Former 'mates renew rivalry

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

They're not teammates anymore.

Shortly after winning world junior gold earlier this month, Calgary Hitmen forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Andrew Ladd, and Red Deer stars Dion Phaneuf and Colin Fraser, were asked how they would deal with each other when they returned to life in the WHL.

The answer, apparently, is not very nicely.

Two seconds into last night's game in Red Deer -- the first time the world junior stars have faced each other --Ladd and Phaneuf dropped the gloves and pounded each other for a good minute.

Once order was restored and the puck was dropped, Getzlaf and Fraser went at it.

Phaneuf, a Calgary Flames first-round draft pick, proved to be the difference.

He knocked Getzlaf from the game with a hard hit against the boards in the first period and scored the game-winner in the third as the Rebels battled back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-2 win.

Riley Merkley and Keegan Dansereau scored for the Hitmen (24-17-6-2), who face the Rebels again tonight (7 p.m. at the 'Dome).

Red Deer (24-16-4-4) moved into a third-place tie with Calgary.

Merkley got the Hitmen on the board early, scoring his 12th of the campaign just 56 seconds in.

Dansereau, who missed the last six games due to an injured shoulder, gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the 7:09 mark.

The Rebels got back into the game on a 5-on-3 advantage as Karey Pieper beat Justin Pogge.

Roman Wick, the WHL's top-scoring rookie, tied it up in the middle frame with his 22nd of the campaign.

The Rebels, who have the fourth-best powerplay in the WHL, converted on two of five opportunities while Calgary came up empty in two chances.

Red Deer starter Andrew Leslie, acquired from Swift Current, made 22 saves while Pogge turned aside 26 shots while absorbing just his second loss in a Hitmen uniform.


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