Hurricanes 2 Rebels 1 (overtime)
Connor Ungar shined in his first game as a Red Deer Rebel, only to have his performance bested by Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman Alex Cotton.
The 20-year-old blueliner beat Ungar twice on Saturday in WHL action at the Emax Centre in Lethbridge, including a heartbreaking overtime tally that earned the Hurricanes a 2-1 victory.
After returning from Calgary Flames NHL camp, Ungar made his debut in a Rebels uniform and stopped 34 shots– with Cotton beating him with a blast on the power play at 13:49 of the second and again 2:28 into the extra period. Ungar was third star in the loss.
Red Deer was the better team in the opening frame, outshooting the Hurricanes 10-8. They got the first goal of the night just 2:25 in from Kalan Lind, who escaped from behind the net and slipped a backhand past an unsuspecting Bryan Thomson.
Thomson shut the door from there, finishing the night with 31 saves and first star honours.
“There were chances to win the game, no doubt about it,” Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk told reddeerrebels.com. “Our goalie made some saves as well. It was a good, hard-fought hockey game.”
Cotton’s power play marker midway through the second tied the game at one, the Hurricanes only goal in five chances on the man advantage. Red Deer didn’t score on any of their five power play opportunities.
The Rebels will travel to Calgary to take on the Hitmen Friday, before hosting Calgary at 1 p.m. Saturday in a CBC televised game. They’ll finish the weekend Sunday in Edmonton against the Oil Kings.