Rebels 5 Broncos 1
SWIFT CURRENT — The Red Deer Rebels notched a pair of early goals and never looked back en route to a 5-1 Western Hockey League win over the Swift Current Broncos Tuesday night.
As head coach Steve Konowalchuk noted, the victory was due to nothing less than a total team effort.
“The guys were ready from the start and we were able to jump out to an early lead,” he said. “Everybody was involved, everybody played. I hope everybody’s feeling good in that locker room about contributing to the win.”
Ethan Rowland connected just under three minutes into the game with a release from the high slot that sailed over the blocker of Broncos netminder Reid Dyck.
The visitors then potted the eventual winner just two minutes later as Blake Stevenson buried a two-on-one feed from Liam Keeler.
The Rebels put the game out of reach with three unanswered second-period markers. Jayden Grubbe cashed a rebound while situated at the edge of the crease, Arshdeep Bains scored on a penalty shot and Jace Weir hammered home a shot from the point.
Grubbe and Weir tallied on the power play as the Rebels were two-for-six with a man advantage.
Josh Filmon got the hosts on the board with five minutes remaining in the game.
Dyck was the Broncos’ best player with a 36-save performance. Chase Coward had a decidedly easier night in the Red Deer net, turning aside 18 shots.
Coward also made it look easy, almost always square to the puck.
“He’s in good position, doesn’t over-complicate things,” said Konowalchuk. “He’s in a position a lot of times to make another save if he needs to.
“He had another solid game. I thought the guys did do a good job in front of him but you still have to be able to make some saves at key times.”
Red Deer improved to 2-1 on the season, with Coward in net for all three games.
The Broncos, meanwhile, suffered their first setback of the season after sweeping the Medicine Hat Tigers in a home-and-home set on the weekend.
“Our guys came out with focus tonight,” said Konowalchuk. “I don’t want to take anything away from them (Broncos). They were two and oh and beat a good team in Medicine Hat.
“Our guys had to come out and play a pretty good game and they were ready to play. I’m happy for them.”
Notable: Attendance at the Innovation Credit Union I-Plex was 1,294 . . . Stevenson had a pair of assists to go with his goal while Weir (1g,1a) and Keeler (0-2) each recorded two points . . . The Rebels swept the three stars, with Coward star No.1 and Grubbe and Stevenson following in order . . . The Rebels returned home after the game and will host the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday at the Peavey Mart Centrium at 7 p.m. Red Deer will be in Lethbridge Saturday to face the Hurricanes.