The Red Deer Rebels have had trouble scoring goals this season.
This wasn’t the case Friday night as the Rebels blasted the Edmonton Oil Kings 7-2 at the Enmax Centrium, led by three goals from Kristian Reichel and a solid night on the power play.
“When you score the first one, you want to get another one. Then when I got the second one, I wanted the third one, it was a nice game for me, I’m really happy,” Reichel said after the game.
Funny enough, it was a disastrous start for the Rebels as the Oil Kings opened the scoring just 26 seconds into the game. Riley Lamb mishandled the puck behind his net leaving Kobe Mohr with an easy shot into the open cage.
Edmonton was dealt a blow when their leading scorer Trey Fix-Wolansky was given a major penalty and game misconduct for a cross-check away from the play on Reichel.
The Rebels capitalized on the ensuing power play with Brandon Hagel setting up Mason McCarty for a tap in goal, his team leading 28th tally this season, at the 17:59 mark of the opening period.
The second period belonged to Red Deer as the Rebels drew several Oil Kings penalties and used their power play time to their advantage.
Reichel fired a shot that deflected off of an Edmonton defender and past Edmonton goalie Todd Scott for a power play goal 3:37 into the middle frame. At the 17:59 mark, Reichel struck again, on a power play, for his 22nd goal of the year.
Arshdeep Bains knocked in a puck out of mid-air in the final minute of the period to give the Rebels a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Reichel capped off his hat trick on the night when he blasted home a shot top shelf past Scott 4:31 into period three.
Davis Kope replied with a shorthanded goal for Edmonton at the 10:02 mark.
But Red Deer would not be allowing any sort of comeback in this one, putting the hammer down with a pair of late goals 36 seconds apart from Brandon Hagel and Hunter Donohoe. The Rebels scored seven goals in a game for the first time since they did so again Edmonton in the opening game of the season.
Red Deer outshot Edmonton 40-26 and finished the night 3/11 on the power play.
“It was solid, after the first 20 seconds of the game, after that, we were a really good hockey team,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “Obviously, our specialty teams were good. Overall, our game was really good.”
The Rebels and Oil Kings meet again Saturday afternoon at Rogers Place in Edmonton (1:30 p.m. on 106.7 The Drive).
The Kootenay Ice defeated Regina 4-2 Friday to maintain their four point lead over Red Deer for third place in the WHL Central Division.
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