The free fall continued Friday night at the Centrium for the Red Deer Rebels.
With a 5-1 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders, it was the Rebels 12th defeat in a row. They have just two victories in their last 25 games and last won on home ice 83 days ago on Oct. 28.
Prince Albert defenceman Vojtech Budik sniped twice in the first period on point shots past Ethan Anders and the Raiders cruised to the victory from there.
“Got behind the eight ball early. A couple goals that aren’t good goals, the saves have to be made there and I didn’t think we regrouped after that,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.
“We never got going. I didn’t like some guys tonight, I didn’t like the way some guys played. If your older players aren’t good for you and you’re going with a bunch of young kids, it’s tough. I didn’t think many of our older players were good tonight at all.”
Budik’s first tally of came just a minute and 50 seconds into the game when his slapshot from the point along the ice eluded Anders.
He scored his second of the frame was with nine minutes to play in the first on the power play with a wrist shot over Anders’ glove. The 17-year-old rookie was pulled after allowing two goals on seven shots.
The third Raiders’ goal of the opening 20 minutes was a point shot from Jeremy Masella that took an unfortunate bounce off Kristian Reichel’s shin pad and over the shoulder of Riley Lamb, who replaced Anders.
Jordy Stallard rocketed his 31st of the season past Lamb on the power play just 4:55 into the second to make it 4-0.
Alex Alexeyev finally got the home crowd cheering with a wrist shot goal on the power play with just 1:34 left in the second. Red Deer product Josh Tarzwell drew an assist on the goal as well as Reese Johnson.
Parker Kelly found the mark in the third short-handed after he walked around Grayson Pawlenchuk and chipped a shot over Lamb’s blocker.
Frustration has clearly set in for a struggling Rebels squad, who after an Edmonton Oil Kings victory over the Kootenay Ice Friday, sit last in the WHL.
“Youg get frustrated and undisciplined when you’re not ready to play. That’s all part of it,” Sutter said.
“You get into a game where there’s emotion and intensity and high-pace and (when) you aren’t mentally ready to get into the game, your game struggles. You get frustrated with it, we had a lot of guys frustrated tonight.”
The Rebels are back on the ice Saturday against the Kamloops Blazers.