Again, the effort put forth by the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night was worthy of a win.
Unfortunately for them, they had to settle for a single point as the Calgary Hitmen pulled out a 4-3 shootout victory.
Kristian Reichel opened the scoring when he ripped a power play one-timer past Hitmen goalie Nick Schneider 7:21 into the game. Reichel’s 13th tally of the season brought down a rain of toques and mitts from the stands as it was “Toque Toss Night” at the Enmax Centrium.
Soon after play resumed, just 45 seconds after Reichel’s goal, Jake Bean tied the game at 1-1 when he tapped home a rebound past goalie Riley Lamb and into a wide open Rebels net.
Lane Zablocki sent the Rebels to the first intermission with a 2-1 lead as he netted his ninth goal of the year with 1:29 left in the opening frame.
Just shy of three minutes into the second period, Austin Schellenberg gave the Rebels a 3-1 lead with his first ever WHL goal. It was an absolute beauty as he deked out Calgary netminder Nick Schneider before going top shelf with a backhander. Sam Pouliot and River Fahey, with his first WHL point, earned the assists.
Calgary fought back to tie the game with a pair of goals 55 seconds apart from Jake Kryski and Conner Chaulk.
Mason McCarty had a great chance to give the Rebels the lead again when he drew a penalty shot early in the third period. However, Schneider had other ideas as he just got a pad on McCarty’s backhand deke to keep the game tied.
The Rebels dominated the third period, outshooting the Hitmen 14-3. But Schneider stood tall between the pipes for Calgary and got the game to overtime.
Both goalies were superb in the extra frame. Schneider was strong early before Lamb played a key role killing a Lane Zablocki hooking penalty.
In round five of the shootout, Vladislav Yeryomenko deked out Lamb for the game winner for Calgary.
Red Deer outshot Calgary 35-31 on the night and went 1/5 on the power play. The Hitmen went 1/6 on the man advantage.
Next up for the Rebels is another Central Division battle as they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday. 106.7 The Drive has the broadcast starting with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m.
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