Riley Lamb made 25-saves for his first shutout of the season, and Brandon Hagel had four assists in the Rebels win. Red Deer got two power-play goals from Dawson Barteaux and Mason McCarty, and Kristian Reichel also found the back of the net.
Taylor Gauthier was tagged with the loss, turning aside 27 of 31 shots in the Cougars’ crease.
It was a tight-checking game through almost 40-minutes before the Rebels scored in the final minute of the second period, and early in the third to go up by three.
Red Deer got on the scoreboard first, as Barteaux opened the scoring on the power-play. The Rebels’ defenceman fired a wrist-shot from the right-wing circle that beat Gauthier over the glove at 10:05.
Late in that first period the Cougars had a great opportunity to tie it on a five-on-three power-play. After Jacob Herauf and Carson Sass took penalties 17-seconds apart, the Cougars were awarded a lengthy two-man advantage.
The Cougars couldn’t capitalize on that power-play, but they came very close, as Joel Lakusta rang his point-shot off the post.
The Rebels added to their lead late in the second period, as Alex Alexeyev scored inside the final minute. The Rebels’ defenceman walked down from the blue-line and tucked his shot through the legs of Gauthier at 19:01.
Leading 2-0 at the start of the third, the Rebels padded their lead, as Mason McCarty scored with just two-seconds left on a Red Deer power-play. McCarty came down the left-wing and had room to move to the middle, before firing over Gauthier’s shoulder at 1:54.
Reichel finished off the Rebels scoring eight-minutes into the final frame, as he and Brandon Hagel played give-and-go, before Reichel tapped in a cross-ice pass at 7:59.
Not only did Riley Lamb pick up his first shutout this season but also drew an assist on the Rebels’ second goal.
Final Score: 4-0 Red Deer
Shots: 31-25 Red Deer
Power-Plays: Cougars 0-3 Red Deer 2-3
Three Stars: 1) Brandon Hagel 2) Riley Lamb 3) Brendan Boyle
The Cougars (19-30-4-4) were shutout for the fifth time this season Monday and are now winless in their last four games. They start a four-game road trip Saturday in Kamloops. They also visit Kelowna, Spokane and Tri-City, before returning home against the Rockets on February 27 and 28.
As part of the Family Day celebrations, the Cougars invited fans down to ice level post game, for an opportunity to paint the CN Centre Ice. Fans are also welcome back Tuesday night, on that painted ice, for a skate with the Cougars starting at 7:30 p.m.
-Prince George Cougars