EDMONTON, ALTA. – It was another slow start for the Edmonton Oil Kings as they wrapped up their preseason schedule Friday night in Red Deer.
The Oil Kings found themselves trailing 3-0 13:33 into the game on the way to a 5-3 loss to the Rebels in Red Deer.
Austin Pratt, Reese Johnson and Josh Mahura all scored for Red Deer in the first period to stake them to an early lead.
Jeff de Wit added the eventual winner for the Rebels 8:09 into the second period as he was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway for a penalty shot, which he converted with a shot over the blocker of Oil Kings netminder Alec Dillon to put the Rebels up 4-0.
Tyler Robertson got the Oil Kings on the board late in the second period as he banged home a rebound after a shot from Aaron Irving, but Pratt added his second of the game to make it 5-1 for the Rebels with 29 seconds left in the middle frame.
The Oil Kings finally came to life in the final period as Anatolii Elizarov and Aaron Irving both scored for the visitors and Edmonton outshot Red Deer 14-3 in the frame.
Dillon made 13 saves on 17 shots between the pipes for the Oil Kings, while Patrick Dea stopped 10 of 11 shots he faced after taking over midway through the game. Rylan Toth made 26 saves to record the victory for the Rebels.
The Oil Kings and Rebels will renew hostilities next weekend as the two teams open the WHL regular season with a home and home series Sept. 26 in Red Deer and Sept. 27 at Rexall Place.