Red Deer Rebels forward Chris Douglas lays a hit on Saskatoon Blades defenceman Evan Fiala on Saturday night at the Centrium in WHL action. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Rebels fall in OT to Blades

At this point, the Red Deer Rebels would trade all their bad luck for no luck at all.

Red Deer dropped a 3-2 overtime game to the Saskatoon Blades at the Centrium Saturday night but perhaps deserved a better fate.

The loss was the Rebels 11th straight and they haven’t won on home ice since Oct. 28.

Leading 2-1 late in the game with the Blades net empty, each of the Rebels’ forwards had a shot at the yawning cage, but after Saskatoon thwarted the chances Josh Paterson converted with 1:43 to play to tie the game at two.

Red Deer has lost in their last 11 games that have gone beyond 60 minutes. They had a chance to win Saturday early in the extra frame but Grayson Pawlenchuk couldn’t find the mark, then Max Gerlach scored his second of the night with a laser of a wrist shot high over Ethan Anders glove.

“I don’t even know what to say about that one. I thought we played really well, we played in a lot of different areas we were good at. It’s 2-1 and you have two or three chances in their zone with the goalie pulled and you don’t capitalize on it,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.

“They come down and they get one chance and score. it was lost coverage in our zone. Overtime we get a chance right off the bat and we don’t capitalize. They get one chance and they score. Tonight we couldn’t catch a break, that’s just the way it’s been. You lose as many games as we’ve lost in overtime and shootouts… it really starts digging in at you. Those are points you need to have.”

Anders was stellar in net for the Rebels, turning aside 13 shots in the third period and finished the game with 35 saves. He was named second star of the game.

“He was solid, made some great saves for us. I thought he played really well,” Sutter said.

Midway through the first, Mason McCarty fired a cross-ice pass to Grayson Pawlenchuk who buried a one-timer for his 15th goal of the year.

McCarty notched his team-leading 22nd goal of the season early in the second and the Rebels looked in control. Gerlach buried his first goal of the game late in the second.

In the third, the game started to get away from the Rebels and they were only able to fire five shots on goal. Sutter said the key in those situations is patience with a young roster.

“We have a young team. These guys have to learn. We are the youngest team in the league and they have to learn certain things are certain times in games. It’s a learning process for a lot of these guys,” Sutter said.

“Our defence is somewhat experienced but our forward group is a real young group. We’re playing 16 and 17-year-olds kids that have never played in these situations before and never had to play these types of minutes. They have to go through that experience. There’s nothing easy about learning it.”

With the one point in overtime, the Rebels climbed a single point ahead of the Edmonton Oil Kings for last place in the WHL.

The Rebels are back on the ice on Jan. 19 against the Prince Albert Raiders.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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