Ice 5 Rebels 4 (SO)
CRANBROOK, B.C. — For the most part the Red Deer Rebels outplayed the Kootenay Ice in their Western Hockey League encounter Tuesday.
But a poor start and an inability to score in the shootout told the tale as the Rebels lost 5-4 to the Ice in a shootout before 2,811 fans.
“We lost the hockey game in the first 10 minutes,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “We were the better team in the last 50 minutes, but the first 10 we weren’t prepared to play, stood around and got behind 2-0.”
Steele Boomer beat Rebels starting netminder Kraymer Barnstable on a rebound at 10:19 of the opening period and Dustin Sylvester made it 2-0 17 seconds later on a breakaway.
“We told the guys before the game that this is a tough building to play in and they’re hard to beat here. But we weren’t ready and as a result we were chasing them most of the night,” added Wallin.
But the Rebels showed why they went into the game with a 6-2-0-2 record in their last 10 starts as they weren’t about to hand the game to the home side.
Andrej Kudrna notched his 16th of the season before the end of the first period, which jump-started the offence.
“We battled hard and did a lot of good things and responded to adversity as we had to come from two goals down three times,” said Wallin.
Despite outplaying the Ice in the middle period the Rebels trailed 3-1 and 4-2.
Kootenay’s third goal by defenceman Jagger Dirk was a weak bouncer from the point and brought an end to Barnstable’s evening. He played 26 minutes and 22 seconds and made 11 saves.
Darcy Kuemper came on and allowed one goal — a screened wrist shot by Kevin King at 18:58 of the second period — on 13 shots.
Landon Ferraro, who was making his first start in a month after recovering from a knee injury, showed he hadn’t lost his scoring touch as he notched his first of two on the evening at 16:38 which made the score 3-2.
John Persson got his third of the season at 19:11 to give the Rebels the momentum heading into the third period.
Ferraro eventually tied the score at 16:33 against Ice netminder Todd Mathews.
“Landon played well,” said Wallin.
“He looked like he was never away. His conditioning was fine and he had good jump and took a regular shift. And he scored, which is what he does. We’re certainly glad to have him back.”
The Rebels outshot the Ice 3-1 in the extra five-minute period before heading to the shootout, which hasn’t been kind of the Red Deer club this season. The loss was the third in four shootouts and after Willie Coetzee and Ferraro both missed the Rebels have managed to score just once in the four shootouts.
“When you’re playing well you go into the shootout with a lot of confidence, but it didn’t work out,” said Wallin. “We would have liked the extra point, but that’s the way it goes.”
The Rebels won’t have much time to rest as they return home to face the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight at 7 p.m. at the Centrium.
“It’s another big test as they have a good team, but we feel we have a good team as well . . . we just need to be prepared to play,” said Wallin.
• The Rebels sit at 19-15-0-3 which leaves them in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 41 points, one back of Swift Current, two behind Prince Albert and four behind Kootenay.