The Red Deer Rebels chased the Edmonton Oil Kings almost the entire night Sunday, but scored four straight goals to earn a 5-3 win on the road in WHL action.
Reese Johnson, Jared Dmytriw and Brandon Hagel had third period goals to power the Rebels to the victory.
Travelling to Edmonton for the back half of a home-and-home with their Hwy 2 rival, Red Deer was slow out of the gate and trailed 2-0 just five minutes into the game.
“We stayed with our game. I thought the first half we were a little sloppy but we found our legs and we got moving. Our power play was really good tonight. In the last half of the game I thought we played extremely well,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.
“We picked our pace up and we made plays. We were skating better, I thought we moved the puck better and we defended better.”
Down two goals, Mason McCarty scored his second goal of the season with a wrist shot past Oil Kings goalie Travis Child on the power play midway through the first.
Trailing 3-1 part way through the second, Red Deer finally started to turn the tables.
Momentum started to finally swing the Rebels way late in the frame, when Hagel potted a goal on a 2-on-0 with McCarty.
Red Deer scored their second power play goal of the game just 49 seconds into the third when Johnson netted his second goal in as many nights.
The Rebels took their first lead of the game at 9:21 of the final frame, as Dmytriw scored his first goal since joining Red Deer.
It was their third power play goal of the game.
“We’re shooting and we have some guys who have some skill and we’re moving pucks well. We’re moving it quick and making stick-to-stick plays. There’s purpose in our power play and every one is taking pride in it,” Sutter said.
Hagel also added an empty-net goal and now has five points in two games. Rebels Goalie Lasse Petersen made 18 saves in the win.
McCarty finished the game with five shots on net to go along with a goal and an assist and has been a bright spot for Red Deer through two games.
“He brings speed and he’s going to compete and battle,” Sutter said.
“He’s got great character and he brings those elements to his game and it’s certainly appreciated among his teammates and coaching staff.”