The Rebels lost to the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-0, Wednesday night at the Centrium.
The shutout loss was another case of Red Deer not capitalizing on chances with the puck, explained Head Coach and General Manager Brent Sutter.
“I didn’t think we had enough guys play well enough for us tonight. It’s obviously a big game, which they all are this time of year, but just too many mistakes,” he said.
“We chased the game a lot in the first two periods and, again, our power play is killing us. We aren’t getting any production from our powerplay and it’s a reflection of our top players.”
Brandon Forward Ty Thorpe surprised Goalie Ethan Anders with a shot from the side of the net, getting his team on the board early in the first period.
Halfway through the second period, Braden Schneider found the back of the net, with Neithan Salame and Cole Reinhardt assisting.
Luka Burzan scored Brandon’s third goal in a power play with an assist from Stelio Mattheos.
To add insult to injury, Brandon’s Caiden Daley scored the final goal in an open net. The Rebels were left watching as the puck slid down open ice and in their net.
“I didn’t like the first goal,” Sutter said. “We turn the puck over behind the net and our goalie isn’t ready for it. You just can’t play like that right now. We’ve been pretty inconsistent with our play, probably more at home than on the road.
“The second goal they got, we just talked about it right before, during the timeout, about making sure we get pucks behind the defence to allow us to forecheck and get our feet moving,” he said. “Twenty seconds later we turn the puck over in the neutral zone, at their blueline, and boom, they come down and it’s in our net.”
The hero of the night was Wheat Kings rookie Goaltender Connor Ungar, who made 34 saves.
Among many notable saves, Ungar made a stunning dive save to stop the Rebels from scoring in the third period.
Anders made 25 saves.
This was the second time the Rebels have been shutout this season. They lost 6-0 to Vancouver on Dec. 28th.
The Rebels hit the road to face Lethbridge Friday. They are back at home Saturday night against the Calgary Hitmen.