RED DEER – With their backs against the wall down 3-0 in the opening round, the Red Deer Rebels gave the Lethbridge Hurricanes everything they could handle, and it paid off in a 5-2 victory on Wednesday, March 28.
The Hurricanes, now leading their first round series 3-1, will have an opportunity to close out the Rebels on Saturday night back at the ENMAX Centre.
Red Deer came out flying, outshooting Lethbridge 19-10 in the opening period.
Reese Johnson opened the scoring at 7:33 of the first, but before the buzzer sounded to end the frame the Hurricanes Matthew Stanley got the away team on the board.
1-1 was the score after one.
The second period was scoreless for the first 15 minutes, when Tate Olson fired one on net and beat Rebels goaltender Ethan Anders who replaced Riley Lamb as the starter in Game 4 at 15:17 to make it 2-1 Hurricanes.
That served to wake the Rebels up, and just under a minute later Mason McCarty’s first goal of the post season tied the game up 2-2.
Red Deer continued their barrage on Hurricanes goaltender Logan Flodell, outshooting the ‘Canes 12-8.
The Hurricanes took a too many men on the ice penalty before the second period ended, so the Rebels began the third on the powerplay and they took advantage.
Just 38 seconds into the final frame Brandon Hagel buried his 4th of the playoffs past Flodell for a 3-2 lead.
Alexander Alexeyev added an insurance goal for Red Deer at 11:39 of the third period before Kristian Reichel buried one into an empty net for the 5-2 final.
The Hurricanes pushed in the third, outshooting the Rebels 12-5 but ultimately in the game Red Deer held the edge 36-30.
A key in this series to date has been special teams, and on this night, those went to the Rebels as well.
They finished 1-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Hurricanes man-advantage couldn’t connect on four opportunities.
Puck drop for Game 5 is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.
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