Wednesday night’s Rebels game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes is one for the books.
With only 6.6 seconds left on the clock, a shot from Brandon Hagel to Cam Hausinger – where the puck actually bounced off Hausinger’s leg into the net – led to an incredible comeback and 5-4 shootout victory for Red Deer.
In the third period, the Rebels were down 4-2 with only two minutes left in the game. Captain Reese Johnston found the back of the net at 18:05.
Hausinger scored the tying goal during the power play, which led to overtime and the eventual shootout.
In what amounted to the tensest play all season, Hausinger scored the winning shootout goal into the net of the newly acquired Hurricanes Netminder Liam Hughes.
“I was thinking he just came from Seattle, I didn’t know if he had seen that, so maybe I could throw a little curve ball at him,” Hausinger said of the shootout goal.
“I saw it in the NHL once and I showed my dad and said, ‘This is going to be my new move, this is going to be my go-to.’ I got to do it the other night (against Vancouver) and it worked, so you just stick with what works and thank God it went in. I just closed my eyes and prayed for the best.”
For much of the game, a win for the Hurricanes seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Lethbridge was up two nothing in the first period until de Wit scored his goal at the halfway point with Hagel and Jacob Herauf assisting.
It wasn’t until the end of the second that Hagel scored the team’s second goal with assists from Zak Smith and Dawson Barteaux. Dylan Cozens had scored the Hurricanes’ third goal with less than a minute into the second.
In the third period, at 5:59, Hurricanes’ Taylor Ross scored the team’s fourth goal, making it 4-2 in favour of Lethbridge.
The Rebels made their unlikely comeback at the end of the third after Head Coach and General Manager Brent Sutter called a timeout.
“We battled. It was certainly far from a mistake-free game, but we didn’t quit, we stayed with it,” Sutter said. “The kids stayed positive on the bench.”
He said the team found a way to get ‘one goal on a break.’
“You get those, you earn those, and obviously getting the power play at the end and being able to throw the puck at the net and get a screen. Something good came out of it.”
During overtime, neither team scored.
Hausinger said it was rewarding to come from behind and win.
“It shows a no-quit attitude,” he said.
“We talked about staying up, staying positive and whether you are playing every shift or whether you got to sit out because there is a penalty. Just to stay positive and have a lot of talk on the bench and I think there was a lot of that tonight. We kept the bench going and we kept ourselves alive.”
After the Rebels face the Calgary Hitmen Friday, they are back at home Saturday against the Victoria Royals.