Dallon Melin scored the first goal of the 2019/2020 WHL season for the Red Deer Rebels on home ice against the Edmonton Oil Kings. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Early on in training camp, Rebels captain Dawson Barteaux said the this year’s young Red Deer Rebel squad was going to surprise people in the Western Hockey League (WHL).

With their home opener being against the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) eighth-ranked Edmonton Oil Kings — the Rebels would need to start surprising right away.

The Rebels came into their home opener after going 1-3-1-0, while the Oil Kings finished 6-1-0-1 but it would be the Rebels who would come out applying the most pressure when Dallon Melin knocked in a rebound for the Rebels first goal of the year.

The Oil Kings, however, would quickly reestablish why their were the WHL Central Divisions best team last year, scoring two goals — one by captain Scott Atkinson and one with just 14 second left in the period by Josh Williams — putting Edmonton up 2-1 heading into the first break.

“I thought we had a good start and then they scored on the powerplay and took away the momentum,” Rebels Forward Brett Davis said.

The second period lacked the excitement of the first, with only the Oil Kings managing to find the back the net when Atkinson took a pass from Williams to score his second of the game.

“I thought the second period put us on our heels,” Rebels Coach Brent Sutter said. “After they got that powerplay goal it took us awhile to regroup again.”

The Rebels would head into the third down a pair of goals and needing to rekindle their early offensive success. They would that success with six to play in the period after a more physical brand of hockey eventually led to Brett Davis roofing a shot from the slot to put Red Deer within a goal.

“A team motto we have is to always finish checks on the ice. You can tell the crowd gets into it more when we do that and I think we fed off that in third which led to us playing a lot heavier and better,” Davis said.

The Oil Kings would, however, quickly shut down the Rebel’s hopes for a comeback after David Kope jammed in a loose puck in front of Rebels netminder Ethan Anders.

The Rebels would pull Anders for the remaining two minutes in the game — but Red Deer was unable to muster a push, leading to a 4-2 Oil Kings win.

The Rebels will head to Edmonton tonight to play the second half of a home and home — which is two out of eight meetings against Edmonton this season. Red Deer will play at home again against Calgary on Sept. 28.

“It’s the first game. There are things we obviously have to work on but it is a good test for our kids to see where they have to be at,” Sutter said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leaders of Tomorrow kicks off Jan. 16

Nominations accepted for youth recognition until Feb. 22

Team improves access to addiction, mental health supports

Service provides expanded on-call consultation

Hang up on the phone fraudsters

If the phone call seems kind of crazy…

Pinpointing innovations

How precision spraying system helps Kings Lake Hutterite Colony save time, products and water

County gravel pit requires wetland solution

County of Wetaskiwin hears report about wetlands at Hilgartner pit

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Alberta premier wants federal government to do more about opioid imports

Jason Kenney says Canada should find ways to cut down on drugs being smuggled into the country

Alberta Energy Regulator laying off staff, restructures, deals with budget cuts

Gordon Lambert, interim CEO, says the changes are part of a restructuring

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness

Most Read