For the first time this season, the Red Deer Rebels are on a third-game losing skid.
This came as a result of a 3-2 loss Friday afternoon to the Brandon Wheat Kings that went to a shootout where all three of the Wheat Kings shooters scored.
Head coach Steve Konowalchuk said overall he thought his team executed the game plan and made an effort to not take as many penalties, which was a problem the last two games.
“We didn’t execute on some offensive chances we had and that was probably the difference in the game,” he said.
However, he hopes his team plays tougher in front of the net, more specifically taking possession of the puck on rebounds.
“We just want to be a little bit harder going to the net stopping rebounds and trying to get a few more rebound goals. We want to execute getting pucks to the net better and they really did a good job I thought of making a conscious effort of trying to be in shot lanes.
“We’ve got to be quicker at getting pucks to the net but territory-wise and offensive zone wise I thought that was the proper game plan the guys executed so you can’t judge it solely on results.”
While the Rebels were killing off a tripping penalty, five minutes into the first period forward KaiUchacz scored his league-leading 16th goal of the year after he was sprung on the breakaway to open the scoring.
Goaltender Kyle Kelsey made multiple highlight reel saves to keep the Wheat Kings scoreless through the first 20 minutes. He later finished with 15 saves in the loss.
It wasn’t until five minutes into the middle frame when Red Deer native Nate Danielson tied the game shorthanded and got the home team on the board. Minutes after that defenceman Andrei Malyavin stepped up in the slot and fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the net.
With less than five minutes remaining in the third period Rebels forward Craig Armstrong fired one in at the hash marks past goaltender Carson Bjarnason off the feed from Jace Isley.
After some back and forth in three-on-three overtime in Brandon, a shootout was needed to decide the game.
Wheat Kings first shooter Brett Hyland deked Kelsey out of position to slide the puck in to go on top. Uchacz was selected as the Rebels’ first shooter and sniped a wrist shot to even it up. Brandon’s Nolan Ritchie regained the lead and after Jace Isley failed to score the Wheat Kings had an opportunity to win the game. Jake Chiasson made no mistake to score the game-winner to break a six-game losing skid for the home team.
The Rebels will next head to Regina on Saturday to take on Connor Bedard and the Pats at 6 p.m. mountain time.