Red Deer Rebels beat Oil Kings for third consecutive victory
The Red Deer Rebels continued their winning streak on Friday.
As they faced the Oil Kings in Edmonton for the eighth time this season, the Rebels left no doubt about beating the defending champions 6-2.
The win marks Red Deer’s third straight win since the holidays and head coach Steve Konowalchuk said it was great to see his team ready to compete.
“It was good to see that they were ready to celebrate a big win. They refocused and had the right attitude for pretty much the whole game,” he said.
Konowalchuk often preaches the importance of having multiple players and ranks contribute night after night. He got just that on Friday night as the Rebels had six different goalscorers in the game.
“Everyone that was in the lineup was ready to go,” he said. “You need everyone, and again it doesn’t take too many guys not to have their A game for the game to go the wrong way.”
Despite overtaking the Oil Kings 12-4 in the opening period, the Rebels didn’t score until halftime when captain Jayden Grubbe saved the rebound in the crease.
Edmonton equalized to draw 1-1 about five minutes after Noah Boyko scored.
In the final minute and a half, however, Red Deer went 3-1 up as defender Matteo Fabrizi and forward Jace Isley scored twice, about 25 seconds apart. Fabrizi hammered in a one-timer while Isley fired a shot into the top corner on penalties.
The Rebels conquered the game after two minutes in midfield. Forward Kai Uchacz continued his impressive game and scored his seventh goal in three games to extend Red Deer’s lead to 4-1. It was also his 30th tally of the season leading the Western Hockey League.
Edmonton added their second of the game at the 5:56 mark of the second period scored by Rilen Kovacevic.
With four minutes remaining, defenseman Hunter Mayo continued his dominance against the Oil Kings, scoring his 13th goal of the season, his seventh against Edmonton.
In the final minutes of the middle phase, Kalan Lind added the finishing touches with his ninth goal of the season to make it 6-2.
There were no goals in the third half and Rebels goaltender Rhett Stoesser was strong between the whistle with 17 saves in his third straight start. Both Edmonton goalies played Friday night, making a total of 25 saves. Kolby Hay had the start but allowed four goals on 13 shots. Logan Cunningham allowed two in 18 shots.
“[Stoesser] was solid,” added Konowalchuk. “He did what he had to do. I wouldn’t say he was tested the most than some of the games he’s been in, but he made the saves he had to make.
With the win, the Rebels end 2022 on a high and will be back in action in Calgary on New Year’s Day to take on the hitmen at 1 p.m