Rebels battle back to beat Blades

SASKATOON — Facing the very real possibility of having their WHL winning string snapped at one game, the Red Deer Rebels found another gear in the late stages of Wednesday’s clash with the Saskatoon Blades.

Rebels 4 Blades 3

SASKATOON — Facing the very real possibility of having their WHL winning string snapped at one game, the Red Deer Rebels found another gear in the late stages of Wednesday’s clash with the Saskatoon Blades.

The Rebels outshot their hosts 14-4 in the third period while getting unanswered goals from Josh Mahura and Presten Kopeck en route to a 4-3 victory before 4,479 fans at SaskTel Centre.

“I thought as the game went on we got better and better,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “We had a slow start and then got our legs under us and started playing better in the second period. We just started playing with more gumption and more urgency in the second and in the third we took it to another level.”

Red Deer, which ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win at Prince Albert Tuesday, never led Wednesday’s contest until Kopeck broke a 3-3 tie with his 17th goal of the season at 15:21 of the final frame.

The Blades led 1-0 after one period on Brett Stovin’s 24th goal, but overage forward Riley Sheen cashed his own rebound to pull Red Deer even at 2:05 of the middle stanza.

The hosts regained the lead a mere 39 seconds later as Schael Higson’s point shot found its way through a crowd and past netminder Trevor Martin, making his first-ever start for the Rebels. Wyatt Johnson got the visitors back on even terms at 6:40 of the period before Amil Krupic restored the Blades’ one-goal cushion seven minutes later.

Mahura, with his first WHL goal, tied the game at three 13:56 into the third period, completing a nifty passing play that included Connor Gay and Sheen and setting the stage for Kopeck’s winner at 15:21.

“I was happy with the way the second half of the game went for us,” said Sutter.

“We created lots of scoring opportunities. We were making plays and doing a lot of good things.”

The Rebels fired 39 shots at Saskatoon netminder Nik Amundrud, while Martin stopped 30 drives. Sutter was impressed with the 18-year-old goaltender, who was acquired from the Blades in early January and reassigned to the Melville Millionaires of the SJHL.

“He just makes saves. His positional play is pretty good,” said the Rebels bench boss. “There are things he needs to work on still, Taylor (Rebels goalie coach Dakers) will have to spend some time with him.

“But there’s a reason why we made a trade for him and he gave us the answers tonight. He definitely was very solid. He made some key saves, especially in the first period.”

Martin will now rejoin his SJHL team and will likely be summoned back to the Rebels at the conclusion of Melville’s season, unless Red Deer’s season ends first.

l The Rebels forward line of Kopeck (1g,1a), Brooks Maxwell (1a) and Johnson (1g,1a) combined for five points and all three were in on the winning goal. “Their pace was good and their experience really showed tonight,” said Sutter . . . Sheen was named first star of the game, with Higson and Kopeck getting the second and third stars . . . The Rebels conclude their four-game trip with games Friday and Saturday at Swift Current and Regina.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer ranked 10th most dangerous place in Canada

Red Deer is the 10th most dangerous place in Canada, rankings by… Continue reading

Grain shippers worried about strike as feds urge CN and union to continue talks

MONTREAL — Grain shippers are concerned about the impact of a strike… Continue reading

A lesson in excellence and success

Mary Kemmis, president of the Prairie Division of Black Press Media, and… Continue reading

More flurries expected Tuesday evening in Red Deer

It’s snowing in Red Deer. Snow began earlier this morning and is… Continue reading

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

VANCOUVER — The Trans Mountain pipeline received $320 million in subsidies from… Continue reading

Central Albertans help families during holidays with Christmas Wish Breakfast

It takes a community to help a community. And Sunday morning at… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

University of Calgary to slash payroll after post-secondary funding cuts

The government is also cutting all funding for the Infrastructure Maintenance Program

Opinion: Climbing cost of drinking water a drain on low-income earners

Environmentalists and water economists have long argued Canadian households have not conserved… Continue reading

U.S. support for Israeli settlements is no surprise

As British newspaper magnate Viscount Northcliffe said: “When a dog bites a… Continue reading

Opinion: The buck stops with Red Deer city council

Red Deer city council has taken measures to distance itself from decisions… Continue reading

Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil give Canada Davis Cup win over favoured Italy

MADRID — Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil kept rolling on Monday, notching… Continue reading

Canadian women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

TORONTO — Hayley Wickenheiser hasn’t had a lot of time to reflect.… Continue reading

Federal Court orders Canada’s ISPs to block piracy website for first time

TORONTO — A Federal Court is ordering Canada’s internet service providers to… Continue reading

Most Read