Rebels earn fifth straight win

New goalie Petersen makes quick, positive impression

Rebels 3 Raiders 1

Lasse Petersen made a quick and positive impression with the Red Deer Rebels.

Petersen, playing his first game since being picked up in a trade with the Everett Silvertips on Oct. 13, turned aside 29 shots to lead the Rebels to a 3-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Prince Albert Raiders before 4,788 fans at the Centrium Saturday.

“Tonight we were fortunate enough to have a goaltender who played extremely well for us,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “We need two goaltenders, and he will give us some quality games. He’s calm and doesn’t get rattled or flustered in the net. He just stays with it.

“I told him this morning I don’t care what technique a goalie has as long as he makes sure he stops the puck and gives us a chance to win, He gave us a chance tonight and at the end of the day was the reason we did win.”

The Rebels were good enough to win, but also made a number of miscues that could have cost them.

“We were fortunate to win … I wasn’t happy at all with the game tonight,” said Sutter. “There were to many turnovers and I didn’t think we did a good job defending, especially in the third period.

“We found a way to win, that’s good, but you can’t get caught up in what your record is, or record has been. I told the kids that’s what always happens in sports when you get on a winning streak and things start going your way, then all of a sudden bad habits start creeping in and you start cheating on things and then you get beat. It will then take you two or three weeks or a month to straighten out your game.”

Rebels veteran defenceman Josh Mahura, who scored the clinching goal at 19:32 of the third period, agreed with his coach.

“We got the points, but I still feel we have to take another step,” he said. “Third periods are what win you hockey games, and we have to come into games willing to play 60 minutes. We’re coming along (as a team) but I feel we still have another step to take.”

After a scoreless opening period, Michael Spacek got the Rebels on the board at 3:34 of the second period as he stepped out of the penalty box and took a breakaway pass from Austin Pratt, beating Prince Alberta netminder Nicholas Sanders on a deke.

Brandon Hagel took a perfect cross-ice feed from Mahura and scored into the open net to make it 2-0 at 14:54.

Tim Vanstone tipped in a point shot while on the power play at 5:49 of the third period to give the Raiders some life. They more than controlled play the rest of the period, but couldn’t beat Petersen, who made a handful of outstanding saves over the 60 minutes.

“He was solid, without him we lose this game,” said Mahura. “He stood tall when we needed him, that’s all you can ask for from your goalie.”

Mahura scored when he broke away with Hagel after a turnover.

“I saw Hages get it and there was no one around me. I knew before I even got the puck what I was going to do. I saw the goalie slide over and I tucked it in. It was a great pass from Hages.”

The win was the fifth in a row for the Rebels, who sit at 7-3-1-1.

“The two points were obviously huge for us,” said Sutter. “We’ve won five games in a row and have been on a huge roll, I just don’t want to see us slip. We need to learn from things and tonight we have to learn. Lucky we were able to learn through a positive note and that positive note was a victory.”

The Rebels finished with 35 shots on Sanders. They return to action Wednesday when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings at 7 p.m. at the Centrium.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca

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