Rebels fall to ICE in Winnipeg
ICE 5 Rebels 3
The Red Deer Rebels were close, but not close enough.
Tied 3-3 early in the third period, Red Deer looked poised to battle to the bitter end with the Winnipeg ICE, until it got away from them again.
Winnipeg scored twice just over a minute apart midway through the third period and closed out a 5-3 win over Red Deer in front of 1,278 fans at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
It was the ninth loss in the last 10 for Red Deer and the sixth win in the last eight for Winnipeg.
It was the Rebels first game against the former Central Division rival.
The ICE moved from Cranbrook to Winnipeg in the offseason and were shifted to the East Divison as a result.
Michal Teply and Brad Ginnell led the charge for the home side, with Teply posting a goal and two assists while Ginnell scored late in the first and the fifth goal for Winnipeg. Dean McNabb picked up the win with 24 saves, while Ethan Anders was hard-pressed to earn the loss, stopping 41 shots for the Rebels.
Nino Kinder opened the scoring for the ICE, just under four minutes into the contest. From there, the Rebels took four minor penalties and were struggling to stay afloat.
In the final seconds of the first, Ginnell tucked in a loose puck during a scramble in front to open up a 2-0 advantage.
Early in the second, Red Deer got a boost from veteran defenceman Ethan Sakowich who buried on the power play 62 seconds in the frame.
With momentum on their side, another penalty zapped it quicky away for Red Deer.
Shortly after a Jaxsen Wieve minor for checking from behind expired, Mike Ladyman tucked home his first career WHL goal to open up a 3-1 Winnipeg lead.
The pendulum swing back towards the Rebels when Brett Davis buried unassisted early in the third. Just over a minute later, Wiebe took the puck to the net hard and jammed it in to tie the game at three.
Teply, the fourth overall 2019 CHL Import Draft pick then wired a wrist shot post and in past Anders to restore the ICE advantage. He has 16 points on the year to lead Winnipeg this season.
Only 1:04 later, Ginnell tapped home his second of the night, a rebound after an Issac Johnson shot.
Red Deer was outshot 46-27 and lost in the faceoff circle battle 40-21. They went one-for-two on the man-advantage, while the ICE were one-for-six on the power play.
Things only get tougher on the weekend for the Rebels, as they travel to Saskatoon Friday to take on the Blades, before heading to Prince Albert to square off with the Raiders Saturday.