Rebels have apparent winner waved off, fall to Wheat Kings in extra time
Wheat Kings 4 Rebels 3 (OT)
BRANDON — The Red Deer Rebels have created their own problems this season in regards to gaining the second point in WHL games that go into extra time.
On Saturday, the Rebels had their pockets picked in overtime by referee Karlin Krieger, who waved off an apparent winning goal by ruling incidental contact on Brandon Wheat Kings netminder Logan Thompson as the visitors scored.
Less than a minute later, Stelio Mattheos notched his third goal of the evening to give the hosts a 4-3 victory before 3,712 fans at Westman Place.
“That’s a tough one,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter of the disputed play during which Red Deer forwards Brandon Hagel and Kristian Reichel both stormed the Brandon net.
“You’d better be 100 per cent right that’s what you’re calling because there’s no video on that, it’s not like the NHL. I didn’t agree with the call. It’s one thing to say the goalie was interfered with . . . the other thing is Hages tries to make the play, and yes the goalie does get pushed in but he has no chance at all of getting the rebound because he’s already down from trying to make the initial save.
“Any contact made was very minimal. It’s just frustrating when you feel like you had the game won. It’s tough to get a call like that go against you.”
Mattheos potted his 34th goal of the season to snap a scoreless tie at 11:19 of the second period, moving out from behind the Red Deer net and beating goalie Ethan Anders with a backhand.
With the Rebels on the power play, rookie Alex Morozoff evened the count just over two minutes later, accepting a pass from defenceman Colin Paradis and connecting from the right faceoff circle.
Mattheos restored Brandon’s lead with a five-on-three marker at 19:54 of the period, but Morozoff scored his second of the game — and fourth of the season — at 2:21 of the third period to get the visitors back on even terms.
Josh Tarzwell then gave the Rebels their only lead of the evening five minutes later when he grabbed a rebound and whipped a backhand into a gaping net. It was Red Deer’s second power play marker of the contest.
Red Deer enjoyed a hefty 17-4 advantage in third-period shots but couldn’t hold the lead, as Brandon defenceman Chase Hartje’s wrist shot from the high slot eluded a screened Anders at 16:21, forcing overtime.
“You have to bear down when you have the lead in the last three and a half minutes. You can’t be running all over the ice in your own zone,” said Sutter of the late Brandon goal. “That cost us.
“But we played very well in the third period, we outplayed them. Then you lose coverage during three-on-three hockey. Losing these overtime games are killing us.”
Still, the Rebels enjoyed an excellent road trip with three wins and an extra-time setback and moved to within six points of the Kootenay Ice — 5-3 losers to visiting Swift Current Saturday — for the third and final playoff berth in the Central Division.
“We took seven of eight points on this trip, but like I told the kids we have no room for error,” said Sutter. “We can’t be satisfied with just getting one point in games, our goal is to get two points every night and that’s what we have to shoot for.”
Notable: Anders made 20 saves while Thompson turned aside 33 shots . . . The three stars were (1) Mattheos, (2) Morozoff and (3) Hartje . . . The Rebels lost Paradis to an injury when he was checked from behind by Brandon forward Baron Thompson in the second period. Paradis didn’t return to the game following the hit, which earned Thompson a major penalty and game misconduct. “He’s struggling a bit right now,” Sutter said in reference to Paradis. “We’ll know the extent of the injury in the next 24 to 48 hours.” . . . The Rebels host the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday, then take on the Edmonton Oil Kings in a weekend home-and-home set, Friday at the Centrium and Saturday afternoon in the provincial capital.