Payin' a price for penalties

DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

The goal scoring was as tactically straight forward as it gets: fire the puck from the point, hope it gets past the goalie.

That's what Red Deer's Simon Wittt did in the first period yesterday at Rexall Place.

1-0 Rebels.

A power-play shot at the end of the second by Edmonton-born Alex Petrovic deflected off an Oil Kings' stick, up and over Cam Langian's shoulder.

2-0 Rebels.

Red Deer captain Colin Archer fired another power-play shot from the point in the third period.

But it took a long route: hitting an Oil King, bouncing to Brett Ferguson, who slid it over to Jordie Deagle at the circle, where he fired it home.

3-0 Rebels.

And that's the way it ended, despite the Oil Kings firing 30 shots at Darcy Kuemper in the Red Deer net.

Petrovic's goal came with 21 seconds left in the second period after an uncharacteristically undisciplined penalty by defenceman Mark Pysyk, nullifying a Kings' power play.

The question wasn't about Pysyk's guilt, but whether Red Deer's Turner Elson should have gone with him.

"We were tangled; I kind of pushed on the back of his head," said Pysyk, now wearing an A with Brent Raedeke traded.

"It could have gone either way ... the ref could have sent us both. He decided to pick just me.

"They got a good shot through, it tipped in and we kind of lost some momentum."

Oil Kings coach Steve Pleau chose to see it with politically correct eyes.

"Are you going to pay the fine?" he said, being rhetorically correct, as well.

"I just saw both of them go down. Looking at who you lose in that situation ... it's tough to have (Pysyk, the team's ice-time leader) in the box for two minutes."

Although the Kings kept the penalty-box attendant busy, Pleau said he can live with that -- as long as they get better at it.

"I didn't like a couple of our penalties," said Pleau.

"We met our goal in that I think we had five power plays, they had five power plays. At the end of the game it evened out, but they had a five-minute (PP) and that's tough to take.

"But we played hard. And that's the way we have to play. We did get ourselves in a little bit of trouble a few times, but I did like our emotion.

"I think in the first period we played hard -- we bumped, we outshot them. We need to learn how to do that over 60 minutes, be a little smarter in controlling our emotions.

"But guys are sticking up for each other, guys are playing gritty, guys are playing hard and that's what we have to do."

Pysyk had a similar view.

"There were a few times in the game where we were hitting them, hitting everything that moved, outplaying them -- but (with) a couple of lapses.

"Like my penalty. I guess you lose momentum and they keep building on that."

DAVID.CAMERON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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