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Rebels Struggle Offensively in 4-1 Road Loss to Oil Kings

September 22, 2019 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Red Deer Rebels News Release

EDMONTON - Defensively, the Red Deer Rebels were just fine in their second WHL regular season game Sunday afternoon.

Offensively . . . not so much.

The Rebels aimed 21 shots at Edmonton Oil Kings netminder Todd Scott and managed just a single goal in a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, who notched a pair of lucky markers in front of 5,870 fans at Rogers Place.

"After the first period the kids started playing better," said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

The Rebels were outshot 10-5 in the opening frame and were perhaps unlucky to give up the only goal, as a bad bounce off the end boards eluded netminder Ethan Anders and landed right on the stick of Riley Sawchuk, who tapped it into a gaping net.

Edmonton's second marker was also on the fortunate side, as Jesse Seppela scored on an accidental tip of a shot by Tyler Horstmann early in the second period.

"Their first two were lucky goals," said Sutter.

Chris Douglas cut into the Edmonton lead at 13:34 of the middle frame when he buried a rebound of a Zak Smith shot that glanced off the post, but Liam Keeler replied for the hosts just over a minute later.

Sawchuk sealed the deal with an empty net goal with 53 seconds remaining in the game.

Anders made 28 saves in a losing cause while Scott turned aside 20 shots.

The Rebels' penalty kill was spot on, erasing all eight Edmonton power plays. At the same time, though, Red Deer was zero-for-seven with a man advantage.

"Our power play has to give us something," said Sutter. "We're oh-for-11 in the first two games (including Saturday's 4-2 loss to the visiting Oil Kings). We have to spend some (practice) time on it."

While the first- and second-year players continue to develop, the Rebels boss will expect more from his veteran skaters.

"We just need to get some of our older guys playing better and our kids just have to continue to stay focused and battle every shift," said Sutter.

"They did that tonight. The young kids' work ethic was high tonight."

The Rebels are idle until Friday when they travel to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes. Red Deer will host the Calgary Hitmen 24 hours later.

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