An eventful, up and down season has come to an end for the Red Deer Rebels.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes downed the Rebels 6-4 in Lethbridge Saturday night to win their opening round WHL playoff series four games to one.
Red hot Brad Morrison opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the game when he fired a shot off the crossbar and past Rebels goalie Ethan Anders for his fifth goal and 14th point of the series.
Captain Grayson Pawlenchuk tied it for Red Deer with a four on four goal at the 9:34 mark.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 1, 2018
An eventful shift for Kristian Reichel saw him blast a shot off the crossbar then get blasted along the boards by Hurricanes forward Zane Franklin. Reichel left the game and would not return. Franklin was given a major penalty and game misconduct for interference.
Late in the ensuing power play, Brandon Hagel took a feed from Alexander Alexeyev and fired home his team-leading fifth goal of the series past Lethbridge goalie Logan Flodell.
Just over two minutes after that, at 16:08 of period one, Jordy Bellerive scored Lethbridge’s tenth power play goal of the series to even the game 2-2.
The Rebels took a 3-2 lead 3:52 into period two when a point shot from Alexeyev made its way through a maze of players and past Flodell for his second goal of the series.
Anders stole the show for Red Deer in the middle frame, turning aside all 18 shots he faced as the Hurricanes outshot the Rebels 18-2 in period two.
Lethbridge broke through for the game tying goal 3:13 into period three. Defenceman Calen Addison, a top-rated prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft, slipped one past Anders for his second tally of the series.
A little over a minute later, at the 4:40 mark, Taylor Ross burst in and beat Anders for a 4-3 Hurricanes lead.
But Red Deer responded as Reese Johnson banged home a rebound for his second goal of the series at 6:24 of period three to tie the game 4-4.
A mere minute after Johnson’s goal, Ross, with one hand on his stick, tipped home a pass to put the Hurricanes ahead 5-4.
The Rebels did what they could to tie the game once again, but they couldn’t do much. Morrison, fittingly, put a wrap on the series with an empty net goal with 1:14 left to play for his 16th point in five games. Lethbridge won the game 6-4 and the series 4-1.
Lethbridge dominated the shot clock in game five, outshooting Red Deer by a whopping 50-24 margin. The Hurricanes went 1/4 on the power play and 10/21 for the series. The Rebels had a good night on the power play going 2/5.
Overage Rebels forwards Grayson Pawlenchuk and Mason McCarty, along with Brandon Hagel, were honoured by the Hurricanes as the game’s three stars.
(Game highlights courtesy @TheWHL on Twitter)
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