Rebels mix good with bad in 6-2 loss to Winterhawks

Winterhawks 6 Rebels 2
KENNEWICK, Wash. — A mixed bag.
That’s pretty much how Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter summed up his team’s performance in Saturday’s 6-2 Western Hockey League preseason loss to the Portland Winterhawks.
“It’s hard to really describe, to pinpoint, how the game went,” said Sutter. “I thought we did some very good things . . . we skated at a high speed, played at a fast pace.
“But we gave up some scoring chances we can’t give up. There were some (defensive) breakdowns. They got some unfortunate goals on our goalie and we had some chances and didn’t capitalize.”
The ‘Hawks opened the scoring a mere 36 seconds into the contest — courtesy of Bronson Sharp — and never looked back.
“We were down one right off the bat, on the very first shift, and were fighting from behind all night,” said Sutter.
Ty Kollie gave Portland a two-goal lead late in the opening period and Matthew Quiqley upped the count to 3-0 at 2:55 of the middle stanza before Akash Bains got the Rebels on the board just under seven minutes later.
Henri Jokiharju staked the Winterhawks to a 4-1 lead at 16:09 of the second period and Jake Gricius and Colton Veloso extended Portland’s advantage with third-period tallies.
Chris Douglas connected on the power play to account for the Rebels’ second goal with 1:39 remaining in the contest.
“We did some good things and yet I didn’t think we were as sharp defending as we have been,” said Sutter, whose squad sits at 3-1 in preseason play this fall. “We weren’t as sharp as we need to be.
“We didn’t generate as much tonight as last night (in a 3-2 win over the preseason tournament host Tri-City Americans) but the team we played is a quick team. They’re as fast a team as we’re going to play all year.”
That being said . . .
“I thought we played with some really good speed too,” said Sutter. “But we made some mistakes. We have to defend better.”
Winning netminder Shane Farkas made 27 saves while Rebels puck-blocker Ethan Anders was credited with 29. Portland was one-for-five on the power play and Red Deer was one-for-six.
“Some guys didn’t play as well tonight as last night,” said Sutter. “It was an accumulation of a bit of everything. But you get six goals against you, there’s a reason why it happens.”
The Rebels are idle until next Saturday when they wrap up their exhibition schedule with a home date with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Red Deer’s regular-season home opener is Sept. 23 versus the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.

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