Rebels’ Isley notches third-period goal to defeat Rockets
Photos by Marissa Baecker
Rebels 3 Rockets 2
KELOWNA — After losing three straight games in the third period, the Red Deer Rebels flipped the script Saturday.
Jace Isley’s goal at 11:11 of the final frame gave the Rebels a 3-2 WHL win over the Kelowna Rockets in front of 5,212 fans at the Prospera Centre.
“We played a pretty solid game right through . . . 60 minutes right through,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, who watched his team fold in the third period of earlier losses at Victoria, Vancouver and Kamloops.
But not on this night, versus the 2020 Memorial Cup host Rockets.
“We didn’t give up a lot five-on-five, we were much better that way tonight,” said Sutter. “It was more of a complete game.
“And Byron was good,”
The Rebels boss was referring to netminder Byron Fancy, who turned in an impressive 24-save performance. Roman Basran made 25 saves for the hosts.
The visitors killed off some early penalties and jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period.
With the Rebels on the power play, Josh Tarzwell took a drop pass from Arshdeep Bains and beat Basran to the top of net from the left circle at 7:46, and Kyle Masters scored his first ever WHL goal at 18:55 — again on the power play — when his point shot struck Basran, bounced into the air and into the net.
The Rockets pulled even with second period goals from Kaeden Korczak, from the right circle at 9:28, and Pavel Novak on a short-handed two-on-one at 17:40.
But the Rebels buckled down in the third period, outshooting their hosts 11-9 and getting the winning goal in the process.
‘“We were solid in the third tonight. We talked about it after two periods, about how we have to step up our game in the third,” said Sutter. “We had to find a way to make sure we were on the winning side.
“Tonight we were solid, we played a solid third.”
Notable: Tarzwell was selected as the game’s first star, followed by (2) Novak and (3) Fancy . . . The Rebels were two-for-seven on the power play, while the Rockets were zero-for-four . . . The Rebels close out their five-game B.C. Division trip Monday with a 3 p.m. (MST) engagement with the Prince George Cougars . . . Red Deer’s next home game is next Saturday versus the Tri-City Americans.