Rebels allow six third-period goals, fall to Hitmen

Magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to four points

Hitmen 6 Rebels 2

CALGARY– A forgettable 47 seconds cost the Red Deer Rebels dearly on Sunday in Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Rebels gave up two goals less than a minute apart to the Calgary Hitmen and the home side rode six unanswered goals to a 6-2 victory.

“Lack of a lot of things. Our work ethic stopped, we took bad penalties. Bad decisions made with pucks. Goaltending wasn’t good in the third. It goes on and on. Just a complete meltdown on our part,” Rebels GM/ head coach Brent Sutter said.

With a 2-0 lead heading into the third period and a dominant 40 minutes for Red Deer – the lapse came quickly.

Riley Stotts buried a one-timer on the power play at 5:41 of third after Rebels’ forward Brandon Hagel took a holding penalty in the offensive zone.

Mark Kastelic powered home a rebound to tie the game at two just 47 seconds later.

Sutter called a timeout to help his troops gather themselves, but the brief break didn’t quell the Hitmen momentum in front of the pumped-up crowd of 8,465.

“The reminder was get back to working and get back to the way we were supposed to play,” Sutter said.

Dakota Krebs put Calgary ahead for the first time in the contest with a point shot past Ethan Anders midway through the third.

Jacob Stukel kept up the assault with another goal for the Hitmen at 13:29. Stukel added an empty-net goal and the 20-year-old left winger had four points in the third period.

“Our best players were playing well until the third and then they weren’t very good. They got outplayed by the other team’s best players and everybody else was just as bad.

“The last two nights their goalies have outplayed our goalies,” Sutter said.

The Rebels were rolling with goals in each of the first two periods and outshooting the Hitmen 26-18 after 40 minutes until it all fell apart.

Early in the first on the power play, Hagel picked up a pass from Grayson Pawlenchuk and roofed it stick side on Matthew Armitage.

The goal was just the 13th of the year and only second on the power play for the Buffalo Sabres draft pick.

Midway through the second, Reese Johnson burst down the wing and wired a wrist shot short side past Armitage. Johnson has 22 goals on the year and three in the last four games.

Anders made 34 saves as the Rebels dropped to 24-30-10-3 on the year and the Hitmen improved to 20-35-8-2 as Armitage stopped 38 shots.

Red Deer has failed to return home from Calgary with a victory in all three visits this season.

The lone positive on Sunday for the Rebels was in Cranbrook where the Kootenay Ice lost 4-3 to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Kootenay loss means the Rebels magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to four points. Red Deer is seven points up on Kootenay for third in the Central Division with five games left in the WHL regular season.

Still, with back-to-back losses and 12 goals allowed in two games, Sutter knows the team will need another gear down the stretch.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’re a team that had a good run, but now the heat is on down the stretch and we have to see what we’re made of,” Sutter said.

“We gave up 12 goals in two games. That’s unacceptable. Little bit of everything. When you give up that many goals it’s a lack of effort, working and a lot of different things.”



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read