Raiders 7 Rebels 1
Every once in a while, a young team lets a game get away from them.
That was the case for the Red Deer Rebels Wednesday, as the WHL’s Eastern Conference-leading Prince Albert Raiders came to town and laid a beat down on the Rebels.
For the opening 19 minutes and 40 seconds, Red Deer was able to hang with the defending WHL champs but beyond that, it wasn’t close.
With 14 seconds left in the first, a Kaiden Guhle point shot took an unfortunate bounce into Dawson Barteaux’s arm and went in, which sent things spiraling out of control for the Rebels in front of 3,458 fans at the Centrium.
Red Deer dropped to 7-12-0-3 and 2-6-0-3 at home with the 7-1 loss.
As it’s been said many times through 22 games this year, the young Rebels are simply not skilled enough to chase the game as they have at many points this year.
“After the first, not very good at all,” Rebels head coach Brent Sutter said after the disappointing showing from his group.
“Just too many guys became passengers after the first period. That’s tough. With our group, if we don’t have everyone pulling together and playing the right way… I thought the first period we were fine.”
Prince Albert scored twice more midway through the second in a span of just 1:51 and outshot the Rebels 14-6 in the frame. Anders finished the night with saves on 30 shots.
“Outside of two lines in the last four or five minutes of the second period, there was no emotion, no life. We got some action in their zone– all it was was just work. Being competitive and working,” Sutter said.
“I think they had three goals on 12 shots again, that’s not good enough. It was a night where after 20 minutes, there were a lot of breakdowns and the focus seemed to go the wrong way.”
In the third, more breakdowns from Red Deer, as Spencer Moe scored on a Jace Isley slashing minor, then Jakob Brook broke loose and buried his third of the year on a breakaway 13 seconds later.
Aliaksei Protas added his 15th tally of the year and Evan Herman rounded out the scoring only 25 seconds later midway through the third.
Jayden Grubbe scored the only Rebels goal late in the third, a snipe short side on Boston Bilous to spoil the shutout. Bilous finished the night with 24 saves for his 13th win of the year.
Three stars: Evan Herman (1), Boston Bilous (2), Kaiden Guhle (3).
The Rebels are back on the ice Saturday when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Puck drop is 7 p.m.