That’s about the best word to describe the Red Deer Rebels' 6-5 overtime loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday night at the Enmax Centrium.
Losing in extra time to a top notch team isn’t a bad thing in itself. But when it comes after you had a four goal lead through two periods, that’s a different story altogether.
Brandon opened the scoring 9:35 into the game when Cole Reinhardt went top shelf on Rebels goalie Riley Lamb.
Red Deer responded with a power play goal, quite elusive in recent weeks, from Kristian Reichel. His one-timer blast past Dylan Myskiw tied the game 1-1 at the 18:14 mark.
Mason McCarty gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead just 37 seconds into period two with his team leading 14th tally of the season.
It was 4-1 after Lane Zablocki labelled a shot low on Myskiw's blocker side for his eighth goal at 7:20 of the frame.
The home team opened up a 4-1 lead 12:27 into the middle frame as Reese Johnson took a sweet feed from McCarty and fired home his eighth goal of the year.
The Rebels weren’t done there. Johnson netted his second goal of the frame, the second Rebels power play goal on the night, at the 16:44 mark. On the strength of their best period of the year the Rebels led 5-1 through 40 minutes.
Red Deer scored four goals in the second period. In a stunning turn of events, Brandon did the same thing in the third.
Conner Gutenberg got things going with a power play goal 5:35 into the final frame. Evan Weinger followed up with an even strength tally 1:19 later.
Brent Sutter called a timeout at that point in an attempt to stem the tide rising against them. It didn’t work.
Reinhardt scored again at the 13:21 mark to make it 5-4.
Stelio Matheos, on a superb shorthanded effort, tied it 5-5 with 1:44 remaining.
In overtime, Lamb and Myskiw took their turns making heroic saves to keep the game going until Matheos ended things with 11.5 seconds remaining, capping off a remarkable Wheat Kings comeback and a stunning Rebels collapse.
Brent Sutter post-game comments
The Rebels outshot Brandon 40-33 and were 2/4 on the power play while the Wheat Kings were 1/4 with the man advantage and added a shorthanded tally.
After finishing November with a forgetful 1-9-2-0 record, the Rebels kick off December with a home game Friday versus the Memorial Cup host Regina Pats. Game time is 7 p.m. with the pre-game show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:30.
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