The Red Deer Rebels were looking for a better start to their post-holiday schedule against the Edmonton Oil Kings after only going 10-18-4-2 in the first half of the season.
Unfortunately for the home squad, the Oil Kings would dominate a game that saw them taking out the Rebels 3-1 with very little resistance.
The first period was promising for Red Deer when Alexander Alexeyev got the ball rolling 1:25 seconds into the game with his fourth goal of the season.
Unfortunately for the home squad, the Oil Kings would have the answer after a Red Deer penalty led to Davis Koch’s 15th of the season. Edmonton would follow Koch’s goal with Trey Fix-Wolansky’s 13th goal of the season with 4:44 to play.
The Rebels would head into the second intermission licking their wounds and hoping for a better result in the second frame.
Koch, however, would quickly throw salt on Red Deer’s wounds when he beat Ethan Anders for his second of the game and 16th goal of the season.
“We made a couple mistakes behind our net, not finishing some checks,” Coach Brent Sutter said about the second period goal that was a back breaker to any Rebel momentum.
The Rebels would have chances in the second and would narrow the sizable shooting gap, however, they would be unable to capitalize on their chances leaving them down two goals with 20 minutes to play.
“We had some shifts where we did some really good things but we had too many shifts where we didn’t get engaged. We didn’t finish checks and chased a lot. We took some penalties tonight that we can’t take. That part is disappointing,” Sutter said.
The Rebels would play a back and forth third period and would have some chances on Oil Kings netminder Josh Dechaine, however they would be unable to capitalize — leading to a final score of 3-1.
“It is unacceptable and that is the frustrating thing with it. We talked before the game that if we want to catch these teams in front of us, we have to do our part as individuals. You have to do your part, be ready to play and play the game the right way,” Sutter said.
Anders stopped 25 shots in the loss and the Rebels fell to 10-19-4-2 overall and 5-10-2-2 on home ice.
“We weren’t good enough tonight. Our first period was terrible and we were obviously not ready to play. That team outworked us tonight,” Sutter said.
The Rebels finished their home and home series on Friday with a 3-4 loss to Edmonton, before travelling to Medicine Hat for another 3-4 loss. The Rebels will look to write the ship Wednesday, Jan. 3 against the Moose Jaw Warriors.