Red Deer fans were hoping and praying that Jan. 20th would finally be the night the Rebels would win on home ice after failing to do so since Oct. 28th, 2017.
Adding insult to injury, the Rebels have also been on the losing side of the last 12 games and were desperate for a win after falling to the Prince Albert Raiders 5-1 the previous night.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, their season of woes would continue on despite a solid effort, falling to the Kamloops Blazers 3-1.
“I’m not going to question our work ethic. Our work ethic was great tonight and our determination, our will was good. We had chances against one of the best goalies, if not top two goalies in our league,” Rebels Head Coach Brent Sutter said.
The first 10 minutes of the first period was a bit of a sleepy affair, with neither team finding a way to capitalize on their chances.
The Rebels patience was rewarded however when Red Deer native Josh Tarzwell knocked in his first goal as a Rebel on the powerplay to put his team up 1-0 with 9:53 to play.
Tarzwell said it feels good to get his first goal as a Rebel but, “It doesn’t really matter in the end” due to the loss.
Kamloops would have a five-alarm chance to tie it up when Nick Chyzowski was hauled down on the way to the Rebels net. The Blazers captain would be awarded a penalty shot against Rebels goalie Riley Lamb, but the forward lost the puck just after he passed the blueline and well before he had any chance to put a puck on net.
The Rebels would head into the second frame with a 1-0 lead.
The second period was all Blazers, with the Rebels only starting to put possessions together with three minutes remaining.
Jackson Shepard would get the Blazers started with his fifth goal of the season, followed by Travis Walton scoring his second of the season with 3:30 remaining.
“Every little thing seems not to go our way. You look at their second goal. It was a bounce off a chest and into the net right after we killed two big penalties off,” Sutter said.
The Rebels would head into the final frame down a goal 2-1.
Unfortunatly for the home squad, the third period would not grace Red Deer with a win.
Blazer Orrin Centazzo would throw salt on the wound and put away the game with 2:23 remaining.
The Rebels would go on to lose 3-1 in a game where they made plenty of plays.
“I thought we played well. Scoring is difficult for us and we need to get more offence from our top players,” Sutter said. “They are struggling with that and when they are struggling – we are expecting our 16 and 17-year-olds to score.”
The Rebels will look to turn their fortunes when they play the Medicine Hat Tigers on Tuesday on home ice.