Red Deer Rebels can’t hang on to lead

Hitmen 3 Rebels 2

The Red Deer Rebels luck in overtime was bound to run out eventually.

On Friday night, on a broken play in overtime, the Calgary Hitmen (11-14-2) cashed in as Rebels’ goalie Lasse Petersen got caught out of the Rebels’ net. Just like that it was a 3-2 win for the home Hitmen in WHL action.

Before Friday, the Rebels had won six of eight OT games this season.

Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter said it was unfortunate not to collect the full two points on Friday, but liked the way his team played in their second road game this week.

“I thought five on five we were really good, played well in Medicine Hat too,” said Sutter. “After the first period we played well (there) and tonight we played well.”

Forward Beck Malenstyn had two goals for the Hitmen, including the tap-in winner and the game-tying goal late in the third.

Early on, the Rebels controlled the play and after a good forecheck in the first, Michael Spacek picked up rebound and put it past Cody Porter. The Winnipeg draft pick now has 15 goals on the year and is up to 39 points in 29 games. He also has points in 24 of 29 games for the Rebels this season.

Hitmen forward Jakob Stukel tied the game late in the first on a power play goal.

Evan Polei rocketed a wrist shot high glove side on a breakaway early in the third for his 12th of the year. That put the Rebels in the driver’s seat, but the lead didn’t last long when Hitmen left winger Malenstyn tied the game on a point shot that was redirected on the way past Petersen.

Petersen came out of his net near his own blueline in overtime and dove for a loose puck, but after missing it, Malenstyn potted his second of the night to win the game.

The Rebels failed to convert on the power play again on Friday night and now have gone 13 straight opportunities without a man-advantage marker.

“Our power play has moved up from 18th or 19th to 14th going into our last two games, we’ve had opportunities that we didn’t capitalize five on three we didn’t get anything out of it,” he said. “We had about a minute and 40 seconds and we never capitalized. Instead of being up 2-0 we we’re tied 1-1 after one because they scored right after on their power play. If there was one downside, that might have been it. For the most part our power play has been better.”

With a win in Medicine Hat, the Lethbridge Hurricanes have 36 points and also moved one point ahead of the Rebels in the Central Division.

The Rebels (15-12-5) are back home Saturday night against the Brandon Wheat Kings with puck drop set for 7 p.m. and the Centrium.

byron.hackett@bprda.wpengine.com

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