Red Deer Rebels 5 – 4 Brandon Wheat Kings
A third period beauty goal by Red Deer Rebel (15-25-2-3) Ben King would cap off a game that Rebels coach Brent Sutter called a good game in a lot of ways
“I thought it was a back and forth game and we played well for most of it,” King said.
The goal and the win against the Brandon Wheat Kings (25-18-2-1) would be welcome respite for the Rebels after a pair of disappointing 5-2 losses against the Calgary Hitmen over the weekend.
“I think we competed and played our game. We have hardworking, get-in-the-trenches team. On the weekend we lacked that but tonight we did that full throttle,” King said.
The first period saw the Rebels on the powerplay three different times, but both of their goals — the first by Chris Douglas and the second by Dallon Melin on a two-on-one — both came during five-on-five hockey.
Red Deer’s goals were split up by a Wheat King goal by Ridly Greig, leading to a 2-1 Rebels lead heading into the second.
The second period saw the Rebels find more success on the penalty kill than at even strength. Arshdeep Bains would score on a shorthanded goal to put Red Deer up 3-1, but Brandon would keep this one within a goal when Ben McCartney scored his nineteenth of the year.
“We are starting to get chemistry and he is so skilled. He is easy to play with,” King said about his linemate Bains.
A pair of Brandon goals by Luka Burzan and Cole Reinhardt, with a Rebels goal by Christopher Sedoff in the third would make this one interesting.
Luckily for the Rebels, it would only take King 23 seconds after Reinhardt’s goal to put the moves on the entire Wheat Kings unit and bury the game winner — leading to the 5-4 Red Deer final.
“I thought I’d try something. It worked out and it was huge,” King said about the goal.
The win evens the season series with Brandon at two wins a piece.
Ethan Anders stopped 32 shots for the win and Red now waits for Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Ice.
“There are some things we have to continue to work on. We have to continue to strive for excellence and strive to get better every day. That has been what we have talked about since the start of the year,” Sutter said.
The Wheat Kings continue on their four-game road trip to take on Calgary the same night.