The Red Deer Rebels remain undefeated – in the preseason that is.
Brent Sutter’s squad topped the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-1 Saturday night to close out a four-game mini-tournament at the Enmax Centrium.
After a slow first period which saw no goals and just 11 total shots, skaters were infused with a little more energy for the second.
Edmonton opened the scoring when Davis Koch of Surrey, BC beat Byron Fancy as Carson Sass sat in the penalty box.
Five minutes later, Austin Schellenberg cut into the zone on a breakaway and roofed the equalizer just under the bar past tender Josh Dechaine.
Earlier in the period, second-year Rebel Dawson Martin (’98) went to the locker room following an innocuous looking play.
GM and Head Coach Brent Sutter said post-game, “It’s not good,” adding that it was a definite arm injury. Sutter said they expected to know more very soon about Martin who had 10 goals and six assists in 65 games with the Rebels after being acquired from Calgary last September.
To start the third period, Riley Lamb took over the net for Red Deer and made a handful of solid saves to keep the game within reach for Red Deer.
Three minutes in, Campbell River, BC native River Fahey fired the puck over the glove of the Edmonton goalie to put the Rebels ahead 2-1.
During a penalty kill shortly thereafter, Austin Pratt limped off the ice after taking a shot off the foot. Pratt left for the dressing room but returned soon after.
The Rebels then survived a pair of penalty kills before the 16-year-old Fahey slid his second of the game into the empty net.
“It’s nice to win, but the most important thing is that the team plays hard and competes and all the managers, coaches and scouts see things they want to see,” Sutter continued post-game. “Hopefully each team got what they wanted out of this."
The Rebels head to Kennewick, Washington for another preseason tournament next weekend, starting with a game versus the Tri-City Americans on September 8. A number of veteran players will be off at NHL training camps including Brandon Hagel (Sabres), Lane Zablocki (Red Wings) and Adam Musil (Blues).
Sutter said all teams are in the same boat at this point, meaning more ice time for young guys.
“It’s certainly been encouraging from my standpoint -- I do like our kids a lot, even the ones that have gone home already,” he said. “Again, it’s about developing and making sure we don’t put young players in tough spots -- and making sure everybody’s playing.”
Sutter also announced several more roster moves following the game. Byron Fancy (Claresholm, AB-'01), Ryan Gottfried (Winnipeg, MB-'01), Arshdeep Bains (Surrey, BC-'01) and Ethan Rowland (Calgary, AB-'02) were all reassigned to their respective midget AAA teams, bringing Red Deer’s roster to 29 players.
Following Friday’s tilt with Tri-City, Red Deer takes on Portland Satsurday night before their final preseason rehearsal at home on September 16 against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Rebels play their season and home opener September 23 against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
For game highlights, click HERE.
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