Warriors 5 Rebels 2
Mistakes proved costly for the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night as they dropped their second straight game.
Despite outshooting the Moose Jaw Warriors by over 20 shots 43-21, the Rebels lost a frustrating game 5-2 at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Assistant coach Ryan Colville said for 95 per cent of the game, he thought his team outplayed the opposition.
“Every little detail matters,” he said. “We had three or four mistakes more than they did and these mistakes at the end (of the day) kill you.”
“I thought their goalie played pretty well. I think we could always get hungrier around the net. We can always dig in a little bit more around the net. In the offensive zone in general, just a little bit more digging and a little bit more willing to go to the hard areas and battle for goals.
“Not all goals are going to come easy. No goals come easy.”
The contest marks their first regulation loss since Nov. 19 against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Since then, Red Deer has dropped two games in extra time to the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Saskatoon Blades.
Warriors forward Brayden Yager, who won the gold medal in the Centrium last summer with Team Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, continued his success, sniping his 15th goal of the year just over a minute into the game.
He was the lone goal scorer of the period before the Rebels netted the equalizer less than a minute into the middle frame. Defenceman Mats Lindgren took advantage of a bounce off the end boards and fired in a shot past Warriors netminder Connor Ungar.
Despite outshooting Moose Jaw 20-4 in the second, the Rebels couldn’t buy another goal in the frame but the Warriors potted two more scored by Matthew Gallant and Maximus Wanner to take a 3-1 lead into the final period.
“I thought we played hard. We got a lot of guys going tonight and I thought everyone responded well coming off of last night but you get tired of the moral victories you’ve got to start putting up wins,” he added.
Defenceman Christoffer Sedoff started the third period off strong firing a shot through the five-hole just 33 seconds in after moving up in the slot.
Midway through the period, Warriors forward Korczak restored their two-goal lead. With minutes left the Rebels pulled the goalie in an attempt to make a push but Korczak fired a rink-wide shot into the net to sink the Rebels.
Colville reiterated the mistakes were the difference in the game and explained they need to clean it up before next week weeks matchups.
“We’ve got to make sure that everybody knows every time they’re on the ice they’ve got to execute their role,” Colville said.
Red Deer had plenty of powerplay opportunities but were unable to capitalize on all five chances. Colville said they got some good looks and offensive zone time but came out empty-handed.
The Rebels were without Kalan Lind on a last-minute lineup change due to a lower-body injury. Rookie defenceman Quentin Bourne was substituted in for the injured forward.
“You lose a player like that and it’s always going to hurt you but you need other guys to step up. We’ve got a lot of good players in that room so we trust them and we think that we should be able to make up for him not being there,” he said.
Rebels goaltender Kyle Kelsey struggled all night, making just 16 saves and on the other end former Rebel Connor Ungar played a fantastic game with 41 saves.
Red Deer will now regroup ahead of a three-game set next week that starts Wednesday against the Medicine Hat Tigers and back-to-back matchups against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday and Saturday.