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Rebels fall to Blades in offensive showdown

Back at it on Saturday
Red Deer Rebels forward Carson Bernie battles for the puck against the Swift Current Broncos on Friday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Broncos 7

Rebels 5

The Red Deer Rebels pushed in the third period but were unable to find the equalizer in a 7-5 loss to the Swift Current Broncos on Friday night.

The Rebels pulled their goalie after Mats Lindgren brought them within a goal of tying with less than a minute left but the Broncos notched an empty netter.

Head coach Derrick Walser said their defensive struggles were mainly in the Broncos transition attack.

“They scored on their chances. We had quite a few chances we didn’t capitalize on and they scored on every one they had,” he said.

“The one thing the guys did do tonight was play with a lot of passion and heart. We made those big mistakes and it cost us.”

Red Deer struggled on special teams. The failed to score on three powerplay opportunities including a five minute powerplay. Meanwhile, the Broncos powered in two powerplay goals on four attempts.

“They’re a good powerplay and right now we’re having a tough time putting the puck back in the net on our special teams. It’s something we’re constantly trying to work on and improve. We’ve just got to keep our heads up and push the right way.”

The Broncos jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Matthew Ward got around a defender and fired a shot past netminder Chase Wutzke just over two minutes into the game.

Just a few minutes later, Broncos forward Josh Filmon scored his 25th of the season to keep his team on top.

The Rebels responded midway through the period when forward Frantisek Formanek was sprung on a breakaway and scored.

Five minutes later rookie defenceman Luke Vlooswyk, who was called up for an injured Hunter Mayo, notched his career WHL goal in his second career game. Captain Kai Uchacz fed Vlooswyk who was charging toward the net and hammered in a shot.

The Broncos fired in two more goals before the end of the opening period scored by Luke Mistelbacher and Connor Hvidston to lead 4-2. The latter came on the powerplay with just 20 seconds to go.

In the second period, the Rebels brought themselves within one of tying it when rookie forward Samuel Drancak notched his 10th of the year. He jumped on the loose puck when it popped out in front of the net.

In the dying seconds of the middle frame, the Broncos restored their two-goal lead when Conor Geekie scored with seven seconds left on the powerplay.

The Broncos extended their lead just over 40 seconds into the final frame off the stick of Mistelbacher who scored his second of the game.

However, the Rebels answered three minutes later. Forward Jhett Larson fired one in from the slot off the feed from Lindgren.

Lindgren scored with the goalie pulled with one minute remaining to bring them within one but the Broncos fired in an empty netter.

Goaltender Chase Wutzke was pulled at the end of the first period and was replaced by Rhett Stoesser who made nine saves on 11 shots.

The Rebels will be back in action on Saturday at the Peavey Mart Centrium for a matchup with the Calgary Hitmen.

“The guys never quit. You’ve got to give them a lot of praise… they never gave up. Every mistake we made it ended up in the back of our net. We’ve got to clean that area up.”

Red Deer Rebels captain Kai Uchacz scans the ice to pass the puck in the offensive zone on Friday night against the Swift Current Broncos. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels rookie defenceman Luke Vlooswyk scored his first WHL goal in the first period of Friday’s matchup against the Swift Current Broncos at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

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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