Rebels season on the line
(Oil Kings lead best-of-seven series 3-0)
If the Red Deer Rebels hope to continue their magical run this season, they have a steep mountain to climb.
The Rebels are one game away from elimination in the WHL best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal with the Edmonton Oil Kings – Game 4 Wednesday night at the Centrium.
After blowouts in the opening two contests, Red Deer showed some resiliency in Game 3 on home ice, forcing overtime with two late third-period goals to tie the game at four.
A bad change in overtime left Jake Neighbours all alone and he snuck it past Connor Ungar for his first tally of the playoffs. It was also Neighbours’ third career playoff goal.
The Oil Kings got goals from five different players in the victory and an 18-save performance from Sebastian Cossa.
Ungar was brilliant for the Rebels and a huge reason why the game went to overtime in the first place, with 47 saves in a losing cause.
Arshdeep Bains scored his fourth goal of the playoffs Monday night and the 21-year-old has 10 points in nine playoff games. Ben King had two assists in the loss and also sits at 10 points in nine games throughout the playoffs.
Red Deer was without defencemen Jackson van de Leest and Christofer Sedoff in Game 3. Van de Leest was suspended and Sedoff missed due to an upper-body injury. Game 1 and 2 starting goalie Chase Coward was also unavailable because of an upper-body injury.
Monday’s win was the 11th in a row for the Oil Kings, dating back to April 3. That night, of course, the Rebels took down the Oil Kings 5-4 in overtime.
Rebels veteran and former Oil King Liam Keeler, who scored his second goal of the playoffs Monday, said post-game, “we’re not done yet.”
Wednesday will be the first step in proving that.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Peavey Mart Centrium.