Cam Hausinger seems to enjoy playing at the Centrium.
In his first game back with the Rebels after being acquired in a trade on Nov. 30, the winger played a vital role in a come-from-behind 4-3 shootout win over the Regina Pats.
Down 3-1 in the third after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes, his goal finally awoke the Rebels from their slumber.
Hausinger brought the 3,721 fans at the Centrium alive just out of the media timeout in the third. With 8:11 left in the game, off a faceoff outside the Pats zone, Hausinger drove wide and fired a laser of a wrist shot short side past Max Paddock.
“(Sakowich) tapped me and said go line up in his d-spot. Good pass by (Alexeyev) and kinda just shoved off the defenceman and closed my eyes and it went in,” Hausinger said.
“Really I was just trying to get pucks on net, wanted to get something going there.”
With the Rebels flying and under three to play in the period, Alex Morozoff found the equalizer. After Paddock fumbled a Chris Douglas shot, Morozoff tucked the loose puck past the Pats netminder to tie the game.
Nobody scored in overtime, only Brett Davis buried for Red Deer in the shootout and Ethan Anders stopped all three shots to pick up the victory. It was the Rebels second win in only two shootouts this season.
The victory was just another ho-hum, find-a-way win for the Rebels, something they continue to do as they moved to 18-9-2-0 on the year.
“We certainly found a way to win. Give full marks to the Pats, they worked extremely hard and they keep the game simple,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
“We went through that, the team we were playing and their work ethic and where ours needed to be. There’s some things in our game we can still simplify.
“Look at the last two goals, they were just pucks on the net. One goes in the net and the other is a battle around the net. Not everything is going to be pretty or perfect… We’ll just keep getting better, it’s a long year. We found a way to get two points and beat a team that works extremely hard. Good lesson for us.”
With only 84 seconds left in the first, Brandon Hagel opened the scoring with a spectacular individual effort. He dug the puck out of a scrum in the corner and dodged a pair of Pats’ defenders before sliding a backhand past Paddock.
Just 42 seconds into the second period, former Red Deer Rebel Austin Pratt buried his 12th goal of the season to tie the game. Ty Kolle fired a shot on Anders on a two-on-one and the rebound slipped right onto the tape of Pratt.
The Lakeville, Minn. native was traded to the Pat last season on Jan. 6 and Friday was his first game back in the Centrium.
Early in the second, the Pats were outshooting the Rebels 5-0 and controlled the play. Some penalty trouble helped the Rebels get the momentum back before Regina eventually took the lead.
On a bad turnover deep in the Rebels zone late in the second, Sergei Alkhimov gave the Pats a 2-1 advantage. They kept rolling behind the strength of their shot blocking and Scott Mahovlich scored 1:12 into the third to increase the lead and zap the life out of the Centrium.
Hausinger said his goal that cut the deficit to a goal, helped get the Rebels back in the game.
“That really helped us. I thought we started buzzing after that. Morozoff) goal, we built off it too,” Hausinger said.
“I think everyone built off it to get a little life and a little life in the building and make it a one goal game… it’s awesome and it’s one that I’ll remember.”
Regina blocked a ton of shots in the contest, particularly on the Rebels’ power play, which was unsuccessful in five tries.
“Learn from it and do the same. We’ve been preaching that all year about blocking shots,” Sutter said.
“They’re a team that’s going to work hard and that’s what they have to do. We still need to improve on that and it’s something we can learn from what the opposition does. We saw how it frustrates us. We can do the same in our zone.”
Hausinger was first star, Pats’ forward Austin Pratt was second star and Brandon Hagel was third star.
Red Deer is back on home ice Saturday when they host the Swift Current Broncos.