With Red Deer Rebels experiencing frequent trips to the injured list, the Edmonton Oil Kings had the opportunity to get back on the winning track following their first loss of the season.
The Rebels were playing with just five defensemen after an early injury to Blake Gustafson.
“When you’re missing three of your top four defencemen and having to play, two young kids in situations that they’ve never played in before when Gus (Gustafson) went down, it certainly hurt us,” Rebels GM/ Head Coach Brent Sutter said.
Following a great start to the game for the Rebels, the Oil Kings poured it on in the second and third periods to take a 9-2 win at the Westerner Park Centrium on Good Friday. The win improves Edmonton to 10-1-0-0 on the season while Red Deer falls to 2-7-2-0.
For just the second time this season, the Rebels scored the game’s opening goal.
Halfway through the period the team added a second goal and had much of the play with the puck through the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Oil Kings came roaring back when the Rebels found themselves in the penalty box.
Having already allowed the high-powered Oil Kings to score five power-play goals in the season series, the Rebels needed to stay out of penalty trouble. They did not.
The first of four power-play goals on the night came with just 43 seconds left to play in the game’s opening stanza.
It didn’t take long for the Oil Kings to tie the game once the puck was dropped on the second period. 22 seconds in, New York Rangers prospect Matthew Robertson scored his second goal of the season.
Jalen Luypen gave the Oil Kings the lead, one they wouldn’t look back on with less than six minutes played in the middle period. His seventh goal of the season came on another man advantage.
Before the period was done, the Oil Kings had their third power-play goal of the night and a 4-2 lead.
Things really went off the rails for the Rebels when the teams headed to four-on-four play.
Edmonton scored four goals in a span of 72 seconds to open up an 8-2 lead. Red Deer’s starting netminder Byron Fancy was pulled following the sixth goal he allowed on 31 shots. His replacement, Ethan Anders, did not fare better as he allowed three goals on just 11 shots the rest of the way.
Carter Souch, Ethan Peters (his first WHL goal), Jake Neighbours, and Logan Dowhaniuk were the goal scorers in the early third-period flurry.
It's always a good night when you score your first career WHL goal!
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 3, 2021
The final goal of the night came off the stick of Dowhaniuk, his second of the night, on the fifth and final power play of the night for the red, white, and blue. He finished the night with a new franchise record of six points on two goals and four assists.
“I didn’t like the way we played as a forward group. We didn’t support each other and we stopped finishing checks. The last two periods, we just didn’t play very well and when you’re playing a good team like that, they make you pay,” said Sutter.
Rebel Yell… The night’s three stars were Dowhaniuk, Robertson, and Josh Williams. Final shots were 42-20 in favour of Edmonton. Williams had seven shots for the Oil Kings, Chris Douglas had five for the Rebels. ben King was the best Rebel in the faceoff dot at 9-for-15, Caleb Reimer was 5-for-9 for the Oil Kings. Next up for both of the teams will be a game played at 2 PM in Edmonton. Sutter mentioned that Chase Leslie is now listed as week-to-week following an injury.