Rebels finish strong but fall just short at Medicine Hat

Photo by Rob Wallator

Tigers 3 Rebels 2

MEDICINE HAT — At least they held their own in the third period.

After surrendering six third period goals in their two previous meetings with Medicine Hat — on Friday and Saturday — the Red Deer Rebels matched the Tigers’ final frame output on Monday at Co-op Place.

Unfortunately for the visitors, it wasn’t quite enough as they fell 3-2 in the WHL Central Division contest.

“We worked hard. There was a little bit of a lull in the second period where they controlled the first 10 to 15 minutes, but in the third period everybody was working,” said Rebels assistant coach Ryan Colville.

“Our whole group battled in the third period and we created some offence.”

The Rebels pulled to within a goal when Chris Douglas, on the power play, redirected a shot by Ben King past Tigers netminder Beckett Langkow with 24 seconds remaining.

But it was too little, too late for the Rebels who came up just short in their quest for a third win this season. 

Oren Shtrom notched the eventual winner at the midway point of the final period, burying a perfect feed from Brett Kemp while stationed at the edge of the crease.

“Obviously that goal was kind of a back-breaker but the guys kept plugging away,” said Colville.

The teams were tied 1-1 after one period before Rhett Parsons gave the Tigers the lead on somewhat of a fortunate play at 12:36 of the second stanza. Parsons’ shot changed direction when it glanced off a Red Deer player directly in front of goaltender Chase Coward.

Ryan Chyzowski, on the power play, opened the scoring for the hosts at 12:58 of the first period, beating Coward with a quick release from just above the hash marks.

The Rebels pulled even with five minutes left in the period, Dallon Melin banging home a turnover while swooping to the net front. It was Melin’s second of the season.

Coward, in just his second ever start for the Rebels, was impressive while turning aside 32 shots. Included among his saves were three in quick succession — and from close range — in the second period.

It was in direct contrast to his first Rebels start, in late November of 2019 when — as a 16-year-old emergency call-up— he allowed three first-period goals to the visiting Regina Pats before being pulled.

He definitely looked like a keeper on Monday.

“He was awesome, really steady,” said Colville. “There wasn’t a ton of rebounds around him and the guys really played for him when they saw how he was working.

“He looked confident, he looked calm. He didn’t look out of control at any point. I thought he played excellent.”

Coward was selected as the game’s third star, following (1) Kemp and (2) Parsons.

Langkow made 27 saves for the Tigers, his best stop coming on Ethan Rowland from point blank range early in the third period.

The Rebels are heading into their bye week and will return to action at the end of the month.

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