It was a recipe for disaster.
The Rebels were heading into a road game versus a team they hadn't beaten all season (hardly at all over the past couple of seasons) with just four of their regular defencemen in the lineup. Not gonna lie... I was bracing for the worst.
But those four d-man (Petrovic, Borejko, Thiel, Hak) along with the two call up's (Haydn Fleury, Kevin Pochuk) played admirably in a 6-3 Rebels win over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
They weren't perfect... but they were very, very effective.
"Hak and Thiel in particular really gave us a lot" coach Jesse Wallin said post-game, "they did a good job of moving the puck, did a real good job of defending. Hakker was out there against Etem and Shinkaruk a lot and did a great job of shutting them down, not giving them a lot."
(Etem still did find a way to score all three Tigers goals. He leads the entire CHL with 47 this season.)
Fleury and Pochuk also held their own in what was a tough spot for the two youngsters.
"They weren't out there a lot, but they did get a fairly regular shift" noted Wallin, "I though they looked comfortable, too. They kept it simple. It was a high-paced game which was an adjustment for them at times. They certainly certainly didn't hurt us and they did a good job of defending."
Once again, the Rebels prospects did an admirable job of stepping up when called upon (ala Feser, Bleackley, Bricker).
No doubt Deven Dubyk was a happy man following last night's game. The 20-year-old netminder earned his first ever win over his former club (while still wearing those gaudy orange pads) making 24 saves in the process.
Tyson Ness, who has been extremely solid for the Rebels of late, scored the first two goals of the game for the Rebels. Charles Inglis scored their next two as he continues to heat up. Turner Elson netted his team leading 19th and John Persson scored the empty netter (actually, he was tripped up while heading in on the empty net and was awarded a goal) to seal the deal.
Once again, the Rebels climb within two points of the Wheaties for the eighth and final playoff spot in the WHL Eastern Conference.
Once again, the Rebels will be challenged to play well in back-to-back games. It certainly won't be easy as they visit the conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday.
- The Rebels finish January with a 6-5-1-1 record
- Forward Brooks Maxwell was back in the Rebels lineup after missing a few games with an upper body ailment
- Mathew Dumba will suit up for Team Cherry in tonight's CHL NHL Top Prospects Game in Kelowna. Last night, he took part in the hardest shot event at the skills competition... clocking in at 91.8 mph.
- Courtesy of @WHLFacts on Twitter... Turner Elson had 14 points in January, the highest total in any single month of his WHL career