Rebels 5 Wheat Kings 4
BRANDON — The Red Deer Rebels shrugged off a 3-1 first-period deficit Friday en route to a 5-4 Western Hockey League win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Rebels assistant coach Bryce Thoma, for one, was impressed with the effort which pulled the Rebels to within three points of Brandon for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
“We had a lot of good players tonight,” said Thoma.
“We didn’t need anyone to be really great tonight but we had a lot of blocked shots and other elements of the game that went our way.”
The Wheaties led 3-1 after one period on goals by Mark Stone, Brodie Melnychuk and Ryan Pulock, to offset a Rebels marker from John Persson.
“The first period result was not indicative of the score,” said Thoma.
Cory Millette, Charles Inglis – with his long-awaited first goal as a Rebel – and Marc Mackenzie staked Red Deer to a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
From there, Stone connected for the Wheat Kings on the power play at 1:10 of the final frame and Chad Robinson sniped the eventual winner for Red Deer 68 seconds later.
“I think he’s just hitting his stride now,” said Thoma of Inglis, who notched his first goal with the Rebels and also picked up an assist.
“He’s been a real good vocal leader for us on the bench and during games and we like the intensity that he brings, which has been infectious.”
While the Rebels were unable to contain some of Brandon’s top players, they did enough to come away with the win.
“Overall we as a coaching staff were very happy with our effort tonight,” said Thoma.
Rebels netminder Deven Dubyk stopped 29 shots while Brandon Anderson made 33 saves for the Wheat Kings.
The Rebels conclude their brief Eastern Conference trip with a meeting with the Swift Current Broncos tonight.