Everyone got involved with the clean-up after the Rebels first goal of the game sparked hundreds of teddy-bears, socks, toques and mitts being tossed on to the ice surface. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

Rebels win two straight heading into Christmas break

Two third period goals give Red Deer 3-1 win over Swift Current

Red Deer Rebels 3 – 1 Swift Current Broncos

The Swift Current Broncos (6-21-1-2), losers of eight straight games, was hoping to end their drought against a Red Deer Rebels (11-17-0-3) team coming off a spirited 6-4 win against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Broncos came into the game after a 5-1 loss the WHL Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings (21-6-5-2), meaning they had some desperation coming into the game to break the streak. Unfortunately for Swift Current, the Rebels played with the desperation needed to carry the day as their improved play as of late led them to win 3-1.

“It was a game you had to stay with it and not break,” Coach Brent Sutter said. “It was tight checking and there wasn’t a lot of room. You had to keep your mistakes to a minimum and keep the game simple.”

The first period would feature an arena-sized donation to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, with Rebels forward Zak Smith delivering a first period goal which sparked the annual Toque-Teddy Toss — where hundreds of toques, teddy-bears, mitts and socks rain down from the rafters for those in need.

The Rebels would carry the 1-0 into the second period after dominating much of the period, out-shooting the Broncos 14-8.

Red Deer would once again dominate the shots, but the Broncos would tie this one up in the second.

Tyler Smithies would score his second goal of the year, but it would require two official reviews and many in attendance not approving of the good-goal call. The goal would lead to a 1-1 tie heading into the third and deciding frame.

Sutter said they had trouble breaking the Swift Current defence in the first two periods

“They (Broncos) play a tight man-on-man in their own zone defensively and they don’t give you much in the middle of the ice. When you are in there, you got to be strong and solid,” he said.

The Rebels would put this one away in the third, finding the back of the net twice leading to the final score of 3-1.

“I thought we did a really good job in the third period. We talked about staying with it and trying to break the opposition for a quality scoring chance. We were able to do that.”

Cameron Hausinger would score the winner and Josh Tarzwell scored his 14th for the insurance goal, giving Red Deer their fifth win in seven games heading into the holiday break.

“I thought our team played well. We had some hiccups and we had some slow moments but we came out in the third period when it counted and ended up getting a win,” Hausinger said.

Sutter credited the line of Hausinger, Jayden Grubbe and Tarzwell.

“It was a great play (Tarzwell’s goal) and that’s the type of game it was. You had to stay with the play,” Sutter said.

Byron Fancy stopped 19 shots for his seventh win of the year and the Rebels will now not return to the ice until Dec. 27 when they take on the Oil Kings.

“I thought our team has been playing real well defensively and our offensive game is starting to build off that,” Hausinger said.

The Broncs’ will look to break their nine game losing streak against the Medicine Hat Tigers on the 27th as well.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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Central Albertans let the teddy-bears fly on to the ice after Zak Smith’s first period goal against the Swift Current Broncos. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

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