Red Deer Rebels 7 – 5 Tri-city Americans
In a cross-border battle between the Tri-city Americans (17-33-4-1) and the Red Deer Rebels (20-21-2-3), it would be the Rebels who would come out on top 7-5 after weathering a quick start from the Washington visitors.
“It was a little but of a runaway game —high scoring. We had a really big goal on the powerplay near the end for the sixth goal. It was nice to pull through,” Rebels forward Chris Douglas said.
It looked like the Rebels were in for a long night after Jadon Joseph and Edge Lambert both scored in the first minute of the game to put Tri-city up 2-0, but the Rebels quickly right the ship after Byron Fancy got the quick hook for Ethan Anders, who is coming off a WHL Goaltender of the Week award on Feb. 9.
“These games are always fun, but you have to stay disciplined. Sometimes they get out of hand,” Douglas said.
Douglas would score 23 seconds after Lambert’s goal, followed by Jaxon Wiebe and Christopher Sedoff both scoring later in the period to give Red Deer an unlikely 3-2 lead after one.
“It felt good. It was a minute into the game and they had two goals. It is nice to get a bounce-back and we really needed it. That second goal by Wieber was really big for us to settle down and get back into the game,” Douglas said.
Coach Brent Sutter said he wasn’t happy being down 2-0 in the first minute of the game.
“We had no choice but to pull the goalie at that time. We tried to get something else going and it worked for us but our goaltending has to be better,” Sutter said.
Tri-city would continue to push in the second, but a very late goal by Ben King with 0.8 seconds left would keep Red Deer ahead 5-4.
Sasha Mutala would score both goals for the Americans, while Kyle Masters would add the Rebels other goal in the frame.
It looked like Tri-city would extend this game into overtime after a goal by Booker Daniel, but King play the hero in this one — scoring his second of the game late on the powerplay to give the Rebels a 6-5 lead.
Josh Tarzwell would add an empty-netter leading to a 7-5 Rebels win.
“There was lots of goals that three goalies would like to have back. We found a way. We got a powerplay and capitalized on it at the end of the game,” Sutter said.
Ethan Anders picked up the win with 18 saves on the night and the Rebels will now wait until next weekend when they will take on the Winnipeg Ice and the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Tri-city will head back State-side to take on Everett.