In their final game before a heading out on a seven game road trip, the Red Deer Rebels debuted a pair of new faces in their lineup. Forward Matt Bellerive, who was brought in from the Vancouver Giants, and Brandon Underwood, who was acquired from the Regina Pats.
Rebels fans came into the game looking for a hot start from their club to match the hot summer-like weather outside, and that’s exactly what they would get. Devan Fafard floated a wrist shot in from the point, Marc McCoy got a piece of the puck, pushing it toward the goal line. It was a close play, the referee initially waved it off setting the stage for a lengthy video review. The Rebels got the call, and the goal. 1-0 2:38 into the first period on McCoy’s first goal of the season, assisted by Fafard.
Not long after, the Rebels would go up 2-0 courtesy of Charles Inglis. He got a piece Joel Hamilton’s sizzling wrist shot from high in the slot to beat Tigers goalie Dawson McCauley at the 4:05 mark.
The home side didn’t stop there, making it 3-0 just 57 seconds later. Tyson Ness cashed in on his first of the season with Adam Kambeitz earning the lone assist. Three goals on six shots for the Rebels was enough for the Tigers to replace McCauley with Marek Langhamer between the pipes.
The Tigers would get one goal back before the end of the period. While shorthanded, Hunter Shinkaruk made a strong play toward the Rebels net. The net came off of its supports but not before Dylan Bredo put the puck past Rebels goalie Patrik Bartosak for his first goal of the season at 16:20. Spencer Jensen also earned an assist on the goal. 3-1 Rebels after the first period. Shots on goal were even at 15 apiece.
Medicine Hat took the game over in the first half of the second period, thanks in large part to penalty trouble on the part of the Rebels. With Adam Kambeitz in the penalty box for tripping, Trevor Cox tipped home his first of the season. Kyle Becker and Tyler Lewington with the assists. 3-2 Rebels 3:32 into the middle frame.
Then with Stephen Hak banished for cross checking, Miles Koules with pull the Tigers even, firing home his own rebound short side past Bartosak. 6:27 into the second period, the Rebels three goal lead was gone. Game tied 3-3. That would be the score through 40 minutes. Tigers outshoot the Rebels 16-11 in the second period.
Much of the same in the third period... another Rebels penalty, another Tigers powerplay goal. Trevor Cox found the back of the net for his second ppg of the night, Boston Leier and Kyle Becker with the assists. Medicine Hat takes the lead for the first time in this game, 4-3 at the 8:42 mark.
But the Tigers lead was short lived thanks in part, ironically, to a penalty of their own. Chad Labelle was sent off for delay of game. Charles Inglis would take advantage by firing home his second goal of the night. It was also the Rebels second powerplay goal of the game. Hamilton and Conner Bleackley with the assists at the 11:05 mark of the period.
Life on even terms would not last long for the Rebels. Jayden Hart would score the Tigers’ first even strength goal of the night at 15:27 with a scorching wrist shot past Bartosak. Cox earned an assist for his third point of the game. Ty Stanton also assisted on the Tigers go-ahead goal.
The Rebels would come with a late push, with their net empty, in the final minute. However, they were unable to score the equalizer. Medicine Hat pulls out a 5-4 victory.
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. Trevor Cox MH
2. Joel Hamilton RD
3. Charles Inglis RD
Next Game... The Rebels visit the Calgary Hitmen for a game Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Game time is 7pm. Cam Moon has the Worley Parsons Cord pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:50pm.