Another huge game for the Rebels as they looked to gain ground on idle Brandon and Saskatoon. The Hitmen clinched a WHL playoff spot last weekend and were looking to gain a solid hold on 4th in the Eastern Conference.
Some great scoring chances by both teams in the opening minutes of the first period. In fact, both teams rang shots off the goal post.
Calgary would open the scoring in this game. Jimmy Bubnick beat Deven Dubyk for his 31st goal of the season. It was also his 10th point versus the Rebels this season. Trevor Cheek earned the lone assist on the goal at 5:28 of period one.
The Rebels then found themselves in some penalty trouble but were able to get through it, including killing off a 5-on-3 Hitmen powerplay. Red Deer later beat Calgary goalie Bradon Glover for a second time, but for a second time they hit the post. The first period would end 1-0 for the Hitmen. Calgary out shot the Rebels 13-11.
Red Deer would tie the game 1:29 into the second period. A 3-on-2 rush to enter the zone ended up with Tyson Ness having the puck on his stick below the goal line, somehow he found a way to slide it past Glover for his 18th goal of the season. Chad Robinson and Mathew Dumba with the assists.
Some nice stick work by Brady Brassart restored the Hitmen’s one goal lead near the midway point of the second period. Off the face-off in Rebels territory, Brassart stole the puck from Devan Fafard and snapped it by Dubyk for his 22nd of the season. The unassisted goal came at the 9:53 mark. That would be it for scoring in the second period as the Hitmen would take their 2-1 lead into the third. Shots were 29-19 through fort minutes (16-8 for Calgary in the period).
In the third period… the Rebels would push hard as they desperately sought to tie the game. They had a number of great scoring chances but were unable to break through. Late in the period, it would be Calgary scoring an insurance marker. Dubyk made a pair of saves before Chase Clayton gathered in the puck and put home his 12th of the season. Greg Chase and Alex Roach with the assists on the goal at 17:37. 3-1 for the Hitmen at that point.
Mathew Dumba would blast one past Glover for his 19th goal of the season to make it a 3-2 game, Ada Kambeitz with the lone assist. But the goal came too late with only 5.1 seconds remaining. Calgary skated away from this game with a hard fought 3-2 victory.
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. Deven Dubyk RD
2. Brady Brassart CH
3. Brandon Glover CH
Next up for the Rebels… the conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings visit the Enmax Centrium this Friday, March 9th. Game time is 7:30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.