Neighbours notches hat trick, Oil Kings sink Rebels
Oil Kings 8 Rebels 3
It was an unmitigated disaster for one team and a perfect storm for the other.
A penalty parade in the second, an eight-goal third and in the end, an Edmonton Oil Kings victory against the Red Deer Rebels. Edmonton scored seven of those third-period markers, six unanswered to win 8-3.
Just a night after the two clubs played a tight-checking, low scoring affair, which the Oil Kings won, it was anything but Saturday.
Turnovers, bad bounces and undisciplined play made it more of a track meet than the Rebels can handle. Couple that with 2020 NHL Draft eligible forward Jake Neighbours taking over in the third period with a hat trick, it spelled disaster for the visitors.
Red Deer led 2-1 heading into the final frame.
“ The third period killed us. Obviously, they got seven goals in the third,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.
“You’re up 2-1, playing pretty well. Took some bad penalties, bad decision making with pucks. Took some bad penalties and gave them some momentum, just got running around and we started having a lot of turnovers. Against good teams, they’re just going to burn you.”
Edmonton failed to capitalize on a five-minute goalie interference major assessed to Bret Davis late in the second, but scored four-on-four, 52 seconds into the third, after a bad giveaway by Dawson Barteaux at the Rebels’ blueline.
Zak Smith picked up his captain, bursting down the wing and ripped a backhand past Sebastian Cossa to restore the Red Deer advantage just 10 seconds after the Oil Kings tied it.
Things spiraled out of control from there for Red Deer. First, Ethan McIndoe notched a power-play tally, then Jake Neighbours buried a pair less than three minutes apart. The second was a highlight reel tally as he went backhand top shelf short side on Byron Fancy. That also proved to be the game-winning goal.
Edmonton scored three more times in just 65 seconds from 14:50 to 16:11 to turn the game into a rout.
“You have to learn from things that happened early in the season and the third period it was like we were playing at the end of October again,” Sutter said.
“Lack of composure. I thought Byron (Fancy) fought it a lot in the third. But made some bad mistakes. The first goal they scored in the third, throw the puck back to nobody. We score right away and after that we take a penalty… we shot ourselves in the foot a lot in the third. A good team is going to capitalize on that.”
In the first, Josh Tarzwell picked up a rebound at the side of the net and chipped it past Sebastian Cossa for his team-leading 15th goal of the year.
The second period was a penalty-filled affair and it hurt the Rebels’ momentum. The two teams combined for nine minor penalties and one five minute major in the frame, with the visitors taking five. Jayden Grubbe’s hooking minor midway through the period finally cost Red Deer, when Dylan Guenther blasted a wrist shot past Fancy for his 11th of the year.
Special teams played a factor late in the frame, just six seconds into a Rebels’ power play that helped them regain the lead. Tarzwell was the beneficiary of a good bounce after Cam Hausinger wired a shot and it bounced in off the 19-year-old winger from Red Deer. Red Deer had a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes before the wheels fell off.
Fancy finished the night allowing eight goals on 40 shots, while Sebastian Cossa stopped 28 shots in the win.