The Rebels came into this one looking to win back to back home games for the first time this season. Also of note, Wyatt Johnson made his Rebels debut after being acquired prior to the start of the regular season from the Vancouver Giants.
The Rebels would record the first five shots on goal in this game and would eventually also score the games first goal. Mathew Dumba’s blast from the point found its way through a maze of players and past Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle, who got the start in place of CHL goalie of the week Jordon Cooke. Cory Millette and Conner Bleackley earned the assists on the goal at 11:52 of the opening period. 1-0 Rebels.
Not long after, the Rebels would be penalized for having too many players on the ice. The Rockets capitalized to even the score courtesy of Ryan Olsen. He nets his sixth of the season, thanks in part to a fortuitous off of Haydn Fleury’s skate. Henrik Nyberg and Myles Bell with the assists on the 1-1 goal at 14:15 of the period. That’s how the first period would end. Red Deer outshot Kelowna by a 15-14 margin.
Kelowna took the lead midway through the period on an outstanding individual play by Colton Sissons. He picked a Mathew Dumba saucer pass out of midair then raced from his own blueline toward the Rebels net. Sissons then went top shelf on Patrik Bartosak, putting it in off of the crossbar, for his 7th goal of the season. 2-1 Rockets 8:44 into period two.
The Rockets expanded their lead to two goals at the 13:32 mark. Bartosak made a couple of saves on Dylen McKinlay, who was battling near the blue paint, but Sissons came in and cashed in on the rebound. His second goal of the period, also assisted by Bell, made it 3-1. That would be the score through two periods of play. Kelowna held a 28-25 edge in shots on goal.
The Rebels comeback effort was stifled somewhat by a couple of shorthanded situations. Thankfully, their #4 ranked penalty killing unit came through to keep it a two goal game. The Rockets then did a nice job of clamping down defensively to limit the Rebels scoring chances. Kelowna also piled up a few more scoring chances of their own as opposed to just sitting on their lead. There would be no scoring by either team in the 3rd period. The Kelowna Rockets would come away with a 3-1 victory. Final shots on goal – Kelowna 42, Red Deer 31.
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. Sissons KEL
2. Hamilton RD
3. Severtson KEL
HARDEST WORKING REBEL – Ryley Boomgaarden
NEXT GAME… tommorow night at the Enmax Centrium as the Calgary Hitmen come calling. Game time is 7:30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
By Troy Gillard