Raiders 4 Rebels 0
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — There is something about the Prince Albert Raiders that brings out the worst in the Red Deer Rebels, especially offensively.
Despite finishing with 43 shots on goal the Rebels dropped a 4-0 decision to the Raiders in Western Hockey League play before 2,549 fans Friday.
It was the second time the Raiders have blanked the Rebels — the first was 5-0 at the Centrium on Dec. 11.
“I don’t know what it is, we just don’t seem to score against them,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin. “Except for our 4-0 win at home, we’ve scored two goals in three games against them.”
The Rebels beat the Raiders 4-0 the last time they met, on Feb. 8, but also lost 7-2 to them Oct. 1 in Prince Albert.
“We generate plenty of opportunities against, but don’t score and it’s tough to win when you aren’t scoring any goals.”
The Rebels stormed out of the gate and held an 18-12 edge in shots on goal in the first period, but trailed 3-0.
“We had excellent chances early . . . we were focused and played with a lot of intensity. I really liked our game in the first period,” said Wallin.
“We could have easily been us up 3-0. We pressured them and didn’t score and they got a couple of easy ones.”
The Rebels also got frustrated when they couldn’t solve Raiders netminder Cole Holowenko.
“We came out strong again in the second period and had a power play and created some chances, but we didn’t capitalized and it seemed like we sagged a little bit and the guys got frustrated,” said Wallin.
“The second half of the game we had some chances, but didn’t have the same pressure we had on them earlier.”
Mike Winther opened the scoring for the Raiders at 13:38 of the first period on a bad rebound with Shane Danyluk redirecting a shot from the slot past Deven Dubyk at 18:02. Justin Maylan made it 3-0 at 19:25.
That was the end of Dubyk with Bolton Pouliot taking over to start the second period. As he did in a 3-2 win over Kamloops, he was solid, finishing with 22 saves.
The last Prince Albert marker by Mark McNeill came into an empty net at 18:07 of the third period.
“Dubs (Dubyk) has been solid for us this season, but tonight he wasn’t as sharp,” said Wallin.
“Two of the three goals were real soft and being down 3-0 we wanted to shake things up a bit and Bolton came in and was real solid for two periods. That was a positive.”
The Rebels playoff hopes are quickly going by the wayside.
They have 12 games remaining and are 10 points back of Brandon and 12 behind Regina. They do have three games in hand over Brandon and two on Regina.
Both teams won Friday as Regina downed Moose Jaw 8-2 and Brandon beat Swift Current 3-2 in a shootout.
The Rebels visit the Saskatoon Blades tonight before finishing their road trip in Moose Jaw Tuesday and Regina Wednesday.
They return home March 2 against Swift Current.