Wheat Kings 4 Rebels 2
BRANDON — The Red Deer Rebels suffered their eighth consecutive Western Hockey League loss Friday, but this was a setback the coaching staff could live with.
Despite the fact the Rebels were minus the services of six key veterans, they outshot the Brandon Wheat Kings 32-30 and held their own in terms of territorial play, but fell 4-2 in front of 4,593 fans.
“At the end of the day we couldn’t have asked for anything more from our guys,” Rebels assistant coach Bryce Thoma told Rebels play-by-play man Cam Moon following the game. “They all played well, they all played hard.”
The Rebels, with defenceman Kevin Pochuk of Winnipeg and forward Dexter Bricker of Swift Current called up from the midget AAA ranks, got another scare when all-star rearguard Mathew Dumba was struck in the face with a shot in the first period.
“But he got stitched up and came back. I don’t think he stopped bleeding the whole game,” said Thoma. “Guys like him put in a valiant effort and if they continue to work like that we’re going to have some success on this trip.”
Darian Dziurzynski fired three goals for the Wheat Kings, who watched John Persson stake the Rebels to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes and then scored all four of their goals in the middle frame.
Ryan Pulock also tallied for the Wheaties, while Brooks Maxwell — with his first-ever WHL — connected for Red Deer in a busy second period.
Corbin Boes stopped 30 shots for the winners while Bolton Pouliot made 26 saves for the Rebels.
“At one point they had four goals on 16 shots. At the end of the day you need some saves,” said Thoma.
The Rebels also had a goal called back in the third period after if was first signalled as a legitimate tally by the on-ice officials.
“I know Wally (Rebels GM/head coach Wallin) was frustrated because it look like Joel Hamilton got his stick on the puck (before it was ruled that the puck was kicked in),” said Thoma.
“At the end of the day our guys worked hard and competed hard and if we have that kind of effort again tomorrow we should come out on the right end of the scoresheet.”
The Rebels are in Regina tonight to face the Pats, then close out their four-game road trip with respective Tuesday and Wednesday meetings with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Swift Current Broncos.