Rebels fans got another glimpse into the maturation process their team has gone through this season.
It came in the third period courtesy of Cody Thiel.
The 18-year-old Bruno, Saskatchewan gained the puck in the offensive zone, pulled not one but two toe drags, then went top shelf for the prettiest goal of the night.
Another example that in the end this long and often painful "learning experience" could well be worth it in the long run for the Rebels.
The goal was just the rookie blueliner's second of the season. But it's the latest shining moment in what has been quite a journey.
It wasn't so long ago that Thiel was playing Midget 'A' in small town Saskatchewan. Now he is playing top four defence minutes every night in major junior. And he's done a pretty darn good job of it. To be thrust into the situation in which he has been, and to come out of it with just a plus/minus rating of -1 through 52 games played, speaks quite well on the young man's character.
I suppose now would be a good time to talk about the fact that the Rebels beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 last night at the Enmax Centrium.
It was a fairly entertaining game between two teams who have travelled down much different paths on their respective non-playoff campaigns.
The Rebels started the season on fire (if you recall, they were within grasp of the conference lead at one point) before the 13-game losing streak and atrocious run of injuries sent their season into purgatory. They have been playing .500 hockey while continuing to limp toward the finish line (man games lost to injury this season will be close to reaching the 300 mark by the time all is said and done).
The Hurricanes started out the season 3-19 and no one was quite sure what the future had in store. But the Hurricanes were also going through their own bought of injuries at that time. Eventually, they got healthy and were able to put together a pretty decent string of .500 hockey the rest of the way. Chatting with GM / Head Coach Rich Preston, the certainly have high hopes for their future.
One final game for the Rebels tonight... should be an interesting one as the Edmonton Oil Kings come calling to the Enmax Centrium. Game time is 7:30pm. Be sure to tune in to our pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 7pm as we chat about tonight's game and the season as a whole.