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Fix-Wolansky, Oil Kings stop Rebels in their tracks on Saturday Showcase

Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

 

Edmonton Oil Kings forward Trey Fix-Wolansky helped cap off a wild third period in Sportsnet’s Saturday Showcase, scoring with 8.6 seconds to go to lift the home side Oil Kings to a 4-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels, stopping the hottest team in the Central Division in their tracks.

The Rebels, who were 7-0-2-0 in their last nine and charging up the division standings, led for a brief moment in the third, but that’s all Josh Dechaine would give them on a night when he finished with 29 saves to collect his 10th career Western Hockey League victory.

A scoreless first saw both teams gunning for the first lead of the game, but both Dechaine and Rebels goaltender Ethan Anders stopped tall, making 13 and five saves respectively. The dynamic of the game changed in the second period on a Rebels’ power play.

As the Oil Kings cleared the puck down ice, Liam Keeler came charging down the opposite side untouched. With Anders facing pressure on his side, he sent the puck cross ice and directly onto the stick of Keeler, who had more than enough time to put the puck into the back of the net for the game’s first goal.

The Rebels came out in the start of the third hungry to take momentum back and accomplished that 3:45 into the final period of regulation. Buzzing around the Edmonton zone, Josh Tarzwell found himself with the puck on his stick and open in the slot. His attempt was ultimately denied by Dechaine, but Austin Schellenberg was right on the doorstep and ready for the second opportunity, banging it into the net for his second of the season.

It took just 23 seconds for the next goal to come as the Rebels came down the ice buzzing again. After Dechaine stopped the first opportunity, Brandon Cutler was in a prime spot to retrieve the puck, re-adjust and snipe it past Dechaine to give the Rebels their first lead of the game.

That would turn out to be their only lead of the game though as David Kope went hard to the net and was in the right spot to get his stick on a shot from the blue line by Conner McDonald, making it a 2-2 game.

The back-and-forth battle continued 2:10 later as the Oil Kings retook the lead on Colton Kehler’s team-leading 24th goal of the season after Fix-Wolansky flipped the puck to him on the power play, helping Edmonton go up 3-2.

That’s how things would stay for roughly the next 10 minutes as the Rebels searched for the equalizer, but found themselves short-handed instead with under two minutes to play. That was no matter though for the Rebels, who broke out on a short-handed two-on-one rush and Reese Johnson picked the smart play, electing to shoot and beating Dechaine to tie the game up with 1:39 to go.

It would all be for naught though in this game as the Oil Kings pressed for the game-winner in the dying seconds and were rewarded with a goal off the skate of Fix-Wolansky, vaulting them to the one-goal victory.

Kehler and Fix-Wolansky each had a goal and an assist in the contest while McDonald added a pair of helpers from the blue line.

Ethan Anders finished with 18 saves on 22 shots in his first regulation loss since Jan. 19 against Prince Albert.

Up next for the Oil Kings is a four-game road trip through the B.C. Division, beginning Monday, February 12 (2:00 p.m. PST) against the Kamloops Blazers.

The Rebels will also head west in British Columbia as well, starting with a date against the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre on Monday, February 12 (2:00 p.m. PST).

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