With the way the WHL schedule is designed the Red Deer Rebels and Everett Silvertips play each other just once per season.
You wouldn’t have known it by watching them do battle in a feisty, often heated game Tuesday night at the Enmax Centrium.
In the end, a splendid goaltending performance by Ethan Anders, making his first ever home start for the Rebels, and solid special teams play were key in a 4-1 Rebels victory.
After going 0-for-5 versus Brandon on Saturday the Rebels power play totally redeemed themselves 1:27 into this one. Lane Zablocki put home a rebound for his long-awaited first goal of the season and a 1-0 Red Deer lead.
That score held until 4:16 into period two when Everett forward Orrin Centazzo forced a turnover and ripped a shot top shelf past Anders to tie it 1-1.
Grayson Pawlenchuk restored Red Deer’s one goal lead at the 9:21 mark of the middle frame when he beat Silvertips goalie Dorrin Luding up high for his fifth tally of the year. It was also Pawlenchuk’s 100th career WHL point.
Kristian Reichel gave the Rebels a 3-1 lead at the 18:12 mark when he took a drop pass from Zablocki then netted his third goal on the year.
The Silvertips pushed hard in their bid to get back into the game in the third period, but Anders held the fort for Red Deer, turning aside all 17 shots he faced, many of them being high quality scoring chances.
Jared Dmytriw iced this one for the Rebels when he netted an empty net shorthanded goal with 1:32 left to play.
Red Deer outshot Everett 35-29 on the night and were 1/5 on the power play while the Silvertips went 0/6.
The Rebels ended their three game losing streak and moved into first place in the WHL Central Division with eight points.
The Rebels head to Cranbrook on Wednesday where they will take on the Kootenay Ice Thursday night at 7 p.m. (pre-game show on 106.7 The Drive starts at 6:50.
Brent Sutter and Ethan Anders post-game comments
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