Hurricanes 7 Rebels 3
Brent Sutter rarely steps off the back stoop of the Red Deer Rebels bench, but Wednesday night he’d had enough.
The Rebels bench boss took a rare turn at the players’ door while Red Deer was trailing 5-2 with under 11 minutes to go against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The game finished 7-3 for the visitors.
“Brutal. Right from the opening faceoff,” Sutter said.
“Total lack of respect to the front of our jerseys, lack of respect for the fans. Just brutal. Guys not playing hard enough. Guys not competing hard enough. Don’t want to pay attention to systems. Specialty teams are brutal. But, they’re brutal because when you’re not battling and focused to play, you get this.”
Things started off in a much different fashion than they ended, as Red Deer jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Dawson Martin’s seventh goal of the season. From there, positives were hard to find for the Rebels.
Red Deer let in four power play goals on just seven opportunities for the Hurricanes. An alarming trend for Red Deer as they have allowed 10 power play goals in their last five games on 22 chances for the opponent.
“You look at our specialty teams, they’re terrible. When you give up four power play goals, it’s awful. It’s terrible,” Sutter said.
With his team reeling after losses in four of their last five and essentially a .500 record since the trade deadline, Sutter pulled no punches about the effort of his group on Wednesday.
“It you don’t want to care about playing the game at this level, then you’re in trouble in whatever you do in life. You’re going to fail. If you don’t focus, don’t prepare and don’t dial in,” Sutter said.
“Don’t show a work ethic, aren’t going to be disciplined – look at the penalties we took tonight. It was joke, we had guys taking penalties in the offensive zone. Slashing guys, hooking guys. Everything we show them on video and everything we go through with them, it gets old after a while and I’m tired of it.”
Even allowing five goals on 30 shots, Lasse Petersen was one of the Rebels best players on the night.
Sutter pulled him with 11 minutes left in the game and was the first person to pat his goalie on the back.
“We’re lucky, that should have been a 15-3 game if it wasn’t for our goalies. Our goalies were outstanding,” he said.
“That’s why I took Petey out of the game because I felt bad for him. He didn’t deserve to be punished anymore.”
Lost in the mix, Austin Glover tied the game at two early in the second as an unexpected wrist shot deflected off a Hurricanes’ stick and bounced past Stuart Skinner. It was Glover’s fifth goal and 15th point in 16 games with the Rebels this season.
Lane Zablocki added a Rebels goal late in the third, his 17th of the season.
That was the final contest between the Rebels and the Hurricanes this season.
Next up for Red Deer is a home date with the Swift Current Broncos on Friday.