The Red Deer Rebels showed they have the talent to compete in the WHL playoffs Friday night.
For 65 minutes, they went blow-for-blow with the Eastern Conference leading Prince Albert Raiders, only to lose 2-1 in a shootout.
It was the third consecutive game Red Deer earned at least a point, to help keep pace in the wild-card race with Brandon and Calgary.
Neither the Rebels nor Raiders found twine in the first 40 minutes and it wasn’t until almost the midway point of the third that Prince Albert broke the deadlock.
Noah Gregor beat Ethan Anders with 11:31 to go in the game but Brandon Hagel willed the Rebels back even.
Hagel notched his 38th of the year and 100th career WHL goal with 5:38 left in the third, streaking into the slot and blasting a shot glove side on Ian Scott.
Gregor, Dante Hanoun and Brett Leason all beat Anders in the shootout, while Hagel missed and Cameron Hausinger scored for Red Deer.
Anders was a big reason the Rebels were even able to pick up a point. He stopped 20 shots in the first two periods and 17 of 18 in the final frame. Prince Albert outshot Red Deer 18-3 in the third and 40-24 in the contest.