The Kootenay Ice experienced their first shootout of the season on Friday night, capping off a wild night in Red Deer with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Rebels.
In a nerve-racking finish, the Ice recovered from being down 3-1 in the second period and tied the game with under five minutes left. The Rebels then quickly retook lead and forced Kootenay to score another dramatic tying goal, this time with under a minute to go on the clock.
Forward Brett Davis put in the marker while his team was playing in front of an empty net, a slap shot from the point that beat Red Deer goalie Riley Lamb.
In the shootout, Davis, Alec Baer and Peyton Krebs were all given opportunities, but Rebels forward Mason McCarthy had the only goal with a quick release wrist shot that went over Matt Berlin’s glove.
With the loss, but also earning the single point for making it past regulation, the Ice are now seven points behind the Rebels for the final available playoff spot in the Central Division. While not the four-point separation that would have been possible had Kootenay won outright, they at least avoided dropping to an eight-point deficit.
The Ice significantly outshot the Rebels 31-17 on the night and out-chanced them in the third period. Krebs was their only player with a two-point night (two assists), while there were four different goal scorers: Colton Kroeker, Colton Veloso, Michael King and Brett Davis.
Kootenay has played 66 games this season and have a record of 25-37-3-1, while Red Deer has played 65 games and have a record of 24-28-10-3. The Ice have six games remaining, including a year-ending home-and-home weekend against the Rebels.
Their next game is at home on Sunday at 4 p.m. against the Medicine Hat Tigers.