The Red Deer Rebels winning streak was bound to end at some point.
On Friday night their five-game run came to an abrupt stop in a 5-2 loss at the Peavey Mart Centrium to the third-place Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Rebels took a total of eight penalties, which led to two powerplay goals in the first period for the Warriors.
“We can’t take those penalties we’re not saving goals,” said head coach Derrick Walser. “It’s nice to be aggressive and I liked how hard we forechecked, how many bodies we banged, but we can’t take those penalties.”
The Warriors took a 2-0 lead early in the first period off the stick of the Western Hockey League’s leading scorer Jagger Firkus and nearly three minutes later by Brayden Schuurman.
The first was Firkus’ 24th goal of the year off the one-timer from the left circle that beat Rebels goaltender Rhett Stoesser.
Firkus followed that up with his 48th point of the season assisting on Schuurman’s goal from the slot.
However, it didn’t take the Rebels long to respond with two of their own.
Less than a minute after Moose Jaw’s goal, Rebels Jhett Larson tipped in a Nicholas Andrusiak shot past goaltender Jackson Unger.
Twelve seconds later, Ollie Josephson carried the puck to the net off the faceoff and passed it through the crease to Talon Brigley who fired it into the open net.
“Five on five I thought we were doing a pretty good job today. They’re a potent offensive team and I thought we limited their chances for the first two periods, except for our special teams,” Walser added.
At the midway point of the second period, the Warriors took a 3-2 lead scored by Brayden Yager. The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect was fed in the slot and fired it into the top right corner.
Moose Jaw added the insurance goal midway through the third period from Atley Calvert who knocked one in on the offensive rush.
Approximately five minutes later, Calvert notched his second of the game off the pass from Yager as the Warriors powerplay expired.
“We can’t give them that many looks and in the third we lost our composure. There it is game’s over,” Walser said.
On top of the Rebels’ eight penalties, some of which were questionable calls, Red Deer failed to score on two powerplay attempts.
The Rebels faithful at the Peavey Mart Centrium were upset at the officiating crew who called a delay of game penalty on Matteo Fabrizi when it appeared to go off a helmet.
Forward Ollie Josephson was also called for a crosscheck after a Warrior lost his edge and fell to the ice.
Regardless if they were the right call or not, Walser isn’t making any excuses for his team.
“We’ve got to control our emotions and control how we play. We want to be on our toes and aggressive, which we were. We’ve still got to be smart.”
Stoesser made 32 saves for the Rebels meanwhile Warriors Jackson Unger stopped 30 of 32 shots in the victory.
The Rebels will be back at the Centrium on Saturday night against the Everett Silvertips for their annual Toque and Teddy Bear Toss game at 7 p.m.