Hurricanes 2 Rebels 1 (OT)
The Red Deer Rebels came up just short losing 2-1 in overtime in the final game of their homestand Sunday at the Centrium.
Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Jordy Bellerive, one of the top goal scorers in the WHL, burned the Rebels with two tallies.
His first of the game was when the puck deflected off the 18-year-old centre, and in past Rebels goalie Ethan Anders.
In overtime, Bellerive put a shot on net that Anders turned aside, but the Hurricanes captain out battled a Rebels defender and picked up his own rebound and slid the puck past Anders.
“I didn’t like the two goals we gave up. Those are battle goals against us. You have to protect,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.
“You get beat off the boards and the guy has his back to the net and deflects it in. Overtime goal we just lose the battle. Those are things we need to continue to work on and guys need to get stronger physically to handle those situations.”
Rebels forward Kristian Reichel had a chance to win it in the extra frame for the Rebls but he hit the crossbar on a slapshot just a minute into 3-on-3 overtime.
For the second straight game, Anders earned first star honours. The rookie netminder finished the night with 42 saves in the loss.
Sutter added there was a lot to like about Sunday’s game despite his club not being able to pick up the two points on Sunday.
“Things in games that are the difference between winning and losing– the turnovers are something that’s always alarming,” Sutter said.
“First period we gave up 15 shots against and 10 of the shots were strictly off turnovers. That’s where you have to be better on the puck. There’s good signs, our penalty kill was good. A lot of our 5-on-5 play when we weren’t turning pucks over was good.”
The Rebels opened the scoring on a broken play midway through the second when Josh Tarzwell threaded the puck to centre Reese Johnson who fired his 17th goal of the season past Logan Flodell. It was his second shorthanded goal of the year and the second straight game the Rebels scored while down a man.
Johnson and Tarzwell have found some chemistry along with Chris Douglas over the last week and generated several scoring chances in the loss Sunday.
Red Deer picked up three of a possible four points on the weekend and will be on the road for four games this week before returning home Feb. 7.