Red Deer Rebels defenceman Ethan Sakowich lays a big hit on Edmonton Oil Kings forward Trey Fix-Wolansky during the first period of Saturday’s game at the Centrium. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer Rebels fall to Oil Kings 5-2

Oil Kings 5, Rebels 2

The coach of the Red Deer Rebels says he wants to see a more consistent effort from his players after back-to-back losses to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Rebels were defeated by the Oil Kings 5-2 in Western Hockey League action at the Centrium Saturday night. This came after the Rebels lost 2-1 in Edmonton the night before.

“We’re not where we need to be as a team,” said Brent Sutter, Rebels GM/head coach. “There are no easy goals in this game. You got to score, you got to work, you got to compete and battle in tough areas. We’ve got guys who still have to learn to do that.”

Sutter said the team hasn’t given a consistent, 60-minute effort since a 2-0 road loss to Portland Feb. 16.

“Tonight we didn’t get (a consistent effort) at all. It’s obviously something we’re going to have to correct quickly or it’s going to be a long summer,” he said.

Sutter said some players on the team are “fighting” the puck.

“They have to be able to do other things too. If they’re not scoring they got to chip in other areas and help the team be successful,” he said.

Vince Loschiavo got the Oil Kings on the board 12 minutes in by firing a shot over the glove of Rebels goaltender Ethan Anders and off the net’s back bar. The goal was initially waved off by officials, but after video review it was determined the puck entered the net.

Oil Kings defenceman Parker Gavlas added another goal for his team about three minutes later, when he walked in from the point and fired a wrist shot over the blocker of Anders.

Shortly after, Edmonton’s Trey Fix-Wolansky, who was fourth in the WHL in points heading into Saturday night’s game, wired a shot off the post, nearly giving his team a three-goal lead.

Fix-Wolansky got a similar opportunity in the second period and made no mistake, this time beating the Rebels netminder to make it 3-0.

Red Deer was able to get a few chances in the late stages of the period, but Edmonton goaltender Dylan Myskiw kept them scoreless heading into the third.

Edmonton outshot Red Deer 16-7 in the second frame.

Less than two minutes into the final period, a tough turnover by Rebels defender Dawson Barteaux in front of the net led to another Oil Kings goals. Oil Kings forward Andrei Pavlenko took the bobbling puck from Barteaux and slid it five hole.

Defenceman Ethan Sakowich finally got Red Deer on the board with a shorthanded goal. Jeff de Witt won a faceoff cleanly to Sakowich, who then fired a wicked wrister from the blue line into the back of the net.

Edmonton reclaimed its four-goal lead after Pavlenko won a puck battle behind the net and found Vladimir Alistrov in the slot for a one-timer to the blocker side.

Anders was pulled after allowing the fifth goal and Byron Fancy played the last nine minutes.

“(Anders) played well. I just gave him a bit of a break there because the game was out of hand,” said Sutter.

Oleg Zaytsev tallied one more time for the Rebels on a dazzling shorthanded rush. The Russian winger cruised around the Edmonton defender and beat Myskiw to the glove side with three seconds left on the clock.

Red Deer was outshot 36-23 in the 5-2 loss.

The Rebels will play Tuesday in Moose Jaw and Wednesday in Regina. Red Deer won’t play at home until after the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

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Edmonton Oil Kings forward Trey Fix-Wolansky tries to carry the puck past Red Deer Rebels forward Brandon Hagel during the first period of Saturday’s game at the Centrium. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer Rebel Brandon Hagel chases down Edmonton Oil King Vladimir Alistrov while he carried the put out of his zone during the first period of Saturday’s game at the Centrium. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

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