The road was not kind to the Kootenay Ice as they dropped a 6-2 decision to the Red Deer Rebels on Thursday night to wrap-up a pair of games in Alberta over the week.
Turner Elson broke a 2-2 tie with 30 seconds to go in the second period and the Rebels added three more goals in the final frame to close out the win.
“We didn’t manage the puck very well and some key turnovers cost us,” said Ice assistant coach Chad Kletzel.
Brock Montgomery scored his 21st goal of the season for the Ice, and Sam Reinhart added the other Kootenay goal, extending his point streak to 15 games, with 14 markers and and 10 assists.
Reinhart’s run is tied with Ty Rattie for the longest active streak, as the Portland Winterhawks’ sniper has put up 11 goals and 16 assists in 15 contests.
The Ice fell behind in another poor start like the game before in Edmonton, going down two goals that were scored 1:36 apart by Elson and Matt Bellerive near the middle of the opening period.
Montgomery managed to cut the deficit in half with five minutes remaining, wristing a shot that went high over the glove of Rebels goaltender Patrik Bartosak after intercepting the puck in the offensive zone.
Reinhart drew the two teams even nearly nine minutes into the second period, scoring a bank shot off of Bartosak after he skated backwards out from behind the Red Deer net.
The two teams played each other even, until the Ice had another turnover in their own zone, which Elson picked up and put in the back of the net after avoiding a poke check from Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski.
That goal, which lit the goal lamp with 27 seconds to go in the period, broke the tie and put the Rebels up 3-2.
“We had the momentum in the second period, we put some good shifts together back-to-back and at that moment in a game, you have guys on the ice that need to make plays and we just didn’t get it done,” said Kletzel.
Red Deer kept pouring on the pressure in the third period, while the Ice continued to struggle in their own end, giving up a pair of goals scored by Rhyse Dieno and a solo marker from Dominik Volek.
Skapski ended the night with 24 saves, while Bartosak turned away 23 shots on the other side of the rink.
The Rebels capitalized once in three opportunities on the powerplay while shutting out both of Kootenay’s two chances.
The will return home and play the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday night at Western Financial Place in another important divisional matchup.
The ‘Canes are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and caught up in the logjam between fifth and eight, which are separated by all of two points.