Forward Mason McCarty was a beast for the Red Deer Rebels on Thursday night in Cranbrook.
The Rebels veteran notched his first hat trick of the season and added an assist. He now has eight goals in eight games to start the WHL season as the Rebels pulled out a 5-4 win against the Kootenay Ice.
Red Deer made a bet on the 20-year-old forward when they acquired him for a second round pick at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft and he’s delivered so far.
McCarty leads the Rebels in goals and is tied for second in the WHL. His 14 points also lead the team.
Reese Johnson opened the scoring early in the first for the Rebels, before McCarty scored a power play goal midway through the frame and added another two minutes and 34 seconds later.
Kootenay mounted a comeback early in the second, with goals just a 61 seconds apart by Vince Loschiavo and Colton Veloso respectively.
Kristian Reichel blasted a wrister home on the power play in the third to make it 4-2 Red Deer, but Alex Baer brought Kootenay back within one at 9:09.
McCarty completed the hat trick at 17:51 of the third, but Colton Kroeker cut the deficit to 5-4 with just seven seconds remaining.
The Rebels finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play and goalie Lasse Petersen made 30 saves to earn the win.
Buffalo Sabres draft pick Brandon Hagel had three assists and was named second star. Captain Grayson Pawlenchuk also added two assists.
Red Deer is back home Saturday when they host the Saskatoon Blades. Puck drop goes 7 p.m. at the Centrium.