“It’s kind of a weird goal because they just let me skate in.”
Those were Rebels Defensemen Alexander Alexeyev words describing the overtime goal that won the game 4-3 against Kootenay Ice on Saturday.
“Overtime goals are always really exciting,” he said. “(It made) me really happy, you can tell by my celebration.”
When the buzzer ended the third period, the game was tied 3 -3 as Kootenay Ice’s Jaeger White found the net with minutes left.
But the Rebels battled through overtime, earning their victory.
Despite their win, the Rebels had to fight for it, even though in the first 10 minutes of the game, it looked like Red Deer would sail through the night, just as they did Friday against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
With just 4:55 minutes in the game, Carson Sass found the back of the net on a power play with assists by Jacob Herauf and Reese Johnson. The Rebels were also leading in shots on goal 14-9 in the first.
In the beginning of the second, outnumbered by the opposing team, Forward Brandon Hagel put a goal in the net with another assist by Herauf.
Anders, like usual, made great saves throughout the game. But in the second period, he was hit in the throat with the puck.
While he recovered at the net, Kootenay Ice took no mercy and saw an opportunity to score – not one but two goals – within minutes of each other.
Kootenay’s Jaegar White found the back of the net at 3:38 and so did Brett Davis shortly after at 4:04 minutes. Both opposition goals were met by boos from Red Deer fans.
The Rebels’ struggle through parts of the game was the case of their usual tricks not working as well as they usually do.
General Manager and Head Coach Brent Sutter said certain players played hard and certain players did not. The team regrouped in the third period, he said.
“We talked about it, ‘Let’s not get frustrated, let’s get our game where we want it to be and give ourselves a chance to play and find a way to win.’”
He added, “It certainly wasn’t a perfect game by any means. It certainly wasn’t pretty. But a win’s a win and two points is two points.”
After what looked like it might be an injury to the Rebels netminder, Anders was back to his usual self. He ended the game with 32 saves.
“The (Kootenay Ice) directed a lot of pucks at the net,” Sutter said.
“Andy gives you a chance every night and that’s what you want from your goaltender.”
The Rebels are up against the Calgary Hitmen on Oct. 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Centrium.