Hurricanes 3 Rebels 2 (OT)
LETHBRIDGE — One night after slipping past the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2, the Red Deer Rebels were on the losing side of an identical score in a WHL preseason contest.
Zack Stringer scored at 2:10 of overtime to life the ‘Canes to a 3-2 win over the visiting Rebels Saturday before 863 fans at the Enmax Centre.
“It was a good game, a little different from Friday,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “It was a little heavier game, more physical with a lot more battles engaged. There was more boardwork.”
Despite the physicality, each team had to settle for five power play opportunities, with neither squad cashing in with a man advantage.
Rylan Thiessen gave the hosts a lead midway through the first period before Chris Douglas notched a short-handed marker for the Rebels late in the frame.
Following a scoreless second period, Rebels forward Zak Smith connected at 13:29 of the third stanza. But Chase Wheatcroft pulled the ‘Canes even just under three minutes later, setting the stage for Stringer’s OT winner.
“Our kids competed and played hard. They battled,” said Sutter. “We have a young team and we have things we have to work on and get better at.
“We’ll stay on it daily and get through it and get better and better.”
Winning netminder Carl Tetachuk turned aside 18 shots. Eric Ward stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in the Rebels net and teammate Byron Fancy blocked 10 of 11.
“Both of our goalies were fine,” said Sutter.
The Rebels conclude their exhibition schedule next weekend, hosting the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday and visiting the Calgary Hitmen two days later.
Red Deer’s regular season opener is Sept. 21 versus the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.