Hurricanes 4 Rebels 3 (OT)
The Red Deer Rebels hung with one of the top teams in the WHL Friday night.
The young Rebels did not look out of place going toe-to-toe with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, only to come up just short in a 4-3 overtime loss at the Enmax Centre in front of 4,916.
It was a playoff-like atmosphere between the two Central Division foes, with the Hurricanes riding the edge from the return of Calen Addison and Dylan Cozens, who were playing their first game since capturing gold for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Cozens and Addison made the difference, collecting first and second stars respectively in the win. Cozens picked up a pair of assists and Addison added a goal in the victory. It was the seventh win in the last 10 for the Hurricanes.
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said he liked the effort of his group despite the loss and said they stayed in the fight for the majority of the game.
” I thought we played really well. I thought we competed really hard. We had some great scoring chances and we didn’t capitalize on them, didn’t bear down,” Sutter said.
“A couple goals they got, us just not managing the puck properly and that led to turnovers. Other than that, our compete level– we played hard.”
— Lethbridge Hurricanes (@WHLHurricanes) January 18, 2020
Oliver Okuliar, who was also at the World Juniors representing Slovakia, also notched a pair of helpers. That included an assist on the overtime winner where he set up Alex Cotton 1:52 into the extra frame.
It was Cam Hausinger who got the Rebels on the board first with his ninth of the season, but the lead didn’t last long.
Former Rebel Brett Davis buried his 12th of the season with 3:17 left in the opening frame. He picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried on Byron Fancy. Red Deer outshot Lethbridge 15-9 in the first.
Red Deer pushed back in the second, and Jayden Grubbe opened up a 2-1 lead on the power play.
Again the lead didn’t last long, as Addison buried his eighth of the year to tie the game at 9:13 of the frame.
Newly minuted Hurricanes co-captain Ty Prefontaine scored with 4:14 left in the second to give Lethbridge its first lead of the game.
Red Deer’s leading goal scorer and former Hurricane Josh Tarzwell brought the Rebels even early in the third with his 20th of the year. Despite being outshot 14-5 in the third, Red Deer managed to push the game to overtime and collect a point.
“That’s what we want every night. To have a high level of competitiveness and be in the battle,” Sutter added.
Hausinger, who was third star also added two assists in the loss and Rebels goalie Byron Fancy made 32 saves. Hurricanes netminder Bryan Thompson was also steady in the win, turning aside 31 shots.
Red Deer is back at home Saturday night when they host the Prince Albert Raiders, with puck drop set for 7 p.m., at the Centrium.