NEAR MISS - From right

Rebels put forth best effort, can’t overcome Huskies in semis

  • May. 28, 2016 6:42 a.m.

The Red Deer Rebels season came to an end Friday night, though not for lack of trying.

Despite their best efforts, the Rebels couldn’t pull off a third straight come from behind victory as they fell 3-1 to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final, even though they out shot the Huskies 37-27.

“I’m proud of our players. We deserved to be in this game tonight, we had a 2-1 record and we played with this team tonight, too,” said Rebels’ Head Coach/GM Brent Sutter after the game.

Coming into the semi-final game, the host Rebels held the second best record in round robin play, including posting a 5-2 win over the Huskies earlier in the week.

“We made a couple of mistakes in the first period that put us behind. But we didn’t quit, we kept battling and we had some great opportunities,” Sutter said.

An early power-play goal for the Huskies set the tone of the game in the first, as Rouyn-Noranda captain Francis Perron slotted one by Rebels’ goalie Rylan Toth to make it 1-0 halfway through the first.

The Huskies would add another one in the final five minutes of the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

“We are very happy with the way we played today. We want to be better game after game and the guys worked hard today,” said Huskies’ Head Coach Gilles Bouchard, noting that the team’s power-play was a big part of the win.

“We were not proud of how we played on the power-play last game. Today our puck movement was better. That was the big one for us about this game, to improve the PP.”

Rouyn-Noranda goaltender Chase Marchand was the difference maker for the QMJHL champions, making 36 saves on 37 shots to lead his team to their first-ever Memorial Cup final berth.

“He challenged the puck carrier. He’s calm and he competed. He competed and he never gave up in his crease,” said Bouchard of Marchand’s play, which earned him first star honours on the evening.

“I thought their goalie was the best player on the ice tonight,” Sutter said.

After the first period, the Rebels went on the offensive, peppering Marchand with shots and maintaining possession inside the offensive zone for the majority of the final 40 minutes.

A power-play goal by Rebels’ captain Luke Philp gave the hosts some hope midway through the second as they drew within a goal of the Huskies, but it proved to be too little too late.

Another power-play marker for the Huskies late in the second period was the final nail in the coffin for the Rebels’ season.

It was a tough loss for the Rebels, many of who will not be returning to the team next season.

“We had a tough start again. I think their goaltending was exceptional tonight. We had a strong push in the second and third and he made some unbelievable saves,” said Rebels’ forward Conner Bleackley.

“I’ve bled Red Deer Rebels my whole career and it’s just too bad we couldn’t hang up a banner. I’ve enjoyed everything about Red Deer from our billets to the organization. We’ll see where the future goes.”

The 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup final featuring the London Knights and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies is set to take place this Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Canada Winter Games welcome message from Mayor Tara Veer

Feb. 15th marks the beginning of community history-in-the-making

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

Most Read