Rebels shutout by Lethbridge

Ninth straight loss and 15th of their last 16

If the Red Deer Rebels wanted some hope about turning things around, they only needed to look across the ice at their opponent in Lethbridge.

The Hurricanes had lost eight straight games before rattling off wins in seven of their next eight, including a 4-0 victory over the Rebels Wednesday in WHL action. Lethbridge goalie Stuart Skinner made 21 saves to record the shutout.

The loss was the ninth straight for Red Deer and they have just one win in the last 16 games. Their last victory came three weeks ago on Nov. 14 against the Victoria Royals.

“Wasn’t very good,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said. “I felt like we were taking steps to get out of this, I thought with our last few games we had played pretty good, tonight we had no jump at all. Had no emotion at all tonight. It was a not a good game.”

It started poorly for the Rebels on Wednesday as they were outshot 9-2 in the first period and scoring chances were few and far between. Red Deer didn’t record a shot in the opening frame until the 7:33 mark.

Hurricanes defender Egor Zudilov got a lucky bounce off a Rebels’ stick as the puck kicked up and over Red Deer goalie Riley Lamb midway through the first.

Lethbridge defenseman Ty Prefontaine scored on an odd-man rush early in the second and made it 2-0.

The Rebels showed a push late in the second, but couldn’t find the mark and continued early through the third, until Koletrane Wilson scored the third Lethbridge goal. Taylor Ross added another Hurricanes’ marker late in the final frame.

Lamb finished the night with 27 saves and was big when called upon in the first and most of the second.

”He was fine for two periods, obviously the third goal is not a good play on his part but he kept it close. First period, we had two shots on net and we were 14 minutes into the game, it was awful,” Sutter said.

Wednesday was the first of six meetings between the two teams this season and first since the Hurricanes beat Red Deer in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final last year.

With the loss, the Rebels also haven’t won a regular season game in Lethbridge since Jan. 13, 2015.

The Rebels are back on the ice Friday night when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors with puck drop set for 7 p.m. at the Centrium.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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