It was a tough weekend for the Red Deer Rebels as they faced back-to-back losses on home ice.
Friday night’s game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes saw the Rebels lose 2-1. Again on Saturday night against the Prince George Cougars the Rebels fell short in front of a crowd of 5,691 people.
Again on Saturday night against the Prince George Cougars, the Rebels fell short in front of a crowd of 5,691 people.
GM/Head Coach for the Rebels, Brent Sutter said Friday night’s game came down to turnovers, as both of the Hurricane’s goals were a direct result of poorly played puck-handling by the Rebels.
“If you look at the three quality scoring chances in the first period alone, (Brett) Kote, (Haydn) Fleury, and (Brooks) Maxwell all threw pucks away and two of those turnovers ended with pucks in our net,” said Sutter. “The second period went well and I said to the kids that it was probably one of the best second periods we’ve played in two to three weeks, but in the third period we just didn’t have the push we needed.”
Despite a well-played third period goal by Rebels centre Preston Kopeck the team remained in the rear despite outshooting the Hurricanes 27-19.
“We need everyone to do their best and we need our best players to be our best players, and that wasn’t the case tonight,” said Sutter on Friday night’s game. “This is something we can’t have and the older players should know better but this happens sometimes at every level and the reality is your players need to perform.”
The Rebel’s struggle continued Saturday night against the Cougars, however their game was greatly improved from Friday night as the crowd saw the game go into overtime, tied 2-2 after the third.
Meanwhile, Sutter also stated on Friday he hopes to see the Rebels get back to the level they were at.
“We have some work to do to get our players back to the level they were at three to four weeks ago and get everyone dialed in again,” said Sutter. “Their hearts are in the right place but they are facing a bit of adversity and we need to help them through that.
“We’ve got to keep our chins high and keep pushing and we’ll get out of it.”
The Rebels are set to hit the road in hopes of ending their dry spell, as they headed to Prince Albert Tuesday evening, Saskatoon Wednesday night. Then it’s off to Swift Current Friday night, and Regina on Saturday.
Sutter explained the team hopes to, “Handle it and deal with it the right way and if everyone stays focused the way they need to stay focused then we’ll get ourselves out of it and be a better team because of it.”