Rebels 3 Raiders 2
PRINCE ALBERT — It wasn’t pretty, but road wins rarely are.
The Red Deer Rebels improved to 3-0-1-0 in their last four games as they held on for a 3-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders in Western Hockey league action on Friday night.
The Rebels jumped out to a 2-0 lead 10:25 into the first period and dictated play from there on.
“It was a real good effort, a real good road effort,“ said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “A lot of guys contributed and it was two big points for us.”
Willie Coetzee opened the scoring 1:31 into the first period with his 14th goal of the season and Lane Scheidl made it 2-0 mid-way through the frame with his first goal in eight games in a Rebels’ jersey since comig over in a trade with the Vancouver Giants. It was his third marker of the season.
Craig McCallum cut the lead in half with his 16th goal of the season for the Raiders at 11:06 of the second period. Anderj Kudrna, however, scored five minutes later with his 14th of the campaign to re-establish Red Deer’s two-goal lead.
The Rebels kept the lead until the waning seconds of the game when Raiders captain Dustin Cameron potted his 18th with the goalie pulled. But that’s as close as the Raiders got.
“It’s always nice to play with the lead instead of playing from behind, especially on the road,” said Wallin. “We came out hard, I thought we played real well through the first period, we established our game and I thought we really controlled the play in the offensive zone. We had a great forecheck going and really didn’t give them much except for a couple of turnovers.”
Darcy Kuemper was huge for the Rebels making 37 stops including 14 in the third period and turning away Ryan Harrison on a penalty shot with just over seven minutes to go.
The Rebels also had a strong night on special teams, killing off all six Raider power plays while scoring on one of their own four.
The Rebels’ (16-14-0-1) weekend trip to Saskatchewan continues tonight in Saskatoon (21-6-1-3), where they will face a well rested Blades team intent on avenging a 5-1 loss at the Centrium last weekend.
“The guys are feeling confident right now . . . we’re working hard, and we have a group that’s real committed to one another right now,” said Wallin. “Tomorrow’s going to be a tough game but we know when we play well we can play with anybody.”
l Cass Mappin’s time as a Vancouver Giant lasted roughly two and a half months.
Traded from the Rebels to the Giants on Sept. 29 in exchange for fellow forward Andrej Kudrna, Mappin, 19, was dealt from Vancouver to the Regina Pats on Thursday.
It was the second major trade in as many days for Regina general manager Brent Parker, who also acquired rookie defenceman Mitch Spooner, 17, and the rights to forward prospect Mikael Jung, 17. The Giants got goalie prospect Derek Tendler, Regina’s first-round pick in the 2010 CHL import draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft.
“You could probably say I was a little surprised at first,” Mappin told the Regina Leader-Post from Vancouver. “I haven’t really found my footing all that much in Vancouver. I went down with the flu and then got a shoulder injury. I started to come on but just couldn’t do what, I guess, they wanted me to. I was struggling points-wise. I felt like I was helping the team out in other ways but they informed me they wanted to go younger. I have to respect their decision.”
Mappin insisted he’s pleased with the move.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “They told me they want to be a contender. I can very well see us being a contender now. Not because I’m coming in but because they had a good fold of guys beforehand. With the addition of myself and (Carter) Ashton and (Craig) Orfino (both acquired on Wednesday from Lethbridge), we’ll be a more dynamic team, I guess you could say, and a hard-working gritty team on top of that. It’s going to be good, I can tell you that right now.”