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Red Deer Rebels beat Oil Kings for third consecutive victory

Rebels end 2022 on a high note
Red Deer Rebels forward Ollie Josephson flicks the puck past Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender Kolby Hay earlier this season. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Rebels continued their winning ways on Friday.

While on the road in Edmonton to take on the Oil Kings for the eighth time this season, the Rebels left no doubt beating the defending champs 6-2.

The win marks Red Deer’s third consecutive victory since the holiday break and head coach Steve Konowalchuk said it was great to see his team ready to compete.

“It was good to see they were ready to roll off of a big win. They got refocused and had the right mindset for pretty much the whole game,” he said.

Konowalchuk often preaches the importance of having multiple players and lines contribute night in and night out. On Friday night he got just that as the Rebels had six different goal-scorers in the outing.

“Everybody that was in the lineup was ready to go,” he said. “You need everybody going and again it doesn’t take too many guys to not have their ‘A’ game to start causing the game to go in the wrong direction.”

Despite outshooting the Oil Kings 12-4 in the opening period, the Rebels didn’t score until the midway point when captain Jayden Grubbe banked in the rebound while in the crease.

Edmonton got the equalizer approximately five minutes after scored by Noah Boyko to tie it 1-1.

However, in the final minute and a half, Red Deer took a 3-1 lead when defenceman Matteo Fabrizi and forward Jace Isley notched a pair of goals roughly 25 seconds apart. Fabrizi hammered in a one-timer, meanwhile, Isley sniped a shot in the top corner while on the penalty kill.

The Rebels took a stronghold on the game two minutes into the middle frame. Forward Kai Uchacz continued his impressive play scoring his seventh goal in three games to increase Red Deer’s lead to 4-1. It was also his 30th tally of the season which leads the Western Hockey League.

Edmonton added their second of the game at the 5:56 mark of the second period scored by Rilen Kovacevic.

With four minutes remaining defenceman Hunter Mayo continued his dominance against the Oil Kings hammering in his 13th goal of the season, his seventh against Edmonton.

In the final minutes of the middle period, Kalan Lind put the finishing touches on a 6-2 win notching his ninth goal of the season.

There were no goals in the third period and Rebels goaltender Rhett Stoesser stood strong in his third consecutive start between the pipes with 17 saves. Both Edmonton goalies played Friday night making a total of 25 saves. Kolby Hay had the start but allowed four goals on 13 shots. Logan Cunningham allowed two on 18 shots.

“[Stoesser] was solid,” Konowalchuk added. “He did what he had to do. I wouldn’t say he was the most tested than some of the games he’s been in but the saves he had to make he made.”

With the win, the Rebels end 2022 on a high note and will be back in action on New Year’s Day in Calgary to take on the Hitmen at 1 p.m.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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