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Rebels shut out league-best Saskatoon Blades

Beat the best
Red Deer Rebels Hunter Mayo and Talon Brigley celebrate a goal against the Saskatoon Blades. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Rebels 5

Blades 0

The Red Deer Rebels walked into Saskatoon and took care of business.

In a matchup with the league-best Blades, the Rebels secured a 5-0 road win at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

The victory marks the second time this season the Rebels have beaten the Blades, which is something few teams can say they’ve done.

Captain Kai Uchacz led the way with four points and goaltender Chase Wutzke recorded 36 saves in first career Western Hockey League shutout.

In addition, the Rebels penalty kill came up clutch holding the Blades scoreless on four powerplays.

Head coach Derrick Walser said it was a great team effort on both ends of the ice.

“We did a good job playing five on five. Special teams did their job and Wutzke was outstanding,” he said.

“I thought we did a good job of protecting Wutzke in five-on-five play. We all know the Blades have a great powerplay and they didn’t make too many mistakes. Wutzke raised his level and to be an outstanding penalty kill team you need your goalie to come up big. He was excellent tonight.”

Despite getting outshot in the opening period the Rebels found their first goal less than seven minutes in.

Captain Kai Uchacz passed to forward Frantisek Formanek in front of the net who beat netminder Austin Elliott.

That was the lone goal of the first period but the Rebels tacked on three more in the second frame.

Midway through, Uchacz notched his second point of the night off a backhand pass to an open Ollie Josephson who scored high on the glove side.

Just under four minutes later, Talon Brigley fired in a shot from the right side of the net following a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play from Hunter Mayo and Josephson.

That goal led the Blades to make a goaltending change swapping Elliott for Evan Gardner after making just nine saves on 12 shots.

In the final two minutes of the period, Uchacz notched his third point of the evening with a goal on a rebound in front of the net. His tally took the Rebels into the second intermission with a 4-0 lead.

In the third period, Uchacz scored again for his 40th of the season to seal the deal for Red Deer. While charging toward the net, Uchacz fired a shot that went off the glove of Gardner and in.

With the win, the Rebels are now just two points back from the fourth-place Swift Current Broncos in the Eastern Conference.

Red Deer will now head to Prince Albert for a matchup with the Raiders on Wednesday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

“We’re hoping for a boost from this win but the main thing was how we played. I thought we did an excellent job in our defensive zone and we did a much better job with our turnovers in limiting our mistakes,” Walser said.

“It’s something to build on but the game’s over and done with. Now we’ve got to try to duplicate that tomorrow.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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