EDMONTON– The Red Deer Rebels have not enjoyed playing beyond 60 minutes this year.
After they started the season with three extra time wins, they have lost seven straight in extra time – two in the shootout and five in overtime.
That included Thursday night in Edmonton in the second half of a home-and-home with the Oil Kings.
Edmonton forward Trey Fix-Wolanksy ended the game with 12 seconds left in overtime to hand the Rebels a 4-3 loss.
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said the loss was a stark contrast from the 3-1 defeat on home ice Wednesday and that’s a positive sign for his club.
“We were solid tonight, we didn’t give up much. Solid in all three zones. We were certainly a different hockey team then we were last night and more like we played before the break,” Sutter said.
“If we play like this we’re going to win our share of games. We give ourselves a chance to win games, but last night we had no chance. Gotta have an effort and play the game the right way and play smart.”
Trailing 2-1 heading into the third, the Rebels battled back to take a lead with goals 90 seconds apart from Mason McCarty and Dawson Barteaux.
The Barteaux goal came on a blast from the point and McCarty notched his 17th of the season after some good forechecking from his linemates Arshdeep Bains and Grayson Pawlenchuk.
Barteaux’s tally was his first career WHL goal.
The momentum was short-lived for Red Deer after Conner McDonald scored his fourth of the season at 11:10 of the third to tie the game.
“We played well in the third, wasn’t a great goal on us but we played well,” Sutter said.
The Rebels had a few chances to win the game in overtime, including a Brandon Schuldhaus breakaway.
After the Oil Kings opened the scoring in the first, Pawlenchuk tipped a Schuldhaus point shot in to tie the game at one.
Ethan Anders turned aside 22 shots in the loss and Josh Dechaine stopped 23 for Edmonton.
Alex Alexeyev added two assists in the game and Schuldhaus also chipped in a helper to give Rebels’ defenceman five points on the night.
With a goal and an assist in the contest, Fix-Wolanksy has burned the Rebels for eight points in four games this season.
The loss dropped Red Deer to 10-19-5-2 on the season.
The Rebels are back on the ice Saturday in Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.