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Rebels blow out Hurricanes at home

Red Deer Rebels captain Kai Uchacz looks to pass through the neutral zone against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Rebels 7

Hurricanes 3

Following two straight losses to the league-worst Edmonton Oil Kings last week the Red Deer Rebels needed to reset and reload.

On Sunday the Rebels took a day off and it was just what the doctor ordered.

The Rebels exploded on offence in a 7-3 blowout win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday afternoon at the Peavey Mart Centrium in front of 6,904 fans.

Rebels captain Kai Uchacz scored a hat trick and Frantisek Formanek also scored a pair in front of the Rebels biggest home crowd this season on Family Day.

Uchacz said a big reason for their resounding victory was a team meeting that took place on Sunday with owner and president Brent Sutter.

“It was a much-needed win. We really needed that one to reset and restart to kind of get us going for the rest of the season,” Uchacz said.

“We came in yesterday and had a really good heart-to-heart with Brent. It kind of reset us and let us take our minds away from the rink for a day. It showed today… We came out and it was a full team effort.”

Uchacz added the home fans also played a big factor.

“Anytime you can play in front of that many people in a full barn like that is pretty awesome,” he said.

Head coach Derrick Walser explained the Rebels’ day off did a lot of good.

“You could see the energy in the guys,” he said. “They were back on their toes and obviously, coming here today with a big crowd like this gave us the push when we needed it.”

The Hurricanes got on the board first when Logan Wormald knocked in a loose puck in the Rebels crease. After the initial shot, a mad scramble for the puck in the crease ensued less than five minutes into the game.

Formanek tied the game with 48 seconds to go in the opening period after he jumped on a huge rebound in front of the net.

In the second period, the Rebels took the lead less than five minutes in when Formanek fed Uchacz who was streaking up ice. That marked his 100th goal as a Rebel.

Uchacz scored again less than a minute later on the powerplay to lead 3-1 when he walked in and fired a shot past Lethbridge netminder Harrison Meneghin.

Lethbridge answered less than two minutes after to cut into their lead off the stick of Kooper Gizowski.

Formanek notched his second of the game in front of the net off the pass from Uchacz late in the period.

With under two and a half minutes left in the second, forward Zane Saab scored his fourth of the season. The rookie walked in close from the right side of the net and fired it in short side to lead 5-2.

In the third period, the Rebels got into penalty trouble taking three straight penalties but after killing a five-on-three powerplay, Red Deer scored a shorthanded goal.

Forward Ollie Josephson forced a turnover in the Rebels’ defensive end and carried the puck to the net before firing a shot into the top corner.

The Hurricanes cut the lead in half less than a minute later while still on the powerplay. Gizowski scored his second of the afternoon after he fired a shot from the left side through traffic.

At the midway point of the period, Uchacz completed the hattrick off an opportunity in front of the net.

The Rebels now have four days to prepare for the Wenatchee Wild who will take on the Rebels on Saturday night at the Centrium at 7 p.m.

Red Deer Rebels forward Carson Birnie skates up the ice in WHL action on Family Day against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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