POSSESSION- Red Deer Rebel Brett Ferguson fights for possession of the puck against Neil Manning of Vancouver during WHL action Saturday night at the Centrium. The Rebels won 2-3.

Rebels take it easy after four-day game stretch

The Red Deer Rebels are enjoying a couple of light days this week after a grueling stretch last week saw them play four games in five nights.

After picking up a 5-0 win over Kootenay at the Centrium on Tuesday, and losing 5-4 in a shootout in Lethbridge on Wednesday, the Rebels closed out their week with a 4-3 win over the Hitmen in Calgary on Friday and a 3-2 shootout win over Vancouver at the Centrium on Saturday.

“It was a tough hockey game, no question about it. I thought we looked like a mentally tired hockey team,” said Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin after Saturday’s win over Vancouver.

“The first period, our detail just wasn’t there. The guys were working hard, but when you’ve played the amount of hockey we have here lately and gone through some of the things we have the last couple of weeks, we just seemed to be a step behind. We made a lot of mental errors, as far as little break downs here and there and a lot of turnovers. We made it hard on ourselves, but at the same time, you’ve got to find ways to win those hockey games and we were able to gut it out.”

It was Rebels defenseman Matt Dumba who got things going for Red Deer against the Giants, scoring a first period goal that looked like it might just stand up as the winner before Colin Archer added his third of the season at the 1:46 mark of the third period to give Red Deer a two goal cushion.

But just 16 seconds after Archer’s goal, Giants all-star defenseman Neil Manning cut the deficit to 2-1 before Jordan Martinook got the visitors back on even footing at 4:46 of the final frame.

“I thought we put some pressure on at the end of the game,” said Wallin, who watched his club pick up its first shootout win in three tries this season.

“The last six-seven minutes of the third period might have been as well as we played all night. It’s a huge two points and coming off the four games in five nights, I thought the guys competed hard. We made it tough on ourselves but we found a way to win and it ended up being a pretty big week for us.”

Rebels’ netminder Darcy Kuemper, who had an off night against Calgary, giving up three goals on 15 shots, was back to his stingy self against the Giants, making 38 saves for his 18th win of the season.

“I got into the game early. They had a lot of shots in the first period and I got my confidence up,” said the 20-year-old Saskatoon native.

“I’ve felt confident all year so I just went out there and wanted to pay the team back for kind of bailing me out on Friday night, where I wasn’t at my best. I wanted to make sure I had a sharp performance and I thought I did that.”

Wallin had no doubt that Kuemper would bounce back after a sub-par outing on Friday.

“He really held the fort there when we needed him to and you know, that’s what we expect out of Kuemps,” said Wallin.

“We know what he’s capable of and that’s why you carry a 20-year-old goaltender, to hold you in those situations and I thought he stood tall. He was big and confident and battled hard and was good positionally and he’s been that way all year.”

Next up for the Rebels is a two-game homestand against Prince Albert (Friday) and Brandon (Saturday).

Rebels forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, meanwhile, found out Monday that he is one of 39 players invited to try out for Team Canada ahead of the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship.

Nugent-Hopkins, who leads the Rebels in scoring this season with 36 points in 28 games, will attend Hockey Canada’s selection camp, which runs Dec. 12–15 in Toronto.

sports@big105.fm

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP respond to home invasion

Male victim sustained non-life threatening head injury

Mountie seriously injured in early morning collision near Devon

An erratic driver is said to have collided with an RCMP cruiser

Vehicle thefts in Red Deer on the rise

Over 1,000 vehicles stolen in the span of a few months

WATCH: Red Deer 9-1-1 dispatcher thanked for birth assistance

Stearns family appreciative to Holly Shrader for helping deliver baby

Superintendent Ken Foster sees progress in city policing

Red Deer RCMP Superintendent has been on the job for a year and has seen success

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Washington governor tells BC don’t be ‘daunted’ by Trump

“I want to assure this assembly that no matter who is in the White House, it won’t affect Washington state’s relationship with Canada or British Columbia.”

Feds plan to spend billions on housing strategy

However much of the $15.9 billion will not be spent until after the next election in 2019

Most Read