Hurricanes 5 Rebels 4 (Shootout)
The Red Deer Rebels ended the WHL preseason on the wrong side of a thriller.
Despite scoring defenceman Tanner Brown scoring the game-tying goal with just 1.9 seconds left in the third period, Red Deer fell 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Miguel Marques and Noah Chadwick both scored for the Hurricanes in the shootout, while Talon Brigley missed for the Rebels and Jhett Larson found the back of the net. Craig Armstrong had a chance to extend it, but could not convert.
Despite the loss head coach Steve Konowalchuk said his guys didn’t quit until the final buzzer.
“Guys didn’t quit. Pretty good start to the game I liked our game it was kind of a tale of two halves a little bit,” he said.
The Rebels have now lost all four preseason games with the regular season beginning on Friday.
In the first period, Red Deer got on the board after forward Kalan Lind crashed the net Craig Armstrong tapped in the loose puck.
It wasn’t until nearly midway through the second period when the Hurricanes fired one past Rebels goalie Kyle Kelsey on the powerplay by Noah Chadwick.
The Hurricanes pushed early in the third period, scoring two more goals within five minutes of each other. However, the Rebels made it interesting with just over three minutes remaining in the contest Quentin Bourne buried with a shot from the blue line.
Just under two minutes after that the Hurricanes restored their two goal lead but with the goalie pulled forward Carter Anderson brought the Rebels within one. And with less than two seconds left and the goalie pulled once again the Rebels got the equalizer.
Red Deer took an abundance of penalties, which resulted in 20 penalty minutes. Konowalchuk said the penalties got them in a lot of trouble and were their biggest issue.
“We know better than that – we can’t be doing that. We have good character in that room and you know it was an exhibition game there were exhibition mistakes… I’m glad the exhibition’s over and I’m sure the players will get ready to roll here for next weekend,” he said.
The Rebels bench boss said his team deserved the penalties and added his players need to control their sticks better and be ready for line changes to avoid too many men on the ice.
“The stick ones you’re just not ready to play. Getting to that middle part of the game and turnovers where we have to make harder plays on the wall to get it out. So, again things that we’re usually stronger at in those areas and it got away from us a little bit,” he said.
Despite letting in four goals, Rebels goaltender Kyle Kelsey was fantastic for the Rebels making 30 saves in his first full game of the preseason.
“He played really well. It was great to see, good for him. He gave us a chance to win the game and he played well,” Konowalchuk added.
Forward Kalan Lind left the ice during the game but it’s unclear if he was injured. Konowalchuk did not offer anymore details following the game.
The Rebels will open the regular season against the Oil Kings in Edmonton at 7 p.m. The home opener will take place Saturday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium against the Oil Kings at 7 p.m.