TEAMWORK- Red Deer Rebel Ryan Nugent-Hopkins speeds across the ice sneaking past Lethbridge Hurricane Michael Sofillas during WHL action Friday night. The Rebels won 2-1.

Rebels face busy weekend and garners two wins

Team heads into week with players out due to injury

It was a three game schedule for the Red Deer Rebels this past weekend, and each game went to overtime, with the Rebels grabbing a couple of wins.

The weekend started Friday night when the Rebels hosted Lethbridge, a team they had a 3-0-0-1 record against in four previous meetings.

John Persson, with his 29th, ended the contest 1:58 into overtime when he beat Hurricanes starter Brandon Anderson with a nice shot from the slot.

Saturday night, the Rebels hosted Kamloops, one of the few teams to keep Red Deer off the score sheet this season, that being a 1-0 loss to the Blazers on October 20th.

Brett Ferguson, with his second of the night and 21st of the year, got Red Deer the extra point with a rebound goal 1:40 into the extra period.

Both Josh Cowen and Persson went down with injuries in that one and Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin says Cowen is the worst of the two.

“Cowie ended up breaking his hand on the hit from behind so he’s going to be out here for a little bit,” said Wallin, when asked for an update on the two players.

“He had surgery on Sunday and they were able to repair it. He had a couple of titanium plates put into his hand so that’s actually going to speed up the recovery process. The surgery went well and hopefully that’s going to keep the timeframe a little shorter than what it would normally be. He’s been fixed up and he’s on the mend, but we will have him out for a little bit. Johnny’s just a little bit banged up. He’s taken a bit of abuse lately, and has some bumps and bruises. He’s got a charley horse and some sore ribs. He’s just in a lot of pain and he’s banged up and pretty stiff, but hopefully he’ll be ready to go Wednesday.”

With those two out of the line up, Red Deer headed south to Lethbridge for a rare Monday game, with the Hurricanes besting the visitors 2-1 in overtime.

Ferguson thinks Lethbridge just wanted the extra more than Red Deer did.

“It was kind of disappointing for us,” said Ferguson, who saw his 16 game point scoring streak come to an end in the loss.

“We didn’t play the way we wanted to play or the way we needed to play or the way we’re capable of playing. That was about it. We just didn’t play Red Deer Rebels hockey.”

The Rebels’ power play, which ranks second in the Western Hockey League, also struggled, failing to put a goal on the board in three games this weekend.

“I think it’s just a lack of urgency,” said Ferguson, who has gotten more than his share of man advantage time this season.

“We’ve been getting a lot of power play opportunities and the chances are there. We’re just not getting to the net hard enough. We’re not bearing down when we do get chances or bearing down on our chances. But teams go through stretches like that all the time. The important thing is that we bounce back and get it back to where it needs to be.”

The upcoming schedule isn’t any easier for Red Deer, as the Rebels will host Central Division rival Kootenay tonight before welcoming Kelowna to the Enmax Centrium on Friday.

“We’ve got a really good team coming into the Centrium tonight. We’re just looking at as another game, another two points we’ve got to take. Kootenay’s one of our biggest rivals and we want to beat them. And I know they want to beat us, so it should be a heck of a game.” said Ferguson.

sports@big105.fm

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