Red Deer Vipers ready to take on Ponoka in junior B Heritage League playoffs

The Red Deer Vipers feel good about their chances when the Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoffs underway Wednesday.

The Red Deer Vipers feel good about their chances when the Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoffs underway Wednesday.

Red Deer will start their playoff run at home against the Ponoka Stampeders, a team they have beat in all four matchups this season, although three of four games were decided by a goal, including two in overtime.

The Vipers have won five of their last seven games.

“Ponoka plays us hard every single time, it’s never an easy game,” Vipers head coach JD Morrical said. “They work extremely hard and our biggest problem with the team this year is we have a really hard time getting up for games against teams that are below us. I think it’s going to be interesting. Good first round for us for sure.”

The Vipers also played Ponoka in the first round of the playoffs last year and won the best-of-three series in two straight games.

Morrical is happy with the way his team is performing heading into the playoffs, despite losses in their last two games.

Saturday’s loss came as Morrical decided to pull the goalie late in a 4-4 tie against Airdrie because a win would have vaulted the Vipers into second place. Sunday’s loss, 7-5 against High River was partially the result of some rest for banged-up players.

“To lose to High River (Sunday) after we were up 5-1 wasn’t easy,” Morrical said.

“The game against Airdrie, we pulled our goalie when it was tied. They scored with about two seconds left. We had to win in regulation to try and get second place… We did rest a few guys (Sunday). I feel pretty confident in our team, I think it looks like if we can get past Ponoka we play Airdrie again and we’re pretty confident against Airdrie.”

Brandon Bilodeau will get the start in net for Red Deer in game one of the best-of-three series and had a 15-8 record this season to go along with a 2.89 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

“He’s going to be our go-to guy for the start of the playoffs, he earned it over the season,” Morrical said.

Puck drop for game one is 8 p.m. Wednesday night at the Collicutt Centre.

byron.hackett@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month