Rebels find a way past Giants

For the better part of 55 minutes, the Red Deer Rebels looked like a team playing its fourth game in five nights.

Red Deer Rebels goalie Darcy Kuemper makes one of his 38 saves against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday at the Centrium as the Rebels scraped out a 3-2 shootout win in front of 5

Red Deer Rebels goalie Darcy Kuemper makes one of his 38 saves against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday at the Centrium as the Rebels scraped out a 3-2 shootout win in front of 5

Rebels 3 Giants 2 (SO)

For the better part of 55 minutes, the Red Deer Rebels looked like a team playing its fourth game in five nights.

But what’s that old saying? Good teams find a way to win?

The Rebels were a step behind the Vancouver Giants for much of Saturday’s Western Hockey League contest at the Centirum, but got a 38-save performance from Darcy Kuemper and recorded a 3-2 shootout win before 5,254 fans.

“It was a tough game, no question,” said Rebels head coach/VP of hockey operations Jesse Wallin. “I thought we looked like a mentally tired hockey team tonight.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes.”

Rebels rookie rearguard Matt Dumba opened the scoring 8:40 into the game when he busted to the net and redirected a nifty feed from Andrej Kudrna past netminder Mark Segal.

Despite holding a 17-9 advantage in shots and a 29-16 edge after 40 minutes, the visitors were unable to get a puck past a razor-sharp Kuemper.

The Rebels got what appeared to be a possible insurance goal at 1:13 into the third period, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hit Colin Archer with a drop-pass and the captain scored from the low slot.

But 49 seconds later, with Red Deer’s Josh Cowen off for elbowing, Neil Manning’s point shot through a crowd struck Kuemper and trickled over the line.

Jordan Martinook followed with a wrap-around goal at 4:34 and just like that, the game was even.

“We were fortunate to be up 2-0 in the third period,” said Wallin. “But we were good the last six or seven minutes. That was as well as we played all night.”

But despite applying pressure in the late stages, the Rebels couldn’t find a winning goal.

The overtime was scoreless and the teams lined up for the shootout, in which Nugent-Hopkins and Daulton Siwak, with the eventual winner, were the successful snipers among the five Red Deer shooters. Meanwhile, Kuemper allowed just a single shootout goal, to Craig Cunningham.

“I got into the game early. They had a lot of shots in the first period,” said Kuemper, named the game’s first star after recording his first shootout win of the season. “I felt confident early and I kind of had the mindset that I wasn’t going to lose tonight.”

The victory allowed the Rebels to maintain their three-point lead over Kootenay for first place in the Central Division. Red Deer, which picked up seven points in the four games they played since Tuesday, also moved a point up on Saskatoon for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“In the first period our attention to detail just wasn’t there, although the guys were working hard,” said Wallin. “But when you’ve played the amount of hockey that we have lately . . . we just seemed to be a step behind and we made a lot of mistakes as far as just little breakdowns here and there. We also made a lot of needless turnovers that were really just mental mistakes.

“We made it hard on ourselves, but at the same time you have to find a way to win these kinds of games and we were able to gut it out tonight.”

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick sign memorandum of understanding

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, Chris Kempczinski, then-incoming president of McDonald’s USA, speaks during a presentation at a McDonald’s restaurant in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, McDonald’s said the company will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting in 2022. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
McDonald’s to mandate anti-harassment training worldwide

New standards starting in January 2022

Innisfail RCMP say Brandon Pitts is missing. (Photo contributed)
FOUND: Missing central Alberta man

Innisfail RCMP request public’s help

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircrafts are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet says it will extend its temporary suspension of international sun flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean until June 4. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
WestJet extends temporary suspension of international sun flights until June

Customers with affected itineraries will be notified of cancellations

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

In this Nov. 12, 1995, file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy looks on during the second quarter of the Bills game against the Atlanta Falcons at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bill Sikes, File
Former Alouettes head coach Marv Levy tops 2021 Canadian Football Hall of Fame class

The ‘21 class will boost the Hall of Fame’s membership to 316

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, provides an update on health system preparations in Nova Scotia for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in Halifax on Friday, March 6, 2020. Strang says plans are in place to stage the women’s world hockey championship in the province next month with limited spectators.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Nova Scotia plans to allow limited crowds at women’s world hockey championship

All 10 teams in Halifax and Truro must participate in a 14-day quarantine

”Kim’s Convenience” cast member Andrew Phung poses in this undated handout photo. “Kim’s Convenience” has just ended but Andrew Phung is already “knee-deep in ideas and stories” for his next project, “Run the Burbs.” The Calgary-raised actor, who played comical car-rental employee Kimchee on “Kim’s,” co-created the upcoming comedy series and will star in it as a stay-at-home dad with an entrepreneur wife and two kids. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - CBC
‘Kim’s Convenience’ actor Andrew Phung on crafting his own series, ‘Run the Burbs’

‘Run the Burbs’ production could start in the summer or fall

Canisia Lubrin poses in this undated handout photo. Rising literary talent Canisia Lubrin is among the Canadian finalists for the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize. The Griffin Trust announced the three homegrown wordsmiths and four international poets on this year’s short list on Wednesday. Lubrin, who recently received the US$165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize, is nominated for “The Dyzgraphxst” (pronounced diss-graff-ist), published by McClelland and Stewart. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Anna Keenan
Rising writer Canisia Lubrin among Canadian finalists for $65K Griffin Poetry Prize

Griffin will award two winners, one international and one Canadian

A prairie fire in the Burnt Lake district. (Photo by Bert Fors via Red Deer Archives)
Michael Dawe: Fires of spring 1931 in central Alberta

Central Alberta has just come through a relatively warm and dry winter… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Opinion: Boris Johnson is to blame for what’s happening in Ireland

Twenty-three years of peace in Northern Ireland, after a sectarian war that… Continue reading

Canada's Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, fom left, celebrate after winning women's gold medal match against Brazil's team at the Beach Volley Worldtour Major Series, in Vienna, Austria on August 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ronald Zak
Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Most Read