Perhaps the allure of nineties night was lost on the Red Deer Rebels, a team with only three players born in the decade taking to the ice Friday night at the Centrium.
It was a bittersweet symphony for the home side, as the Portland Winterhawks took control in the second period and didn’t look back.
Portland was living la Vida Loca, as they outshot Red Deer 14-2 in the second, 41-16 overall and cruised to a 5-0 victory, in the only meeting between the two sides this year. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Rebels.
Seth Jarvis had an all-star-like performance for the visitors, scoring once and adding two helpers. Joel Hofer pitched the shutout with 16 stops for Portland.
Even the Rebels steady penalty kill, first in the league at 90 per cent coming into the game, didn’t feel the good vibrations in the loss, allowing two man-advantage markers in the first 40 minutes of the game.
Red Deer, meanwhile, only had five shots after the first period.
“We had four or five shots after the first, I thought we just chased the game a lot,” said Rebels head coach Brent Sutter.
Jarvis opened the scoring on the power play in the first after a goalie interference penalty on Josh Tarzwell. On the advantage, Jarvis fired a shot high over the shoulder of Anders and in.
Originally, the goal was waved off but after review, it hit the back bar and bounced out. Before the goal, the Rebels had killed off 13 straight short-handed chances.
Portland then took a 2-0 lead late in the frame on a two-on-one. A pass deflected off Tarzwell before it hit Simon Knak and bounced into the Rebels’ net.
“I didn’t like our game at all. I just thought we were soft on a lot of pucks. We started off fine, the first seven or eight minutes of the game. They got that first goal and they got the second goal then we started playing a lot of individual hockey and got away from our team game,” Sutter said.
“Wanting to play a skill game. We’ve got some skilled players, but they’re guys that have to understand that work ethic and compete comes first.”
Winterhawks captain Johnny Ludvig tortured the Rebels’ penalty killers again in the second. He fired a point shot through four bodies that went high glove on Anders.
Late in the frame, the visitors put the game away on Clay Hanus’ fifth goal of the year and took away and real self-esteem from the home side.
Anders allowed four goals on 29 shots and was replaced by Byron Fancy to start the third period.
Jake Gricius added his second of the season on a nice backhand early in the third.
The Rebels are on the road Saturday in Medicine Hat Saturday to take on the Tigers.
Three stars: Jarvis (1), Ludvig (2), Hofer (3).