Wheat Kings 6, Rebels 3
The Red Deer Rebels were not sharp for half a night and paid the price for it Friday in Brandon.
Red Deer scored two goals just 11 seconds apart early in the second period, but from there the wheels fell off.
The Wheat Kings scored three unanswered goals in the second and added three more in the final frame to earn a 6-3 win over the Rebels. Friday was the first of three games in three nights for Red Deer and also snapped a mini three-game win streak.
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said he liked what he saw from his team in the opening period and through the first 10 minutes of the second, but after the Wheat Kings tied the game on the power play, it quickly spiraled out of control.
“For the first 30 minutes we were O.K. and then we turned the puck over in the neutral zone and got capitalized on and then we took a bad penalty and got capitalized on. From that point on, we didn’t play very good,” Sutter said.
“I thought we weren’t assertive enough and our best players didn’t play very well from that point outside of (Reese) Johnson. Our goaltender wasn’t very good. He didn’t make the saves, I thought he fought it all night.”
Brandon Hagel notched his 13th goal of the year for Red Deer 2:55 into the second before Arshdeep Bains made it 2-0 at 3:06.
Despite taking the lead in the second, Red Deer had a huge opportunity to set the tone early. Just under five minutes into the game, Linden McCorrister took a charging major on Jacob Herauf and was kicked out of the game. Red Deer wasn’t able to score on the five-minute man-advantage.
“We never took charge. They were down to 10 forwards after the guy got kicked out of the game. We just didn’t respond to it,” Sutter said.
Lynden McCallum scored for the Wheat Kings just past the halfway point of the second to cut the deficit to a goal. Jeff de Wit and Brandon Hagel went to the penalty box 31 seconds apart and Stelio Mattheos made them pay on the ensuing advantage.
“We just got away from playing our game. We didn’t play the way we need to play,” Sutter said.
”We had too many turnovers and when you take penalties (and go down) five-on-three– we’ve taken too many of those this year where our penalty killers have put us in a bad situation for a long period of time. Our five-on-three penalty killing hasn’t been very good.”
Wheat Kings defenceman Neithan Salame scored his first career WHL goal with under three minutes left in the second to give Brandon a 3-2 advantage.
Marcus Sekundiak and Ben McCartney added third-period goals before Jeff de Wit managed to get one back for Red Deer late in the frame. Luka Burzan added an empty-net goal for Brandon.
Ethan Anders made 30 saves in the Red Deer net and Jiri Patera turned aside 40 shots for Brandon.
Red Deer will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday night and then travel to Swift Current to play the Broncos Sunday.