Red Deer Rebels forward Chris Douglas scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to help the club pick up a crucial two points against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Rebels pick up big win over Lethbridge

Rebels 3 Hurricanes 1

The Red Deer Rebels escaped a key divisional game with two points.

Despite being outshot 27-14 in the final 40 minutes at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, the Rebels picked up a 3-1 win Friday night.

With the victory, the Rebels temporarily pulled ahead in the Central Division at 55 points, one ahead of the Hurricanes for second with 54. Red Deer also has two games in hand and are just one point behind Edmonton for first with four games in hand.

“It was huge, especially because this is a really big three-in-three for us. Picking up two points on the road is huge, gives us that confidence that we can get rolling,” said Rebels assistant coach Ryan Colville.

“(Lethbridge) is not an easy team to beat, definitely not easy to beat in their home rink.”

Ethan Anders was first star on the night with 35 saves and he turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the final frame to preserve the victory.

“Andy was good, he made some big saves down the stretch. In the last little bit, they had some chances and in the third – they had some power plays,” added Colville.

“We played well in our own zone positionally and blocked some shots. Obviously, we’d like to play a little bit more moving up the ice.”

Brandon Hagel registered two assists and now sits five points shy of moving past Aaron Asham for the all-time franchise lead at 161.

Jeff de Wit opened the scoring for visitors with just 33 seconds left in the first. It was the 23rd goal of the year for the Red Deer product.

Hurricanes forward Jordy Bellerive tied the game midway through the second but Chris Douglas buried a crucial power play tally to regain the advantage late in the frame.

“The type of goal it was, (Douglas) and (Josh) Tarzwell playing net front and they get that scramble goal. A garbage goal that was a play around the net. Just being in hard areas. It was a huge goal to get the lead back,” Colville said.

Red Deer finished the night one-for-six on the power play, while the Hurricanes were scoreless in all four of its opportunities.

The Rebels and Hurricanes do battle at the Centrium Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Red Deer will finish the weekend on the road in Calgary.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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