Reichel records hat trick as Rebels roar past Oil Kings
Rebels 7 Oil Kings 2
The Red Deer Rebels’ special teams were something special Friday night at the Centrium.
The Rebels potted a trio of power play goals, including a pair from Kristian Reichel, who recorded a hat trick with a short-handed marker in the third period in a 7-2 Western Hockey League thumping of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“When you score first one, you want to get another one. And when I scored second one I wanted to get third one,” said Reichel.
“We play simple,” added the Czech forward. “We were dialled in from the first faceoff until the end. We didn’t give Edmonton any chance. We deserved the win.”
The Rebels actually struggled a bit off the opening faceoff, giving up a goal to Kobe Mohr just 26 seconds into the contest. But the hosts found some traction shortly after and pulled even on Mason McCarty’s team-leading 28th of the season — a power play tally — exactly 11 minutes later.
McCarty took a perfect feed from Brandon Hagel while stationed alone at the front of the net and tucked the puck past Edmonton netminder Todd Scott.
The hosts then sniped a trio of unanswered second-period goals to take control of the contest and sealed the deal with three more in the final frame.
“We were solid. After the first 20 seconds of the game we were a pretty good hockey team and obviously our specialty teams were good,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.
With Edmonton’s Ty Gerla serving a goaltender interference penalty, Reichel gave the Rebels a permanent lead at 3:37 of the second period with a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected in off the visitors’ Wyatt McLeod.
He added another man-advantage tally at 17:59 with a slapshot from the high slot, and Arshdeep Bains followed with his second of the season 66 seconds later, cashing a rebound from the side of the net.
Reichel potted his third of the evening at 4:28 of the third, one-timing a feed from Hagel, who stole the puck behind the Edmonton goal and spotted his linemate cruising into the low slot.
“Hags is unbelievable player. He has nice passes and Cuts (Brandon Cutler) is like the tough guy who can battles and win dirty pucks,” Reichel said of his linemates. “We have everything and we score some goals.”
The Rebels were three-for-11 on the power play and three-for-three on the penalty kill versus an Oil Kings crew that displayed little in the way of discipline.
“He got chances and he capitalized on them,” said Sutter, in reference to Reichel’s big night. “Our power play decided to shoot the puck more. We weren’t shooting the puck early and it got addressed and they starting shooting and they started scoring goals.
“We wanted to move pucks toward the net and we did a good job of that. Our overall game was good here tonight.”
The lone smudge on Red Deer’s special teams was a third-period, short-handed goal yielded to David Kope that cut the Rebels’ lead to 5-2.
Hagel made it a 6-2 game with 2:55 remaining when he cut down the right side, and while using Jacob Herauf as a decoy on a two-on-one break, fired a low shot past Scott.
Hunter Donohoe closed out the scoring just 36 seconds later. The rookie defenceman moved into the area between the hash marks and converted a drop pass from Josh Tarzwell for his second goal of the season.
Notable: Scott finished with 33 saves, while Riley Lamb stopped 24 shots in earning his fourth win of the season. Included among Lamb’s saves was a short-handed, breakaway stop on Kope during the opening period and a rebound save off Colton Kehler in the second . . . Selected as the game’s three stars were (1) Reichel, who picked up an assist for a four-point evening, (2) Rebels defenceman Dawson Barteaux, who had a pair of helpers, and (3) McCarty, whose three-point game included two assists. Hagel also collected two assists for a three-point evening . . . The recorded attendance was 4,729 . . . Rebels defenceman Alex Alexeyev arrived back in Red Deer late Friday after spending two and a half weeks in Russia following the death of his mother . . . The teams meet again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Edmonton. The game will be televised on Sportsnet West . . . Following the contest, the Rebels will travel to Prince George, where they will face the Cougars Monday afternoon in the opener of a four-game trip.