyshyn and Henry scored just 4:46 apart midway through the period. Henry’s second of the game chased Ethan Anders from the Rebels’ net. Anders made 16 saves on 20 shots before he was relieved by Byron Fancy and he finished with seven saves on eight shots.
Oleg Zaytsev buried his ninth of the season late in the second for the Rebels.
In the third, Igor Merezhko added a pair of tallies, including an empty-net goal while shorthanded with 5:20 left in the game.
Red Deer will host the Calgary Hitmen Saturday night at the Centrium.