Rebels 4 Broncos 3 (OT)
The Red Deer Rebels needed a boost in overtime and they turned to one of their most reliable duos.
Like they did for a goal late in the second period, Arshdeep Bains found Ben King with 1:37 left in extra time for a tap in at the side of the Swift Current Broncos net.
His second goal of the night, also his 20th of the year powered the Rebels to a 4-3 overtime win, over the Swift Current Broncos, who have lost 17 games in a row.
“It was like goal for us, goal for them. We just stuck with it. Great job by Bains and Kinger, just like always, to get us through this one,” said Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell, who also buried goals 30 and 31 on the year in the victory.
It wasn’t exactly a masterpiece painted by the Rebels to earn their first win in three games, as they had 3-2 lead thanks to a Tarzwell tally with 59 seconds left in the second period.
Red Deer dominated possession in the third, but couldn’t create any more of a cushion and that proved costly with 4:54 to play. Hayden Ostir got loose in the slot and beat Anders to forced overtime.
From there, the Rebels dominated possession again in overtime before they managed to cash in the game-winner.
“It’s a tough goal to give up. We were tight to our coverage there and we leave a guy open in the slot. Just had to stay with it. Keep playing and in overtime, we had the puck a lot in overtime, too,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
“We want to be a puck-possession team in overtime and create speed and we had the right guys on the ice, guys that can really skate and move and that’s how you want to play 3-on-3.”
After no shots in the first five minutes of the game, Tarzwell erased the goose egg with a rocket. The 19-year-old Red Deer product notched his 30th goal of the WHL season, a snipe off the rush high over the shoulder of Issac Poulter.
Aiden Bulych buried the equalizer 3:01 into the second, but Red Deer responded quickly. Arshdeep Bains picked the pocket of a Broncos defender and slid a pass to Ben King who buried his 19th of the year and was second star for his efforts.
Sergi Alkhimov brought the Broncos even once again, just shy of the 10-minute mark in the second, sniping his sixth of the year past Ethan Anders.
With time winding down in the frame, Tarzwell blasted his 31st of the campaign past Poulter to restore the Rebels’ advantage.
“Working with (Eric Lodge) every day and throughout the summer and stuff like that, it’s not necessarily putting it in a specific spot, it’s more getting it on net and that’s what I really focus on,” said Tarzwell, who had just 23 WHL goals in 174 games heading into this season.
Red Deer managed to outshoot the Broncos 30-16 in the contest, including 6-3 in the third period. He said the challenge with Swift Current is they don’t give a lot up in the middle of the ice.
“We stayed with it. We controlled a lot of the play and had the puck a lot. You look at the goals they got, lack of coverage and I think Andy would like to have the second goal back,” Sutter said.
“They’re not easy to play against because they do a really good job of swarming and they try to outnumber you quickly and get you in that trap area in the corner. You don’t have much room to make plays.”
Anders turned aside 13 shots in the win for Red Deer, while Poulter stopped 26 for Swift Current.
The Rebels hit the road for a two-game mini road trip next week, before returning to the Centrium on March 14 to host the Calgary Hitmen.