Dawson Barteaux had played 51 games in a Red Deer Rebels uniform without scoring a goal before Thursday night.
The 17-year-old Rebels defenceman erased the goose egg in a loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, with a near perfect shot from the point through traffic.
”I think it was a little late but hopefully the floodgates are open and I keep rolling, ” said Barteaux, a Foxwarren, Man., native.
“I saw Alex (Alexeyev) get the puck and he passed it to me. I saw their guy was cheating back to Alex. I saw the lane and thankfully the goalie didn’t get it, had a good screen from Johnny (Reese Johnson). It was awesome.”
The 2018 NHL Draft eligible defender, rated a C prospect by NHL Central Scouting in the November rankings for the upcoming draft has been a quiet contributor for the Rebels this year. He has 11 assists to go along with his lone goal in 28 games.
He’s second among defenceman on the Rebels in points behind Alex Alexeyev, who he’s been paired up with more on the power play as the season has progressed. Barteaux said as a whole this year hasn’t gone as expected, but the team despite the troubles have remained united.
“If you just keep your mind focused on the good things that happen and keep pushing for more good things, all those bounces will start to go our way,” Barteaux said.
“It’s tough to manage it, seeing it happen so much. Hard to manage your emotions but you just have to keep a positive mindset. We’re brothers here, our leadership group is awesome and we’re a close group.”
The season has been a tough one for the Rebels and after a positive four-game stretch heading into the Christmas break, they have lost their last two games and will face a tough Medicine Hat Tigers squad Saturday night. Barteaux said the easy way to stop the Tigers is to prevent them from playing with the man-advantage.
“Need to shut down their power play. They have a good power play so if we shut that down and get ours going it will be good,” Barteaux said.
“Just need to shut down their top line, I know we can do it. Our top lines are just as good, if not better than theirs.”
The Rebels only victory of the month came back on Dec. 15 when they visited the Tigers when they dominated with a 4-1 win. Medicine Hat won 5-2 on Oct. 24 in the only other matchup this season between the Central Division rivals. The Tigers lead the division with a 19-14-2 record and 40 points. Red Deer is 10-19-5-2 and has 27 points.