Red Deer Rebels forward Kristian Reichel tries to tuck the puck past Edmonton Oil Kings goalie Todd Scott with Matthew Robertson in hot pursuit on Friday night at the Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Reichel nets hat trick, power play pushes Rebels past Oil Kings

Rebels 7 Oil Kings 2

It was a complete power surge for Red Deer Rebels against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday night at the Centrium.

Red Deer’s power play — ranked 20th in the WHL scored three times in the contest and helped them roll to a 7-2 victory over their central division rival. It was the first time since game 1 of the WHL season that the Rebels scored six or more goals.

“It was solid, after the first 20 seconds of the game, after that, we were a really good hockey team.

“Obviously, our specialty teams were good. Overall, our game was really good,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

Kristian Reichel scored twice with the man-advantage and veteran Mason McCarty also notched a power play marker in the first. Reichel added a short-handed goal for the hat trick in the third and has 23 goals on the year and 10 points in his last six games for Red Deer.

“He got shots and he capitalized on them. Our power play decided to shoot the puck more. We weren’t shooting the puck, it got addressed, they started shooting and scoring goals,” Sutter said.

The Rebels CHL Import Draft selection in 2017 said post-game that he’s happy with the win and proud of the way the team is playing right now. The win Friday was the seventh in the last nine games for the Rebels.

“We played simple. We were dialed in from the first faceoff to the end. We didn’t give them much of a chance, we deserved the win,” Reichel said.

“When you score the first one, you want to get another one. Then when I got the second one, I wanted the third one, it was a nice game for me, I’m really happy.”

Since the Oil Kings handed the Rebels back-to-back losses just after Christmas, they’ve won only five times.

Edmonton opened the scoring 26 seconds into the game on the first shot of the night. Rebels netminder Riley Lamb was out behind the net to play a dump in but misplayed the puck and Kobe Mohr picked up the puck and fired into the open net.

Red Deer also got a break late in the first when the Oil Kings top forward, Trey Fix-Wolanksy was ejected from the game after a cross check on Kristian Reichel. Mason McCarty made the visitors pay with his team-leading 28th goal of the year on the ensuing five-minute power play.

Brandon Hagel found McCarty with a beautiful cross-crease pass that the 20-year-old forward tapped into an empty net.

On the power play early in the second, Reichel fired a point shot that deflected in off an Oil Kings defender and in past Oil Kings netminder Todd Scott.

Reichel blasted his second tally of the night on the power play late in the second on a wrist shot that beat Scott glove side.

Rookie Arshdeep Bains scored his second goal of the year when he picked up a rebound with 44 seconds left in the second and shoveled a backhand high blocker.

Reichel’s short-handed marker was an absolute blast, bar down early in the third.

Red Deer added two more goals in the final frame, with Hagel ripping a wrist shot home on a 2-on-1 and Hunter Donohoe also scoring 40 seconds later.

Lamb picked up the win on Friday with 24 saves.

The Rebels didn’t gain any ground in the standings after the Kootenay Ice beat the Regina Pats Friday. Red Deer is back on the ice Saturday afternoon when they travel to Edmonton.

Puck drop is set for 1:30 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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