The Red Deer Rebels did everything they could to tie the game in the third period but they couldn’t buy a goal.
Despite outshooting the Prince Albert Raiders 33-20, the Rebels were held off the scoreboard in the last two periods in a 2-1 loss at the Art Hauser Centre in P.A.
Head coach Steve Konowalchuk said they did some good things Friday night but would have liked to score more than one goal.
“The chances were certainly there,” he said. “We had a lot of offensive zone time and for the most part the compete level was there.”
“There could have been a few times a little harder compete offensively but overall the chances were there we just didn’t score.”
The first period was a physical one with plenty of hits on both sides including a pair of boarding penalties along the boards by the Raiders on forward Kalan Lind.
The first goal didn’t come until under four minutes left in the opening period.
Just as the powerplay expired forward Jace Iskey buried a rebound in front of the net to score his 20th goal of the season.
In the second, the Rebels continued to apply pressure offensively outshooting the Raiders 23 - 17. However, goaltender Max Hildebrand stood tall including a fantastic save early in the frame.
A turnover in the Rebels’ own end proved costly as it ended up on the stick of the Raiders rookie forward Ryder Ritchie who buried the opportunity near the midway point of the frame.
With 6:41 remaining in the second the Raiders took a 2-1 lead when Sloan Stanick notched his 13th of the season.
A scoreless third period, sealed the Rebels’ fate as they were held off the scoresheet in the final frame. The special team’s play was also not up to par failing to capitalize on six man-advantage opportunities.
“The powerplays could have been a difference maker for us in the game,” Konowalchuk added.
“That’s one area I thought offensively we could have competed a little bit harder to recover pucks and maybe get us over the hump to score a goal.”
Konowalchuk explained they also tried new players on the powerplay which changes the chemistry a bit but Konowalchuk didn’t make excuses for his team.
“The guys that were out there we still couldn’t get it done.”
Hildebrand was fantastic for the Raiders with 32 saves and rookie Rhett Stoesser’s eight-game winning streak came to an end Friday evening despite making 18 saves.
These types of games happen throughout a long 68-game regular season and Konowalchuk wants his team to take away the positives.
“Sometimes you win a game that maybe you needed more but today for the most part played a strong game … but it’s still not a win so we got to come back out tomorrow and get going,” he said.
On Saturday the Rebels will head to Saskatoon to take on the Blades at 6 p.m. mountain time in what should be an entertaining matchup between the second and third place team in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.