The QE2 rivalry was very much alive and well on Friday night at Rogers Place as Edmonton came out 2-1 winners over Red Deer.
While goals were hard to come by, fans were treated with two great goaltending displays, a couple of fights and some hard-fought hockey from both teams.
Jake Neighbours was the hero on the night scoring the game-winner with 6.8 seconds left on the clock. A quick tic-tac-toe play between himself, Dylan Guenther and Riley Sawchuk ensured that the Oil Kings came away with maximum points and his 18th of the season.
It was the Rebels that opened the scoring, however. After a defensive breakdown, Jaxsen Wiebe found Josh Tarzwell in front who beat Beck Warm to make it 1-0.
That would be the only goal that Warm allowed on the night, though, as he stood tall making 21 saves for his sixth win in eight starts since joining Edmonton. The Oil Kings shot-stopper was named the games first star following the final buzzer.
At the other end of the ice, Ethan Anders was outstanding for Red Deer. Anders made numerous top-quality saves to keep his team in it. He denied both Carter Souch and Guenther on a similar wrap around attempts in the second period which seemed like for sure goals. Anders also played his angles well versus Vladimir Alistrov, forcing him wide where he would hit the outside of the post. With the way Anders played alone, the Rebels were unfortunate not to gain a point from this contest.
Guenther was the other Oil King that beat Anders. Edmonton’s rookie forward fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff dot which tied the game on the power play.
There was plenty of animosity between the two teams tonight.
In the first period, Josh Williams dropped the gloves with Mason Ward who had earlier hit Ethan McIndoe hard into the boards. He did receive a two-minute penalty for the hit.
Then, in the third period, Loeden Schaufler went at it with Wiebe to finish off the battle at Rogers Place.
Overall, despite there being few goals, the action on the ice didn’t leave fans disappointed with the hits, the fights, and performances from both teams.
- The Oil Kings went 1 for 4 on the power play with Dylan Guenther getting the lone goal for his 20th of the year.
- Their penalty kill was perfect, preventing the Rebels on three occasions.
- Wyatt McLeod returned to the lineup for his first game since December 27, 2019, against those same Rebels.