In the only meeting of the season between these two teams, the Rebels sought to end a three game losing streak.
Vancouver appeared to open the scoring just over three minutes into the game while on a powerplay. The puck entered the net before it was dislodged, but the goal was disallowed due to contact on goaltender Bolton Pouliot. The game remained scoreless.The Rebels would open the scoring just past the midway point of the opening period. Matt Bellerive slid a pass from behind the Giants net out front to Turner Elson. The Captain beat Tyler Fuhr high to the glove side for his 12th goal of the season, Joel Hamilton also earned an assist. 1-0 Rebels.The Giants tied the game late in the period when Brett Kulak’s wrist shot from the blue line found its way past a screened Pouliot. Trevor Cheek and Anthony Ast assisted on Kulak’s seventh goal of the season at the 15:26 mark. 1-1 was the score after one period of play.
Vancouver took the lead thanks to a nice bit of work by Trevor Cheek. He showed great hand-eye coordination in knocking the puck out of mid air and into the Rebels net for his 18th of the year. Kulak had the lone assist on the goal which game just 51 seconds into the period.It was 3-1 for the Giants after Cain Franson’s wrist shot from the face off dot eluded Pouliot at 15:33. Luca Leone, playing in his first game with the Giants, and Mason Geertsen earned the assists. Pouliot was pulled from the Rebels net, replaced by Grant Naherniak.The Rebels would battle back to tie the game before the end of the period. Dominik Volek scored his first of the season, his first as a Rebel, to cut his team’s deficit to 3-2. Mathew Dumba had the lone assist at 18:18. Volek would strike once more, with 0.9 seconds left on the clock, to tie the game 3-3. Turner Elson and Rhyse Dieno with the assists.
Red Deer regained the lead 4:34 into the third period when Joel Hamilton picked up a loose puck and tucked home his fifth of the season. Kevin Pochuk and Bellerive with the assists, 4-3 Rebels.A breakdown by the Rebels in their own zone allowed Jackson Houck to tie the game 4-4 at the 9:13 mark with his ninth of the year from Ast. The two teams would trade chances throughout the rest of the period but to no avail. This one would require extra time. Shots on goal at the end of regulation time were 29-29.
Tyson Ness came oh so close to winning this game for the Rebels with mere seconds remaining in overtime, but his shot rattled off of the crossbar. This game would require a shootout. Each team had two shots on goal in overtime.
Bolton Pouliot returned to the Rebels net for the shootout. Cain Franson, Trevor Cheek, and each beat him with dekes before Jackson Houck was denied. Dieno and Volek scored for the Rebels to send this to extra shooters. Brett Kulak scored for the Giants, Tyson Ness was stopped by Fuhr at the other end. Vancouver skated away with the 5-4 victory.
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. Dominik Volek RD
2. Brett Kulak VAN
3. Joel Hamilton RD
HARDEST WORKING REBEL – Mathew Dumba
NEXT GAME… The Rebels host the Moose Jaw Warriors at the Enmax Centrium, Saturday at 7:30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
By Troy Gillard