Rebels 5 Warriors 2
It’s been nearly two years since the Red Deer Rebels visited Mosiac Place in Moose Jaw and perhaps Ben King likes the ice in Saskatchewan.
King was one of only six current active Rebels in the lineup on Dec. 6, 2019, but he scored a goal in a 7-3 victory over the Warriors that night.
He made his presence felt in the return trip Friday, scoring twice in a 5-2 Rebels victory in Moose Jaw Tuesday, as they improved to 10-7-1-0 on the WHL season.
“We were strong in battles supporting each other, the power play was sharp early and we got a lot of looks. Got one early and our goaltending was strong, I thought it was a pretty solid team effort,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
King’s line, alongside Jhett Larson and Arshdeep Bains had six points Tuesday. Bains had a primary assist on three of the Rebels’ five goals.
“Big power-play goal to start, Larson is always digging and Bains and King had a big third period 5-on-5 for us,” Konowalchuck added.
King opened the scoring in the first, continuing his torrid pace on the man advantage. The 19-year-old winger fired a laser high glove side from the faceoff dot past Carl Tetachuk, his ninth goal of the year and eighth on the power play.
Red Deer took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on Carter Anderson’s fourth goal of the year. The 17-year-old has a goal in each of his last three games.
Moose Jaw pushed back midway through the second and cut the deficit at 14:09. The Warriors hemmed the Rebels in on a long shift before a Brayden Yager one-timer beat Chase Coward.
Still, Coward was steady when called upon, turning aside 15 shots in the second alone and 31 overall. He earned third-star honours for his efforts.
“He made good saves throughout the game, but definitely some key timely saves when we needed them,” the Rebels head coach added.
Red Deer came out with plenty of jump in the third and it was who Larson restored the Red Deer advantage just 44 seconds into the third.
A turnover at the Rebels blueline led to a 2-on-1 and the 17-year-old wired a wrister off the rush past Tetachuk for his fifth goal of the season.
“He’s been a very important part of our team. He’s playing on a key line and playing the power play as well. The energy and tenacity. He’s finding the back of the net as of late. He’s a big part of our team for sure,” Konowalchuk said.
Moose Jaw pushed back on the power play when Denton Mateychuk again cut the deficit to one 2:16 later but King and Bains made sure the comeback ended there.
On another odd-man rush with 3:29 to play, Bains feathered a pass over a defender and King slipped a shot just under Tetchuk’s outstretched arm. Liam Keeler added an empty-net goal with 1:48 left in the game.
“I think guys were determined. Guys were determined to play and play through everything and not worry about the score. Don’t get down when the other team scores and just get back at it,” Konowalchuk said.
The Rebels are back on the road Wednesday when they travel to Regina to take on Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats. Puck drop is 6 p.m. MST.