Oil Kings 9 Rebels 2
Sometimes in the WHL, it can get ugly fast.
The Edmonton Oil Kings scored nine straight goals including four times in 72 seconds in the third period on the way to a 9-2 rout Friday night at the Centrium.
Edmonton’s power play scored on four out of five chances and they outshot the Red Deer Rebels 33-10 in the final 40 minutes – Red Deer simply had no answer to the pace and skill after hanging with the visitors for the opening 20 minutes.
“I didn’t like the way we played as a forward group. We didn’t support each other and we stopped finishing checks. The last two periods, we just didn’t play very well and when you’re playing a good team like that, they make you pay,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
Oil Kings forward Logan Dowhaniuk a pair of goals and three assists, while blueliner Matthew Robertson added another four points in the victory.
It was the fourth win for Edmonton over the Rebels this season and their 15th straight dating back to the 2018-19 season.
The game started on a positive note for the home side, when Dallon Melin opened the scoring on a scramble in front early in the frame. It was only the second time this season the Rebels have scored first.
On their second consecutive power play of the opening frame, Chris Douglas opened up a 2-0 lead for Red Deer. The Rebels went with five forwards on the advantage for most of the night and it paid off early in the game when Josh Tazrwell found Douglas with a cross-ice feed. Douglas launched a one-timer home that ricocheted off the back bar and out for his fifth goal of the year.
Already without top defencemen Kyle Masters and Chase Leslie who are week-to-week, the Rebels lost Blake Gustafson early in the game and played with five defenders, most of whom had less than 30 games of WHL experience.
“When you’re missing three of your top four defencemen and having to play, two young kids in situations that they’ve never played in before, when (Gustafson) went down, it certainly hurt us,” Sutter said.
Edmonton scored with 45 seconds left in the first period and again just 22 seconds into the second to tie the game out two. Josh Williams had the first and Robertson tied the game at two and the visitors rolled from there.
They converted twice more on the man-advantage in the second period and are operating at nearly 50 per cent against the Rebels in four games this season.
Jalen Luypen and Carson Latimer had second-period goals, while Carter Souch, Ethan Peters, Jake Neighbours and Dowhaniuk buried in the third. Rebels starting goalie Byron Fancy was pulled after allowing six goals on 31 shots. Ethan Anders allowed goals on the first two shots he faced and finished the game with eight saves.
Sebastian Cossa earned the win with 18 saves.
The Rebels are back on the ice Saturday afternoon in Edmonton, before finishing the series Monday night at the Centrium.