The Rebels snatched Saturday’s game from the previously undefeated Prince Albert Raiders, 4-3.
The team’s fifth win had fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle when the Raiders made a last attempt to tie the game.
While the puck managed to get past goalie Ethan Anders, who performed outstandingly throughout the night, refs determined the puck found the net after the period ended.
But it was from the first period that the Raiders were determined to give the Rebels a run for their money.
It wasn’t until seconds were left in the scrappy first period when Raiders Forward Aliaksei Protas found the back of the net.
The Rebels met the challenge. Brandon Hagel fired back about two minutes into the second with an assist by Jeff de Wit where the teams stayed tied throughout.
It was in the third period when things got really interesting.
Within 41 seconds, Forward Arshdeep Bains found the back of the net for the Rebels, making his first goal of the season.
While the Raiders continued to outshoot Red Deer, Anders continued to make impressive save after impressive save.
About four minutes into the exciting third period, Chris Douglas followed Bains’ lead with a goal and an assist from Hunter Donohoe.
With almost 12 minutes left in the game, the Raiders tied up the game when the team’s Centre Brett Leason found the back of the net.
“They’ve obviously got a very good hockey team,” said General Manager and Head Coach Brent Sutter. “They’re an older team, we found a way. I don’t know another way to put it. We had some good shifts, we had some bad shifts. We turned the puck over sometimes in areas you don’t like turning pucks over, but we continued to fight and battle and scratch and claw.”
And claw they did. Team Captain Reese Johnson scored an impressive fourth goal for the Rebels with a little over two minutes left in the game.
“I wanted to use my speed there and get to the net and I was happy to put her in,” Johnson said after the game. “Everyone worked hard and that’s what we want, to compete and be hard workers every night, we definitely have some areas to clean up. But it’s a great win, we’re happy with that.”
He added that Anders backed him up a couple times.
“I had to congratulate him on a couple unreal saves,” he said. “He backed me up with an unreal glove save.”
The Rebels are up against the Saskatoon Blades on Oct. 12th.