For the Moose Jaw Warriors Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Red Deer Rebels was a tough one to take.
For the Rebels their dramatic win was nothing less than what they expected.
Matt Bellerive circled the Warriors net before finally finding a shooting lane to pick the top corner with 10.9 seconds left in the third period to win the game for the Rebels.
It was the Rebels’ ninth straight win.
“Going into every game, it doesn’t matter if we’re down 1-0 ... we don’t panic. We just know we’re going to win. We have that confidence right now,” said Bellerive.
The Warriors fall to 11-14-3-4 on the Western Hockey League season after playing their seventh straight one-goal game.
They will host the Spokane Chiefs — winners of six straight themselves — Saturday (7 p.m., Mosaic Place).
“We can’t have that happen. Especially that late in the game,” said Warriors captain Kendall McFaull. “We were 10 seconds away from a point. We’re always going for two, but we could have at least had a point there.”
Justin Kirsch opened the scoring when he used his speed to get a breakaway before beating Patrik Bartosak with a backhand through the five-hole.
“We got one and we didn’t get another one. It’s hard to win games 1-0,” said Stothers. “We had some opportunities. Their goalie misplayed some rebounds and we weren’t quick enough to react to those rebounds. The bottom line is that it’s pretty tough to win if you only score one.”
The Rebels regrouped in the intermission and Rhyse Dieno nearly scored on a breakaway three seconds into the period.
Warriors goalie Daniel Wapple robbed Dieno twice and made a number of big saves in the middle frame to keep the Warriors in the game.
The 17-year-old goalie was outstanding. He robbed Brooks Maxwell when he was alone in front and later on a short-handed breakaway.
“(Wapple) was solid for us again. He was good the last time we played Red Deer,” said McFaull. “We owe him. That’s a game we have to close out.”
The Rebels tied the game early in the third period when Tyson Ness beat Morgan Rielly at the Warriors blue line and came in on a two-on-one and beat Wapple with a shot high to the blocker side.
Kirsch hit the post on a power play chance for the Warriors and Maxwell hit the crossbar for the Rebels.
The teams seemed to be headed for overtime for the third straight meeting until Bellerive struck.