Red Deer Rebels drop preseason game to Winterhawks

Winterhawks 6 Rebels 2

KENNEWICK, WA. — Some bad defensive play led to the Red Deer Rebels first loss of the preseason.

The Rebels dropped their game on Saturday, 6-2, to the Portland Winterhawks in Kennewick.

Forwards Akash Bains and Chris Douglas had the Rebels only two goals. Bains scored at 9:23 in the second period with defenceman Dawson Barteaux getting the helper. Defencemen Carson Sass and Jacob Herauf had the helpers on Douglas’ goal, coming late in the third period.

“We had a bit of a younger lineup but they are a speedy team and we didn’t win as many races as we wanted to. We kind of got out of position a couple times but it’s just a reaction,” said associate coach Jeff Truitt when the team returned on Monday.

“Guys like Hunter Donohoe and Sam Pouliot, this is their first kick at the can when it comes to this type of competition. It’s a learning process.”

Ethan Anders got the start in net and turned aside 29 of the 35 shots he faced.

For the Winterhawks, forward Colton Veloso led the way with a goal and two assists, centre Reece Newkirk had two assists and three players each had a goal and an assist.

The Rebels have a week off before their next game, the last of the preseason. They host the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“A lot more systems and structural stuff,” Truitt added about what lies ahead for the Rebels this week.

”We want to take a level up in our awareness off the rush and into our defensive zone. Offensively making sure that we are generating more puck possession and pucks at the net, but also in the hard areas like the corners and the front of the net.”

The regular season gets underway on Sept. 23 as the Rebels host the first half of a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oil Kings. Game one, at 7 p.m., is at the Enmax Centrium before the series switches to Edmonton on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.

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