Not since way back on November 19th had these two Central Division rivals gone head-to-head. Despite the fact both teams were on the outside looking in when it comes to the WHL playoff picture… still plenty of pride on the line in this one.
The Rebels struck first in this game… and they did so early. Charles Inglis let loose with a sizzling wrist shot from the right faceoff dot. He beat ‘canes goalie Liam Liston for his 19th goal of the season. Marc McCoy had the lone assist on the goal which came 4:00 into the first period. 1-0 Rebels.
Despite a pair of powerplay opportunities for both teams, Inglis’ goal would the only one of the first period. Rebels led 1-0 through twenty minutes of play. Shots on goal were even at 14-14.
Red Deer held on to that one goal lead until the latter half of the second period. Macoy Erkamps blasted his fourth goal of the season past Rebels goalie Bolton Pouliot at 12:23. Adam Henry and Nick Buonassissi with the assists on the game-tying goal. Rebels score in the first. Hurricanes score in the second. 1-1 heading into the third period. Shots on goal favoring Lethbridge 24-14 (10-7 in the period).
Rebels regain the lead early in the third period on a goal from an unlikely source. Cody Thiel showed some fantastic stickhandling, toe dragging twice before going top shelf on Liston for just the second goal of the year for the young defenceman. John Persson and Mathew Dumba with the assists on the goal 1:03 into the period.
But the Hurricanes wasted little time in striking back. Pouliot appeared to have the puck covered after a scramble in his crease. Somehow Craig Leverton managed to get a stick on it and tap home his 5th of the season. Graham Hood with the lone assist on the goal which came at the 2:37. This game was tied 2-2.
Adam Kambeitz then gave the Rebels yet another lead in this game with 6:48 remaining in the third. He tracked down a rebound to net his 18th of the season with Marc Mackenzie and Tyson Ness earning the helpers. The Rebels were up 3-2 at that point. They would hold on through the rest of the period for the one goal victory. Final shots on goal were 36-27 for Lethbridge (12-6 in the third period).
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. Inglis RD
2. Thiel RD
3. Kiziuk LH
Next up… the Rebels put the wraps on their 2011-12 season by hosting the Edmonton Oil Kings tomorrow (Saturday 17th) night at the Enmax Centrium. Game time 7:30. It’s team awards night so be sure to arrive at your seats early. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.