The Red Deer Rebels came into their fourth exhibition game against the Medicine Hat Tigers looking to tighten the screws a bit and bring their preseason record back to .500, after dropping their first game to the Edmonton Oil Kings, before splitting a home and home with with Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Rebels would also have to win without the help of their captain Dawson Barteaux, who is currently at NHL camp with the Los Angeles Kings.
Despite a scorching first period, the Rebels would go on to lose this one 5-3 after they lost their early scoring touch.
“I thought it was kind of a sloppy game. Young guys need to learn to keep their focus. There is no such thing as an easy game in this league,” Rebels coach Brent Sutter said.
The first period would be a shootout, with both squads finding the back of the net three times. Arshdeep Bains would open the scoring for the Rebels, Zak Smith would score a short-handed goal and Josh Tarzwell would score on an odd-man break.
Sutter was pleased with his first line of Tarzwell, Bains and Hausinger.
“They were our best line. It wasn’t even close,” he said
Ryan Chyzowski, Cole Sillinger and Jonathan Brinkman Anderson would round out the scoring for the Tigers.
“The third goal can’t happen. That was a bad goal but again you don’t two points this time of year and I want this group to understand there needs to be preparation and focus everyday,” Sutter said.
The second period would be nearly the polar opposite of the first, with only Medicine Hat Tiger defenceman Cole Clayton finding the back of the net, leading to a 4-3 lead heading into the final period.
Clayton’s goal would end up being the winner after the Rebels were unable to find the equalizer. Chyzowski would score an empty net goal, his second goal of the game, leading to a 5-3 Tigers win.
“I didn’t think some of our young guys played well enough for us early on. I thought they got better on. I thought there was a few veterans who weren’t very good for us as well,” Sutter said.
Ethan Anders stopped 26 shots in the loss, while Evan Fraddette would get the win with 21 saves.
The Rebels play their last preseason game against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday at 4 p.m., before starting their regular season against the Oil Kings on Saturday, Sept. 21 on home ice at 7 p.m.