Hurricanes 5 Rebels 3
LETHBRIDGE — The sixth straight WHL win for the Lethbridge Hurricanes produced the same old problems for the Red Deer Rebels.
While the Rebels captured two points on Wednesday in an effort that left a lot to be desired, the Hurricanes did no such favours in a dominant 5-3 win at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge Friday night.
Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter said once again it was an inconsistent performance that caused problems for his squad.
“In the second period it was 26 minutes of not very good hockey and you can’t play that way if you are going to have success. When you play like that, you take bad penalties and it compounds things,” Sutter said. “We lose our focus, and it’s not something that you want to do as a player because when that happens, and you’re playing good teams, you get nailed for it. It was a good team we were playing and they played hard, if they’re prepared to do that for 60 minutes we’re in trouble.”
The Rebels got on the board early after a Colton Bobyk point shot was stopped before Akash Bains collected the rebound and potted his fifth goal of the season at 6:06 of the first period. The assist was Bobyk’s 100th career WHL point and extended his streak to 12 straight games with a helper. The streak is the longest in the WHL this season and the Rebels longest since Martin Erat had assists in 11, 16 years ago.
Defenceman Carson Sass scored his third of the year less than three minutes later. Rebels new addition Matthew Campese contributed his first point with an assist on the Rebels second goal.
The early lead didn’t last long, as the Hurricanes responded in a fury with four unanswered goals.
The collection of tallies marked the third straight game Rebels have given up three or more unanswered goals.
“I’ve seen it for a while now,” Sutter said. “We’re giving up way too many goals. We have to take a lot more pride in not wanting to get scored against. That’s something that this group has struggled with all year. That happens when you’re not playing hard enough, you aren’t blocking shots and you aren’t competing and you’re soft. In today’s game, there are so many good teams, you play that way you are going to get in trouble.”
Adam Musil redirected an Evan Polei shot at 13:13 of the third period for his ninth goal of the season to cut the Hurricanes lead to one. Lethbridge added an empty net goal to finish the scoring.
The Rebels have also been torched by two Hurricanes in particular, with Jordy Bellerive putting up six points in the two contests and Tyler Wong contributing seven.
The win for Lethbridge also means there is just one point separating the clubs in the Central Division standings.
The two teams will be back at it Saturday night when the Hurricanes travel to Red Deer. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Centrium and it will be the Rebels annual Tuque Toss Night and Books on the Bus.
Ice chips: Rebels added forward Matt Campese,19, to their roster on Thursday and also recalled defenceman Jacob Herauf from the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.
Campese was playing with the West Kelowna Warriors of Junior A BCHL, after being released by the Kamloops Blazers in late September. The five-foot-10, 180-pound forward played one game as a 16-year-old with the Victoria Royals and 14 games the following season before being dealt to the Blazers. In 93 career games in the WHL, Campese had 10 goals and 16 points. In his short stint this season in West Kelowna, the forward had 17 points in 15 games.
Herauf, 16, was with the Rebels in training camp and to start the season before he was sent back to midget AAA. He has played nine games with Red Deer this season and has one assist.
Fifteen-year-old goalie Byron Fancy, a Lethbridge product dressed as the Rebels backup goalie on Friday night. He was the Rebels second round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2016.