Three wins, a loss, an overtime loss and a shootout loss.
That’s how stats line looks after the Red Deer Rebels returned after a two-week, six game road trip that saw the club stop in Seattle (4-1 loss), Portland (4-3 overtime loss), Tri-City (5-3 win), Everett (2-0 win), Vancouver (3-2 shootout loss) and wrap things up with a 4-3 win in Chilliwack.
“It was certainly a greasy win,” smiled Rebels head coach/vice-president of hockey operations Jesse Wallin after watching his club jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first period against the Bruins and then hang on for the win.
“We looked like a team that had been on the road for two weeks. We were fortunate to get the lead on them early. I thought we came out with a lot of energy and I thought our work ethic was there. I thought we played hard, but I didn’t think we played the smartest game.”
The Rebels got things going at 4:21 of the first period when rookie blue liner Matt Dumba potted his fifth goal of the season, before Tyson Ness made it 2-0 Red Deer at the 7:40 mark.
Just 50 seconds later, Brett Ferguson made it 3-0 for the Rebels with his fourth of the year.
The Bruins, though, would not go quietly into the night and two goals, including a power play goal, from Brandon Manning had the visitors up by just one goal at the end of the opening period.
Turner Elson, with his seventh, made it 4-2 Red Deer after two periods, before Bruins rookie sensation Ryan Howse tallied a power play marker early in the third period to make it a bit closer and Rebels netminder Darcy Kuemper had to be sharp is picking up his league leading 14th win of the season.
“It looked like we were a little bit mentally worn down at times, like we had been on the road for quite a while,” admitted Wallin who, like the rest of the team, was eager to get back to Central Alberta after spending half a month on the road.
“But I was pleased with the effort. We made it hard on ourselves at times, but at the end of the day, we gutted it out and found a way to win and it was a huge way to end a long trip.”
Although they only won three games on the trip, they picked up points in five of the games and played well enough to win all six.
That’s a fact that did not go unnoticed by the head coach.
“Overall, I was pretty pleased to get the eight points,” said Wallin.
“Obviously, we came out here to get 12 and we’re disappointed that we didn’t, but the reality is we could have and it’s certainly something to build off of. I think this trip made our team better. They won some games in different ways, and came through the adversity you go through on the road and in tough buildings to play. It’s certainly a trip we can build off of.”
Red Deer will now begin a stretch that will see the club 11 of its next 17 games at the Enmax Centrium.
It all starts Friday night when the Rebels welcome the Swift Current Broncos to Red Deer.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels will have a new goalie on the bench for that game as the club swung a deal with Regina on Monday, sending forward Lane Scheidl to the Pats in exchange for 18-year-old Daysland, Alberta native Dawson Guhle.
Red Deer made room for Guhle by reassigning Bolton Pouliot to the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Major Midget Hockey League.