The Red Deer Rebels picked up their fourth win on a seven-game November road trip Wednesday. They knocked off the Regina Pats 3-2. (Photo by Rob Wallator/RED DEER REBELS)

The Red Deer Rebels picked up their fourth win on a seven-game November road trip Wednesday. They knocked off the Regina Pats 3-2. (Photo by Rob Wallator/RED DEER REBELS)

Talon Brigley scores first career WHL goal, Red Deer Rebels edge Pats

Rebels 3 Pats 2

Sylvan Lake’s Talon Brigley will remember his first career Western Hockey League goal for more than just the milestone.

The 16-year-old forward has been elevated in the Red Deer Rebels lineup during a seven-game road trip and made the most of his opportunity Wednesday.

On the road in Regina against the Pats, the winger scored a highlight-reel tally for his first goal in the WHL– a shorthanded breakaway marker with 5:42 left in the second period that also stood up as the game-winning goal.

“Obviously a huge goal for us. He’s made plays for us and he hasn’t seen the scoresheet yet, but you knew it was coming. Showed good speed on it and good finish,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk about the rookie forward.

“Nice goal, huge goal for us.”

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Brigley’s goal doesn’t hold as the winner in the 3-2 victory without the standout play of Rebels netminder Chase Coward. The 18-year-old goalie picked up his sixth win of the season and in 11 starts, he’s allowed more than two goals just three times.

He held up that trend Wednesday, with 32 saves on 34 shots. His busy night included a third period in which the Rebels were outshot 13-6.

“He was good, stopped what he needed to stop. Calming in the net, it was a good game by him,” the Rebels head coach noted.

Red Deer’s ability to shut the door this season in the final frame has also been crucial to their Central Division-leading 11-6-1-0 record. They are 10-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes.

“(Wednesday) I thought guys were really determined– it comes down to winning battles. Every battle is magnified in the third when you have the lead and what you do with the puck,” Konowalchuk added.

After the Pats opened the scoring 3:36 in, Kai Uchacz evened the score with 4:59 left in the period. Less than three minutes later, Uchacz found Kalan Lind down low and he ripped a laser past Matthew Kieper. Brigley also drew an assist on the Uchacz goal for his first career multi-point game.

Regina pushed back in the second and Stanislav Svozil tied the game six minutes into the period on the power play to knot the game at two.

Brigley scored his first career WHL goal in style. Shorthanded, the Red Deer Minor Hockey product burst past a pair of Regina defencemen in the neutral zone and went top shelf over the shoulder of Kieper.

“He’s a smart player. Smart and fast and the (penalty kill), that’s a lot of it. Being quick and smart with the puck and being able to read the play,” Konowalchuk said.

“Start trusting him there. I don’t know if I was expecting a shorthanded goal there, but good for him. You never know, make the most of your opportunities.”

Three stars: Uchacz (1), Svozil (2), Evans (3).

The Rebels will finish their seven-game road trip on Friday against the Prince Albert Raiders.



byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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