The Red Deer Rebels slump continued on Friday night.
They dropped their sixth straight game in a 6-4 setback to the Moose Jaw Warriors in front of 4,866 fans at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Their night didn’t get off to a great start when the Warriors scored nine minutes into the period when Atley Calvert buried an opportunity on the powerplay.
Red Deer answered just over a minute later on the powerplay off the stick of Kalan Lind who knocked in a rebound in front of the net.
Two minutes later the Rebels took a 2-1 lead. Defenceman Jace Weir skated just ahead of the blue line and fired a shot that beat Warriors netminder Jackson Unger through the five-hole.
In the final seconds of the opening frame, the Warriors tied the game on the powerplay with one second left scored by defenceman Denton Mateychuk.
Head coach Derrick Walser said that goal was the turning point of the game.
“In the first period, we played really detailed hockey and we got casual with four seconds to go in the period. We just threw the puck away and that turned the game,” he said
“It was all simple details. You look at the first to the third, it’s not even the same team.”
Walser explained the penalty was untimely considering they were playing solid hockey at even strength.
“We were going to get out of that period up 2-1 and we were just casual on the puck. They’ve got to man up. Sometimes you’ve got to look in the mirror we’ve all got to look in the mirror… Tonight was not acceptable in how we played.
Moose Jaw reclaimed the lead early in the second period scored by Matthew Savoie. No one found the back of the net until the final minute when Martin Rysavy put the Warriors up 4-2.
The Rebels had plenty of work to do in the final period.
With four and a half minutes left the Rebels pulled themselves within a goal of tying it. Talon Brigley knocked in the puck after a few whacks at it in front of the net. It was reviewed by the officials for an extended period but was ruled a good goal.
However, Moose Jaw didn’t take long to crush the Rebels’ momentum scoring a minute later on the offensive rush for Savoie’s second of the night.
With a 5-3 lead the Warriors added one more in the empty net before Rebels forward Carson Birnie scored in the final minute.
The Rebels special teams were a weakness against the Warriors giving up two powerplay goals on four opportunities.
“It was the first thing I wrote on the board. Discipline. And the first thing I talked about when we talked about powerplays working the puck low and we didn’t do that either,” he said.
“We as a group have got to dig our heels in and make sure we’re ready to play a full 60 minutes. We can’t win a game in one period.”
The Rebels will head to Medicine Hat on Saturday for a matchup with the Tigers. It will be an important game for the Rebels who are not only looking to get back on track but are three points behind the Tigers for the lead in the Central Division.