Pats 4 Rebels 2
It was a new month, but another loss for the Red Deer Rebels.
The Rebels said goodbye to a miserable November Friday night at the Centrium but welcomed December in with their seventh straight loss.
The Regina Pats, in game six of an eight-game road swing, took down the Rebels 4-2 in WHL action.
It was the 13th loss for Red Deer in their last 14 games.
“There’s things you can always work on and we just have to keep working and keep pushing and get through it,” Sutter said. “There’s no easy way at this. You can’t take shortcuts, you have to hit it head on and man up about it and just come back to the rink (Saturday) and get ready to play.”
Jacob Herauf had the only highlight for the home side with his first career WHL goal during a five-on-three midway through the second period.
Red Deer fell behind 2-0 in the first, after Sam Steel cashed in on the power play early and former Rebel Jake Leschyshyn scored his sixth of the year late in the frame.
Herauf’s tally cut the deficit to 2-1, but Matt Bradley buried a bouncing puck that came flying off the end boards to make it 3-1 Regina late in the third.
“In the third, in a 2-1 game we had opportunities but we couldn’t capitalize. On that power play we had a chance, couldn’t generate and then they got a power play and they scored on it. Wasn’t a lack of effort, the kids played hard. Just that there’s a fine line between winning and losing and right now we’re below that line,” Sutter said.
“We still need some guys to be better for us. There are still some guys that are better players than how they’re playing. Overall, I thought our team effort was good. I thought we battled and competed. There’s always going to be mistakes we know that. I thought our compete level was good.”
Reese Johnson added his 10th of the year for the Rebels with 2:06 left in the game but it was too little, too late.
With the extra attacker on the ice late in the game, Mason McCarty turned the puck over below the Rebels goal line and Steel scored his second of the night to ice the game. Steel finished with two goals and an assist in the victory.
With two power-play goals for the Pats in the contest, the Rebels have now allowed a power play goal in 13 straight games. Red Deer notched one goal on five man-advantage opportunities.
Ethan Anders made 27 saves in the loss, while Tyler Brown stopped 21 for the Pats.
Red Deer is right back at it Saturday night when they host the Calgary Hitmen in a Central Division battle with puck drop set for 7 p.m. at the Centrium.