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Rebels earn first win of the season in Edmonton

Full team effort
Red Deer Rebels defenceman Elias Carmichael fires the puck down the ice against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton. (Photo by Edmonton Oil Kings/Andy Devlin)

Rebels 4 Oil Kings 3

The Red Deer Rebels just needed a quick road trip to shake off the cobwebs.

On Saturday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton, they got their first win of the season scoring twice in the third period to beat the Oil Kings 4-3.

Both Talon Brigley and Kai Uchacz scored in the final frame to lift Red Deer past their central division rivals and improve to 1-1 on the year. The victory was also head coach Derrick Walser’s first win as the Rebels bench boss.

“The guys stepped up,” said Walser. “I challenged them tonight to come play more on the edge, with more compete, and they did that.

“They all did. From the top to the bottom everyone came in and laid it all out there… We played ok in the first period of the first game but then we lost our compete. Well, tonight we competed for 60 minutes.”

The Rebels appeared to get on the board first when Rebels forward Kai Uchacz slid one past the goaltender in the crease while on the powerplay.

However, after a video review by the officials, they waved the goal off.

Later on, Marshall Finnie put the Oil Kings on top with one minute left in the opening period off the pass from John Szabo.

In the second period, Rebels forward Jhett Larson notched his first of the season on the powerplay from Ollie Josephson. He walked out in front of the net and fired one past Oil Kings goaltender Logan Cunningham.

A minute later at the midway point, Josephson scored on a tremendous individual effort in front of the net to give Red Deer their first lead of the game.

The Rebels’ lead was short-lived because defenceman Marc Lajoie tied the game 2-2 less than a minute after Red Deer’s tally.

Finnie then added his second of the game over 12 minutes into the frame and that would take the central division rivals into the intermission.

Red Deer native Talon Brigley tied it 3-3 with 6:25 left in the third period by snapping a shot past the goaltender.

Brigley fired in the rebound off a Matteo Fabrizi point shot that redirected into the slot in front of the net. Brigley scored just five goals last season through 68 games.

With just over two minutes left, the Rebels took a commanding 4-3 lead with a few minutes left. Rebels sniper Kai Uchacz banked in the rebound off an Elias Carmichael shot.

Walser explained they can’t rely on one or two people to score and that depth through the lineup is key. The Rebels certainly got that on Saturday with four different goal scorers.

“I believe in committee… We knew tonight we had to get our nose dirty and because you do the right things you get the bounces you need and all of a sudden you walk home with a win,” he said.

Rebels goaltender Chase Wutzke was solid between the pipes with 29 saves on 32 shots in his first start.

“I thought he played well. There were a couple of shaky moments here and there for all of us but you know what he hung in there,” he said.

“I’m so proud of him. He’s a good kid that’s working hard and to come in here is no easy feat after we lost the first one.”

Next up for the Rebels is a home game against the Medicine Hat Tigers next Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.

“I didn’t hit the panic button last night. I went home and I actually slept pretty well. I saw a lot of brightness in the future coming for us the way we played the first period. It was just a matter if we could play for three periods,” he said.

“I trusted them tonight and they came through very big.”

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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