Kelsey leads Red Deer Rebels to 5-1 win over Saskatoon Blades
Rebel 5 Blades 1st
Kyle Kelsey stopped 34 of 35 shots as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Saskatoon Blades 5-1 on Friday night.
“I felt good tonight,” Kelsey said after his team’s win Friday night at the Peavey Mart Centtrium.
“It’s been a while since I’ve felt good about playing, especially (since) coming back from injury. I felt dialed in.”
Rebels manager Steve Konowalchuk praised Kelsey’s efforts after the game.
“Very good night. That was the kind of game we saw a lot earlier in the year. A few other things have been holding him back lately,” Konowalchuk said.
Kai Uchacz scored the first goal of the game by collecting a loose puck in the slot and flicking a wrist shot past Blades goalie Ethan Chadwick to make it 3:34 into the first goal.
In the second half, Red Deer’s Carson Burnie was handed a five-minute major penalty and misconduct after scoring against Saskatoon’s Justin. It appeared that as a result of the hit, Lies hit his head against the glass. He had to be carried off the ice.
The rebels killed the five-minute major, which Konowalchuk described as a “huge penalty.” The Rebels then quickly added a couple more goals to their lead.
Uchacz earned his second point of the game by shoving a puck to Kalan Lind, who fired a shot into the net in the 12th minute. The record was Lind’s 15th season.
Less than a minute later, Rebels defenseman Christoffer Sedoff fired a shot from the blue line, which was tipped by teammate Dwayne Jean Jr. and then ricocheted off a Saskatoon player. The puck flew into the air, over Saskatoon’s goalie’s head and into the net. The goal was initially waved off, but the officials rallied and called it a good goal.
Ben King scored his seventh goal of the season by firing a wrist shot into the top corner during a Rebels power play 14:22 into the middle frame.
Uchacz scored his 38th goal of the season after 10:31 of the third period after collecting his own rebound from a blocked shot and blasting the puck into the top corner.
Kelsey made a big save for the rebels with 8:30 on the clock. He reached back with his gloved hand to rob a Saskatoon skater on the goal line. The Blades had another golden opportunity shortly after, but it hit the bar.
Blades forward Egor Sidorov finally broke Kelsey’s shutout bid 13:34 into the final frame by making a nice inside move and hitting the Rebels netminder over the blocker.
Kelsey admitted he was “a little bit” disappointed to see his shutout go away with about six minutes to go.
“But it happens,” he said with a smile.
The three stars were: Kai Uchacz (1), Kyle Kelsey (2) and Frantisek Formanek (3).
The Rebels return to action Saturday night when they host the Winnipeg ICE at the Peavey Mart Centtrium in Red Deer. Winnipeg, which currently has the best record in the WHL, has won both matchups against Red Deer this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m
Red Deer Rebels forward Jhett Larsen attempts to get past former teammate and current Saskatoon Blades defenseman Blake Gustafson during a game between the two teams Friday night at the Peavey Mart Centtrium. (Photo by Sean McIntosh)