The Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Red Deer Rebels for the second straight game Friday night, 6-4 at the Enmax Centrium.
It's the Rebels 10th straight loss. They also remain winless at home since Oct. 28.
“We were a 20-minute team tonight. I don’t even know how to explain it," Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter lamented. "We played well in the first and in the second we just couldn’t move our feet and we stopped working. It’s tough to make plays when your standing still at this level."
Colin Paradis wasted no time in making a good first impression in his new rink. The recently-acquired defenceman fired a wrist shot past Hurricanes goalie Logan Flodell for his first goal as a Rebels, just 26 seconds into the game.
Lethbridge tied it 1-1 at the 2:57 mark as Brad Morrison beat Riley Lamb for his 14th goal of the season, and his third in two games against the Rebels this week. Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive picked up an assist on the goal to extend his point streak to nine games.
Red Deer went ahead 2-1 courtesy of their captain, Grayson Pawlenchuk. The 20-year-old from Ardrossan cut through the slot and tucked one past Flodell for goal number 14 on the year.
Less than two minutes later at 17:48, Reese Johnson scored on a breakaway to send the Rebels to the first intermission with a 3-1 lead.
The Rebels found themselves in penalty trouble in the second period. They killed off an early 5-on-3 but couldn’t keep the Hurricanes from tying the game with a pair of power play tallies late in the period. Bellerive fired home his 25th goal of the season at the 11:56 mark. Just shy of five minutes later, Taylor Ross cashed in for his 11th.
"When you take penalties, we took four minor penalties in the second and we put them in the game and took a lot of our guys out of the game," Sutter noted. "Tough to score goals when you spend a lot of time chasing.”
Lethbridge took their first lead of the game 8:54 into period three, beating Lamb for his second goal of the season.
Red Deer pulled within 5-4 when Mason McCarty put home a rebound with 6:37 left to play. The goal was McCarty’s 21st on the year.
The Rebels were given a great opportunity when they Cale Addison took a holding penalty for Lethbridge with 3:13 left to play. But Red Deer was unable to capitalize and seconds after the power play expired, Dylan Cozens tapped home an empty net goal, his 13th goal on the year, to put the wraps on this one.
Lethbridge outshot Red Deer 32-27 on the night and was 2/5 on the power play while holding Red Deer to 0/3 with the man advantage.
“They’re bad penalties, ones where you’re not moving your feet and your standing and trying to make the play without the puck or finish the check. You end up reaching,” Sutter said, adding that the onus is on the players to be stronger on pucks and focus more on details.
The Rebels are back in action Saturday night as they take on the Saskatoon Blades at the Enmax Centrium. Game time is 7 p.m. with the broadcast on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:30.
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