Rebels mount furious comeback

09.03.2019 08:24
By: Branden Crowe

Wheaties still two points back


Photo by Byron Hackett - Red Deer Advocate

Red Deer, AB (CKLQ) - The Red Deer Rebels scored five unanswered goals on Friday night on route to a 5-3 come from behind victory at the Centrium. 

It was a tight first period with both teams exchanging chances, but it was the Wheat Kings would draw first blood. 

Just after the first Brandon powerplay expired, Ben McCartney took a pass from Ridly Greig and snapped his 20th of the season over the shoulder of Ethan Anders to give Brandon the 1-0 lead. 

The Wheat Kings came out flying to start the second period, scoring twice in the first 2:40. 

Stelio Mattheos picked up his 42nd of the year from Burzan and Reinhardt. Chad Nychuk would follow that up 1:04 later with his 2nd of the year on a seeing-eye point shot to open up a commanding lead. 

Midway through the period, the Rebels would get on the board on a controversial goal. 

Stelio Mattheos and Reese Johnson were tangled up behind the play and it appeared that the official had blown the whistle and signaled for coincidental minors. However, at the same time, Brandon Hagel fired a wrist shot past Jiri Patera and sent the crowd into a frenzy, The sound from the crowd drowned out the back referee and it came down to "Which ref blew his whistle first?" 

After discussing the play, the officials ruled a good goal, much to the chagrin of the Brandon bench. 

Cue the comeback. 

The Rebels who had just four wins in 27 games in which they trailed after 40 minutes mounted a furious comeback in the third to earn the important two points. 

First, it was Cam Hausinger, finishing off a nice passing play with Reese Johnson. 

Less than two minutes later, the Rebels would tie it on Josh Tarzwell's ninth of the season as he scored short side off the rush down the left wing side. 

A scary moment late in the third as Ben McCartney and Alex Alexeyev collided inside the Rebels zone. The Russian import went down in a heap and had to be carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be a left knee/leg injury. 

Just moments after the long medical delay, Austin, MB's Zak Smith gave the Rebels the lead with just 3:27 left in the game. 

Brandon pulled the goalie and pushed for the equalizer but Oleg Zaitsev would seal the victory for the Rebels into the heart of the empty net to complete the four-goal third-period outburst and give the Rebels the win. 

With the win, the Rebels move to 70 points, into a tie with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the #1 Wild-Card spot. The Tigers loss tonight in Lethbridge. Brandon now finds themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, heading into the final game of this six-game road trip. 

Brandon will wrap up this trek on Saturday in Medicine Hat. (8:30MB puck drop on QCountry Radio.)

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK - Ben McCartney (20) (Greig) 3:48

Shots: 8-7 Red Deer

2nd PERIOD

BWK - Stelio Mattheos (42) (Burzan, Reinhardt) 1:36

BWK - Chad Nychuk (2) (Unassisted) 2:40

R.D. - Brandon Hagel (39) (De Wit, Sakowich) 9:03

Shots: 8-7 Red Deer

3rd PERIOD

R.D. - Cam Hausinger (18) (Johnson) 10:45

R.D. - Josh Tarzwell (9) (Davis, Barteaux) 12:30

R.D. - Zak Smith (11) (Zaitsev) 16:33

R.D. - Oleg Zaitsev (13) (Unassisted) 19:59

Final Shots: 31-20 Red Deer