Optimist Rebels learn from loss

The Red Deer Optimist Rebels have the talent to play with any team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League.

Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper

Athletics 4 Rebels 3

The Red Deer Optimist Rebels have the talent to play with any team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League.

But they also need to play as a team, something they didn’t do enough of during a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Southside Boston Pizza Athletics at the Arena Sunday afternoon.

“It was one of those games where we take it as a bit of a learning experience,” said Rebels head coach Doug Quinn. “It doesn’t matter what team you’re playing you have to be ready to perform.

“We want to win every game, but you learn more by losing at times. You have to realize how tough it is to win and the sacrifices you have to make, whether it’s blocking shots or maybe sacrificing individual rewards and satisfaction for the betterment of the team. We talked about team first . . . team is everything and the only way we’ll have long-term success is if we play that way.”

The Rebels started a bit slow but were tied at one following the opening 20 minutes. However, the second period was a disaster as the Athletics scored three times and led 4-2.

“Three of the four goals we gave up were unassisted which meant turnovers and just bad goaltending,” added Quinn.

“We broke down in that second period. The defencemen tried to rush the puck up ice and do it by themselves and the forwards tried to do everything themselves. The third period we played better as we started to share the puck and had opportunities to come back and tie the game, but you can’t spot a team two or three goals in this league.”

Rebels Ty Mappin scored on a power play with 2:39 remaining in the game to make it interesting.

Matt Zentner started in goal for the Rebels and made nine saves, allowing four goals before giving way to Dasan Sydora with a little over four minutes remaining in the second period.

“Dasan gave us an opportunity to fight back and tie it, but our second period was so poor it was too far to come back,” concluded Quinn.

Logan Fisher and Cole Berreth added the other Red Deer goals. The Rebels held a 30-18 edge in shots.

The Rebels recorded a 6-2 victory in Lethbridge Friday.

Nick Glackin and Scott Ferguson scored two goals each with Brady Bakke and Scott Feser potting single markers. Fisher had three assists while Sydora made 20 saves.

The Rebels had 59 shots on Lethbridge goalie Jonny Hogue.

The Rebels have a break from league play this week as they travel to Grand Forks, ND, to compete in the Hockey Academy Tournament.

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— copyright Red Deer Advocate