Red Deer Rebels defenceman Ethan Sakowich blocks a shot from Everett Silvertips leading scorer Bryce Kindopp in the first period of WHL action at the Centrium on Monday. It was the first and only meeting between the two teams this season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Rebels score six unanswered goals to knock off west-leading Silvertips

Rebels 6 Silvertips 2

Just 48 hours after a disastrous third period, the Red Deer Rebels found redemption on home ice.

The Rebels welcomed the Western Conference-leading Everett Silvertips to town for a rare Monday night matchup, two nights after allowing seven third period to the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday.

Call it a lesson learned for the young crew — as the Rebels were tied 2-2 after 40 minutes but on this night, closed out a convincing 6-2 win over the Silvertips in front of 4,128 fans at the Centrium.

“It was a complete game, right from the get-go. It was a 60-minute effort,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.

“Really it’s been kind of 14 games, we’ve played pretty well. We had a stinker of a third period the other night but our response (Monday) was outstanding. We responded the right way and played the way we wanted to… it was a great effort from the kids, I was proud of them.”

It was defenceman, turned forward, turned defenceman again — 17-year-old Chase Leslie — who scored the game-winning goal, wiring a wrist shot past Silvertips goalie Keegan Karki 3:37 into the third period. It was the first career game-winning goal for Leslie, who was playing defence Monday.

“Got lucky, found a seam there and it found its way in,” said Leslie about the goal.

“It was cool, I’ll remember that for a long time.”

His tally was padded by a standout performance from second star Keaton Sorensen, who scored the Rebels fourth goal on a fortunate bounce off the end boards on a dump in.

The Red Deer product capped off his three-point night, with an emphatic empty-net goal with 1:46 to go.

The game might not have got to that point, had it not been for Rebels’ netminder Byron Fancy. Fancy was on the hook for all eight goals in Edmonton Saturday but rebounded in a huge way with 31 saves in the first-star effort.

That included turning aside a Silvertips barrage in the third, where he stopped all 10 shots.

“Fancy was unreal. He’s been playing great since Andy’s been hurt, he’s really stepped up,” said Leslie.

It didn’t start out perfect for the home side, as Silvertips defenceman Wyatt Wylie opened the scoring on the power play in the first period and they kept that momentum rolling in the second.

Everett jumped ahead 2-0 on Aiden Sutter’s first career WHL goal, in a feverishly-paced second period– after Red Deer had a bevy of chances to tie the game.

The home side honed in on a bit of that early period pressure and buried twice in the final seven minutes of the frame to tie the game at two.

First, Chris Douglas slipped a rebound past Silvertips goalie Keegan Karki before Josh Tarzwell tied the game with 2:57 left in the period.

Tarzwell notched his 17th goal of the year on a nice pass from Cam Hausinger just a second after an Everett penalty expired to tie the game at two.

“We didn’t get off our game, look at the scoring chances in the first six or seven minutes, we had four quality scoring chances and we just didn’t capitalize on them, they made the most of their opportunities,” Sutter said.

“We kept battled after they got up and we picked away. Got a break on the fourth goal, but we earned that break, too.”

From there, Red Deer kept pushing and Leslie buried a wrist shot through a crowd for the go-ahead goal early in the third.

“That felt good, that was probably one of the first goals I’ve scored in a close game like that,” he said. “Puck squirted out and the guy was right there so I tried to get it off as quick as I could and it found it’s way to the net.”

Sorenson’s first of two goals came nine minutes into the third. Red Deer scored six unanswered goals in the win.

The Rebels are off until the new year when they host a pair of games. On Jan. 3, they welcome the Saskatoon Blades to the Centrium and on Jan. 4, the Moose Jaw Warriors are in town.

Three Stars: Byron Fancy (1), Keaton Sorensen (2), Brett Davis (3).

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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Red Deer Rebels forward Ben King fires a shot on the Everett Silvertips net in the first period of WHL action at the Centrium on Monday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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