Giants 4 Rebels 1
VANCOUVER — It wasn’t quite the home coming super rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had planned.
The 16-year-old phenom from Burnaby was held off the scoreboard as the Red Deer Rebels fell 4-1 to the Vancouver Giants on Friday in WHL action.
The Rebels actually opened the scoring at 13:32 of the first period on a five-on-three power play when Andrej Kudrna — who the Rebels acquired earlier in the year from Vancouver in the deal that sent Cass Mappin to Vancouver — put one past Vancouver goalie Jamie Tucker. Tucker got a piece of the shot, but not enough of it as it dribbled across the line. It was Kudrna’s 12th goal and 24th point in 18 games since the trade. Vancouver native Landon Ferraro and Nathan green picked up the assists.
But the lead didn’t last long.
Four minutes later James Henry tied it on his eighth of the season on a Giants’ power play.
Brendan Gallagher on the power play with his 12th goal and Henry with his ninth scored in the second period to put the Giants up 3-1 heading into the final frame where J.T. Barnett put the game out of reach with his 13th marker of the season.
Tucker made 22 saves for the win while Darcy Kuemper was solid for the Rebels stopping 39 of the 43 shots he faced.
The Rebels (10-12-0-0) close out their five-game B.C. road trip looking for a win against the Chilliwack Bruins (8-11-1-3) tonight at 8 p.m. So far they are 2-2-0-0 on the Western swing.
Notes: Mappin has just two goals and seven assists in 16 games since being traded to the Giants but missed Friday’s game with a shoulder injury . . . The game was marred late when a line brawl broke out with 5.5 seconds remaining. Alex Petrovic led the Rebels with 17 minutes in penalties from the fight — five for fighting, two for cross checking and a game misconduct — while Cullen Morin picked up a fighting major and a game misconduct, Josh Cowen a fighting major, and Kuemper a double minor. Meanwhile Vancouver Giant Kevin Connauton was penalized the heaviest out of the scrum picking up two game misconducts and a fighting major for 25 minutes, Lane Sheidla major and a game misconduct and Greg Lamoureux a major.