Warriors 6 Rebels 3
It was a long night for the Red Deer Rebels and goaltender Riley Lamb on Wednesday at the Centrium.
The Moose Jaw Warriors fired everything and the kitchen sink at the Rebels’ second-year netminder to the tune of 69 shots and cruised past the home side in a 6-3 victory.
“Long two hours and 15 minutes. We came to the rink today obviously not expecting that we can play with this team or be at its level and we played that way,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said.
“Outside of our goaltender, we had nothing. There were way too many mistakes. Too many turnovers, too soft plays.
“Defensively, all we did was chase the puck all night. I know they have a very good team over there, not taking anything away from them, but one thing I can’t accept is a lack of compete, lack of play hard. It was an awful game.”
The Rebels haven’t given up that many shots since Jan. 3, 1997 when they surrendered 70.
Lamb turned aside a career-high 63 shots in the loss, standing on his head with a handful of highlight reel saves and keeping the Rebels within striking distance of the Warriors after 40 minutes.
“No, not for a couple years anyway,” Lamb said of the workload.
“That was a lot of shots in not that much time. I felt alright, still gave up six goals so it obviously wasn’t ideal.”
The most shots Lamb faced in his WHL career before Wednesday was 51, last year on Feb. 11 against the Regina Pats. He stopped 47 that night.
Moose Jaw came out of the gate firing on all cylinders at the Centrium, notching 12 shots in the first 10 minutes of the game.
From there, the Rebels actually broke through first, when Mason McCarty found the mark after a gorgeous pass from defenceman Alex Alexeyev. McCarty has 19 goals for the Rebels through 37 games this year.
On their 20th shot of the opening frame, the Warriors finally beat Lamb. Vince Loshchiavo got the tally for his 12th of the year.
Warriors forward and the WHL’s leading point producer Brayden Burke converted a nice pass from Ryan Peckford late in the first. Burke finished the game with two goals and an assist and leads the league with 80 points in 38 games.
The Rebels actually tied the contest at two early in the second despite being outshot 34-8 at the time. Rebels forward Austin Schellenberg slipped through a pair of Moose Jaw defenders and slid a pass to Chris Douglas who buried his third of the season.
From there, the Warriors continued to dominate and scored midway through the frame when a point shot hit Tristyn DeRoose in front of Lamb and bounced in.
After the Rebels got called for too many men late in the second, Jayden Halbgewachs notched his 41st goal of the season to all but bury Red Deer.
Peckford added a goal for the Warriors at 13:22 in the third.
Dawson Barteaux potted a five-on-three power play goal late in the third for the Rebels.
Red Deer is on the road for three games this weekend before returning home on Jan. 12 to take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes.