Red Deer Rebels captain Dawson Barteaux was brutally honest reflecting on what transpired last Saturday.
It was one of the worst losses in franchise history, an 11-2 beatdown by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. That hadn’t happened to the Rebels since March 2007. It was also the middle of a stretch where the Rebels allowed 18 goals on home ice and only scored three times in 120 minutes.
“After those games, you feel sick to your stomach. We’re an organization that hates to lose. You have a game like that, I personally would love to get back out there and go for another three periods, battle my heart out to make it better,” said Barteux at the Centrium ahead of practice Thursday.
“You feel sick to your stomach when you lose a game like that. Obviously, Brent doesn’t deserve to see something like that, the fans don’t deserve to see something like that and we don’t want to see something like that.”
Unfortunately, Tuesday, as far as results go, it didn’t get any better for the Rebels. In Swift Current, after falling behind 2-0, Red Deer clawed back to tie the game at two. They were outscored 6-4, 4-2 in the final 40 minutes and two of their goals came in the final nine minutes of the game.
“We all knew it was a big game after a couple games that should have never happened. We’re not about that in our organization. It was embarrassing for us to play like that in front of a home crowd,” Barteaux said.
“It was a big game on Tuesday, obviously we put up a lot of shots and we faced a hot goalie. We can’t be allowing them to get six goals, that’s on us. Not (our) goalies for sure. It just can’t happen. When you’re scoring four goals, you should be able to win in this league no problem.”
Red Deer has now given up 24 goals in the last three games.
They simply have to be better, no excuses, said Barteaux.
As the captain and the leader on the blueline, Barteaux bears the brunt of that responsibility. He said along with 20-year-old Ethan Sakowich, it’s up to the two of them to bring the young group along to the reality of how they can help end this slide.
“We all just need to be more responsible in our d-zone. Make sure everything in the house is shut down. Nobody should be getting any shots or rebounds in the middle of the ice. If we can do that, we’re going to have no trouble,” he said.
The next chance for the club to right the ship comes Saturday, against the Regina Pats. Regina is one of only three teams in the WHL with a worse record than the Rebels, sitting at 5-15-2. Still, Barteaux cautioned the group shouldn’t take anything for granted if they hope to have a better showing on home ice. They’ve won just twice on home ice, in 12 tries.
“I want to just flip the switch and start over here at home, obviously our home record all year hasn’t been good enough. The fans don’t deserve that. We’re looking forward to getting back after it,” Barteaux said.
“Regina is a good team, if we can just play our systems, it will be fine.”