Rebels 4 Tigers 2
Somewhere along the road to Medicine Hat, the Red Deer Rebels picked up their lunch pales and got ready to go to work.
In a season series that has been utterly one-sided in the Tigers favour through three games, the Rebels scraped their way to two points with a gritty 4-2 win in WHL action on Wednesday night.
Medicine Hat, the Central Division leaders outscored the Rebels 18-7 in three contests at the Centrium this year, but Red Deer pestered the sleeping Tigers in their own den to snatch the win.
“We played better,” Rebels head coach and GM Brent Sutter said about the difference between Wednesday night, and the three games previous against the Tigers. “We had quiet a few turnovers in the first period but settled down after that and played much better the last two periods. We were the better team in the last two periods.”
Lasse Petersen made 26 saves and won his fourth decision in five games, standing tall when called upon on several occasions early and as time wound down late in the game. He’s taken the reins in the last week as the Rebels starting netminder, as his home nation of Denmark will likely soon come calling for the World Junior Hockey Championships.
“He’s been better, he made some saves for us again tonight, obviously he’d like the second one back but other than that, he played a real solid game for us,” Sutter said.
Josh Mahura opened the scoring for the Rebels 17:28 into the first period on a point shot that eluded Tigers netminder Nick Schneider. Quickly, Medicine Hat tied the game with 31 seconds left in the first.
After a slow-paced second period, Rebels forward Evan Polei snipped his 11th goal of the year on a wrister that snuck over the glove of Schneider for the only goal of the second.
Ryan Jevne tied the game for the Tigers on a shot from centre ice, when an unfortunate bounce slipped past Petersen.
Rebels captain Adam Musil picked up his goalie with the game-winning goal on a wraparound midway through the third. The St. Louis Blues draft pick added an empty-net goal, and now has seven goals in his past four games.
Grayson Pawlenchuk also checked back into the Rebels lineup for the first time in over a month and solidified the left wing position alongside Michael Spacek and Brandon Hagel.
“They’ve played together in the past, they played together last year and they played together this year too. I thought it came together after they were better with the puck as the first period went on their turnovers were limited and they were a better line for us,” Sutter added.
The Rebels will travel to Calgary to take on the Hitmen on Friday before welcoming the Brandon Wheat Kings to town on Saturday night.