EDMONTON, AB – Red Deer Rebels headed up the Q.E. II Sunday looking for their first win of the new WHL season against the Edmonton Oil Kings in the first of six meetings between the two teams. They returned home after a 6-2 loss to the Oil Kings where Rebel veteran Charles Inglis playing his 260th WHL game at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
The Rebels fell behind early — 1:29 into the opening period — when Edmonton’s Michael St. Croix scored his second goal of the second, tucking one from in close on the right side by Patrik Bartosak. Your Rebels had a few good chances at the other end for a few minutes in the early going before being were outshot 8-4 midway through the first frame. Rebel Cory Millette scored his first of the season to make it a 1-1 hockey game. Millette, 17, found a loose puck to and made a nifty wrap around at 13:49. The Oil Kings regained the lead on a short-handed marker from Curtis Lazar a minute and eleven seconds later. The Rebels made a change on the power play when Lazar scooped up a turnover and wired one from the left face-off circle for 2-1 goal. Lazar added more damage: 18 seconds into the second period the second-year Oil King threaded went five-hole on Bartosak, the 19-year old Rebel netminder. Bartosak made a great stick save a few minutes later on Oil King Mitch Moroz on a breakaway, keeping it a 3-1 game. But St. Croix scored his second goal, grabbing his own rebound, at 8:10 on the powerplay. Down 4-1 and outshot 27-10, Rebel coach Jesse Wallin called a time-out to settle the boys down. Then, at 13:20, Chad Robinson put the finishing touches on a pretty three-way passing play to cut the Oil King lead to 4-2. Lazar registered his first-ever WHL hat-trick and gave the Oil Kings a 5-2 lead at 14:12 of the middle frame. Oil King Klarc Wilson rounded out the scoring with a deflection at 15:27 of the third period.
The Rebels were 0-for-4 on the powerplay while the Oil Kings had seven power plays and capitalized one one of them. Bartosak was named the game’s third star and was a busy boy: Red Deer was outshot 53-20.
The Rebels next action is Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the Medicine Hat Tigers make their first regular season visit to the Enmax Centrium.
BY Cam Tait