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Two wins are always a great way to start a season, but the Red Deer Rampage are always trying to be better. Their head coach, Trey Christensen, said after Saturday’s win over the St. Albert Crud, 12-9, the team still wants to be better.
The Red Deer Rebels know what they have to do. “It’s pretty defined now, isn’t it,” said GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “Our backs are against the wall. We put ourselves in this spot to some degree, having leads in Brandon and not bearing down in the last seven to eight minutes of the games and blowing leads.”
Dwayne Lalor has to laugh when discussing how long he’s been president of the Red Deer Minor Baseball Association. “It’s been five or six years … I think this is six,” he said. But one thing he’s certain about is that he’s seen a big increase in the number of players involved in the sport since he took over.
RDC Kings volleyball head coach Aaron Schulha knows depth plays a major role in his success. Two years ago when star outside hitter Tim Finnigan went down at the national finals the Kings didn’t have that depth to carry them into the medals. This past season the Kings had plenty of depth when left side hitter Matt Lofgren went down with an ankle injury. Kashtin De Souza stepped in and played a solid role in the Kings capturing their 12th overall national title.
Responding was the order of the day for the Red Deer Rebels. After losing two games where they had the lead late, Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter had to have his team respond.
Game 1 and Game 2 were basically a carbon copy of each other for the Red Deer Rebels. They withstood the early onslaught from the Brandon Wheat Kings, controlled the game for stretches and even held leads with single-digit minutes left in the third period.
Battle tested versus rested. One team coming off a hard fought seven game series, the other with a week to rest up after disposing their opponent in five games.
Considering they’ve only been involved in the sport for a little over three years a pair of Central Alberta athletes have made an impression on the national scene. Both Bryn MacDougall and Chelsea Antonio got involved in team handball in 2014 at Notre Dame High School and this year they were named to the Canadian juvenile team to compete in the Youth Pan American Championships in Chile.
Some of the most important goals are not the prettiest. On Tuesday night, it wasn’t a pretty goal that put the Red Deer Rebels into the Eastern Conference Finals. But it was the most important goal, a Game 7 winner. Despite being outshot in the third period 15-4, the Rebels took a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes in regulation in Game 7 of their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal against the Regina Pats.
RDC Queens head coach Ken King spent a lot of time on the road and in gyms over the last month looking to fill his roster for the 2016-17 ACAC Women’s Basketball League season. With the provincial high school 3A championships in Olds and the 4A finals in Red Deer it helped with the travel budget. But King also took time to attend the provincials in Saskatchewan.
Battling back from a one goal deficit in the third period, the Bentley Generals earned a semifinal berth with a 4-3 win over the Ile-des-Chenes North Stars in Allan Cup round robin play. Matt Stefanishion again led the Generals with two goals, giving him five through the first two games of the tournament. He scored the game winning goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation.
Turns out the Regina Pats can score at even strength. After going two games with only power play goals, it wasn’t until halfway through the second the Pats scored their first even strength goal of the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal against the Red Deer Rebels.
A natural hat trick from Matt Stefanishion led the Bentley Generals to an 8-2 victory over the Stoney Creek Generals in their opening game at the Allan Cup tournament. Stefanishion’s three goals all came in the third period started at the 1 minute mark and finishing 11:30 into the frame.
If need be Clayton Pottinger could have most of his roster set for next season. The RDC Kings basketball head coach could have nine players returning if everything works out.
Jakob Silfverberg scored twice, Ryan Kesler had a goal and three assists, and the Anaheim Ducks tied an NHL record for consecutive regular-season home wins over one team with an 8-3 thumping of the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. Corey Perry, Brandon Pirri, Jamie McGinn, Nate Thompson and rookie Shea Theodore also scored, helping the Ducks take over first place in the Pacific Division with their 23rd in a row over the Flames at Honda Center.
The Anaheim Ducks are looking forward to heading home. Corey Perry scored his 31st goal of the season and John Gibson made 27 saves as the Ducks capped off a five-game road trip with their second win in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Monday.
Sam Bennett scored twice, Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists and the Calgary Flames avoid a season sweep by the Arizona Coyotes with a 5-2 win Monday night. T.J. Brodie and Joe Colborne also scored for Calgary, and Micheal Ferland had two assists. The Flames went 2 for 3 on the power play while stopping a three-game losing streak.
A titan of football in Red Deer — as a coach, referee and league founder — Ken Van Loon died late last week. The long time volunteer wore many hats coaching Grade 9 basketball and junior football at Lindsay Thurber as well as the Red Deer Packers, a former Alberta Junior Football League team. A teacher, Van Loon, 71 at the time of his death, started at Eastview Middle School and taught at Lindsay Thurber.
Besides building a championship team, RDC Queens basketball head coach Ken King would love to add local talent. “We’d love to add girls from Red Deer and Central Alberta,” he said. “We are trying to make sure we can do our part to grow interest in the game and the quality of the game here.”
Scoring early and often, the Red Deer Rebels closed out their Western Hockey League season with an exclamation point. With two goals on his first two shifts and an assist later in the second period, Defenceman Colton Bobyk and his laser slap shot led the Rebels to a 7-2 win over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday night at the Enmax Centrium.