The WHL preseason has been a learning experience for the entire Red Deer Rebels roster.
Sunday was another session where the Rebels were forced to take notes, dropping a 6-2 decision to the Central Division rival Calgary Hitmen.
The loss dropped the Rebels preseason record to a menial 1-3-1-0 clip.
Evan Toth scored just a minute and 14 seconds into the contest and although Jayden Grubbe tied it up with his first of the preseason less than 90 seconds later, it was all downhill from there.
Jonas Peterek, Riley Fiddler-Schultz and Adam Kydd added first period tallies for the Hitmen in front a nearly 5,000 strong at the Saddledome.
Rebels forward Jace Isley beat Jack McNaughton from deep along the ice for his first of the preseason midway through the second to cut the deficit.
Just 42 seconds later, Josh Prokop picked the pocket of a pair of Rebels’ defenceman and ripped a wrist shot along the ice past Ethan Anders on a partial breakaway.
Anders played 34:15 and stopped 16 of 17 shots in the loss. Byron Fancy started the game for the Rebels and allowed five goals on 13 shots.
Only four returning players dressed for the Rebels in the loss, including Dallon Melin, defenceman Ryan Gottfried and Chase Leslie.
The Rebels drop the puck on the regular season on Sept. 21 at the Centrium at 7 p.m. against the Edmonton Oil Kings.