Carson Papke

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Pratt pens contract with Rebels

It’s like Austin Pratt grew homesick after leaving Red Deer on three occasions over the past year. “Every time I came here it seemed like I didn’t want to leave,” Pratt said Friday, after signing a standard Western Hockey League players contract with the Red Deer Rebels at the team office.

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Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels --- Medicine Hat Tigers Zach Fischer and Chad Labelle crash the goal as Red Deer Rebel goaltender Rylan Toth defends during first period action at the Centrium Friday.

Rebels rookies looking forward to first playoffs

Rylan Toth came into his rookie campaign just hoping to get a chance to prove himself in the Red Deer Rebels net. Now, with the start of the WHL playoffs, he has a chance to establish himself as a star 13 months out of hosting the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels --- Medicine Hat Tigers Zach Fischer and Chad Labelle crash the goal as Red Deer Rebel goaltender Rylan Toth defends during first period action at the Centrium Friday.

Cougars finish with 1-3 record at basketball provincials

The Notre Dame Cougars were 66-49 losers to Okotoks Foothills in their final game of the Alberta 4A boys basketball provincials at Edmonton Jasper Place Saturday.

Wranglers lose first playoff game this season

The Blackfalds Wranglers rolled to the Heritage Junior B Hockey League final without hardly breaking a sweat, but they have a worthy opponent now. Unfortunately for the Wranglers, with as easy a path as they’ve had, suddenly flipping the switch is a little easier said than done. The Coaldale Copperheads thrashed the Wranglers 4-0 in Game 1 of the best-of-five final at the Blackfalds Multiplex on Friday.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-AA Midget Hockey ---- Red Deer AA Midget Elks Reid Sterling

Red Deer teams battle until the end in midget AA playoffs

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Tuesday’s midget AA hockey playoff game at the Arena was that it didn’t require extra time. The Red Deer Indy Graphics Chiefs edged the Red Deer Elks 3-2 before roughly 550 fans in the third and deciding game of the South Central League North Division final.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-AA Midget Hockey ---- Red Deer AA Midget Elks Reid Sterling
Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Girls Basketball ---- Hunting Hills Lightning Gabby Spenst blocks the way for Lindsay Thurber Raider Kelsey Lalor during high school girls basketball action at Lindsay Thurber on Tuesday.

Raiders race to series opening win over Lightning

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders employed their two greatest weapons while racing to a 71-53 win over the visiting Hunting Hills Lightning in senior high girls basketball playoff action Tuesday. The Raiders played with speed and energy en route to grabbing a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three 4A zone final which continues Thursday at 6 p.m. at Hunting Hills.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Girls Basketball ---- Hunting Hills Lightning Gabby Spenst blocks the way for Lindsay Thurber Raider Kelsey Lalor during high school girls basketball action at Lindsay Thurber on Tuesday.
Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Greg's gamer -- Red Deer Rebels defenceman Austin Strand strips up Moose Jaw Warriorsforward Jaimen Yakubowski during WHL action at the Centrium in Red Deer on Saturday. Red Deer won 5-1.

Penalties at all-time low in WHL

Referees in the traditionally rough-and-tumble Western Hockey League have been sending offenders to the penalty box at a record low rate this season. As the 2014-15 campaign draws to a close, multiple teams could break the WHL’s record for fewest penalty minutes in a season set by the 2013-14 Everett Silvertips with 816 in 72 games. Everett, with 646 minutes in 64 games, will almost certainly break that mark, as will the Kootenay Ice, who have been whistled for just 631 minutes in the same span.

  • Mar 6, 2015
Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Greg's gamer -- Red Deer Rebels defenceman Austin Strand strips up Moose Jaw Warriorsforward Jaimen Yakubowski during WHL action at the Centrium in Red Deer on Saturday. Red Deer won 5-1.

Injured captain Giordano believes Flames can make playoffs without him

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano isn’t giving up hope his team can make the NHL playoffs without him. With the bill of his red ball cap pulled down over his eyes, Giordano spoke with local media Tuesday about the season-ending surgery he’ll undergo Wednesday to repair a torn left biceps tendon.

  • Mar 4, 2015
New York Rangers' Marc Staal (18) fights for control of the puck with Calgary Flames' Josh Jooris (86) as goalie Cam Talbot (33) watches them during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday

Flames can’t find net in New York

Kevin Hayes replaced injured top scorer Rick Nash in position only when the New York Rangers took on the Calgary Flames. Then he played the role quite well and netted the lone goal in his surging club’s latest win. Hayes broke a scoreless deadlock 3:00 into the third period, Cam Talbot made 21 saves, and the Rangers hung on to beat the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Tuesday night.

  • Feb 25, 2015
New York Rangers' Marc Staal (18) fights for control of the puck with Calgary Flames' Josh Jooris (86) as goalie Cam Talbot (33) watches them during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday

Generals starting playoff run in new locality

The Bentley Generals will begin their march to the 2015 Allan Cup in unfamiliar surroundings. Due to poor ice conditions, the Generals have relocated to the Eckville Arena for the Chinook Hockey League playoffs, which begin there tonight at 8:30 p.m. with a best-of-seven semifinal against the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs. “Last year we struggled (with ice) but this year’s been really bad and it got to the point where we had a near-miss in practice,” said Bentley general manager Jeff McInnis.

Optimist Chiefs season ends early

Brandin Cote entered this Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League season with the impossible task of filling Doug Quinn’s shoes. This weekend their season came to an end in an unfamiliar early fashion. The Chiefs (11-18-5) finished seventh in the South Division, three points out of a playoff spot thanks to a 3-2 loss to the Strathmore Bisons (17-12-5) on Friday and a 3-0 loss to the St. Albert Raiders (18-9-7) on Sunday.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-RDC Queens hockey----Red Deer College Queen Jayna Kitchen chases down SAIT Trojan Erin McLean during college hockey action at the Red Deer Arena Thursday.

Kitchen helps Queens cook up win over Trojans

Jayna Kitchen has more than just good luck on her side of late. The fourth year Red Deer College Queens forward wears a set of crown shaped earrings for every game as a lucky charm, but she has been making her own breaks the last few weeks. She scored twice on Thursday in leading the Queens (11-6-4) to a 4-2 win over the SAIT Trojans (9-10-2) at the Red Deer Arena that all but locks up second place in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s hockey.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-RDC Queens hockey----Red Deer College Queen Jayna Kitchen chases down SAIT Trojan Erin McLean during college hockey action at the Red Deer Arena Thursday.
Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Gunning for gold

Driven athletes are mostly successful athletes. Many of the junior target shooters with the Red Deer Fish and Game Club are highly motivated, and not surprisingly, have won an impressive number of municipal, provincial, national and international titles.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff
Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Raiders run with a balanced attack

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders employ an attack that is similar to their roster in terms of savvy and inexperience. In one word, balanced. “When we want to run we can run, and when we want to slow it down and go into half court our players are pretty disciplined,” said head coach Carl Light, whose team finished third in the boys division of the Lindsay Thurber senior high basketball tournament Friday and Saturday.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff
Canada's Dustin Cook reacts at the finish line of the men's super-G competition at the alpine skiing world championships

Cook claims silver for Canada

Dustin Cook put Canada back on the podium at the world alpine ski championship with a silver medal in Thursday’s super-G. The 25-year-old from Ottawa put down a fast run with a late start number to finish second behind Austrian Hannes Reichelt. Adrien Theaux of France was third.

  • Feb 6, 2015
Canada's Dustin Cook reacts at the finish line of the men's super-G competition at the alpine skiing world championships
Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels 3 ---Red Deer Rebel Riley Sheen tries to control a bouncing puck as Kelowna Rocket Josh Morrissey defends during first period action at the Centrium on Tuesday.

Rockets edge Rebels in shootout

The Red Deer Rebels earned a point against the Western Hockey League’s top team Tuesday night at the Enmax Centrium, but GM/head coach Brent Sutter felt his team could have had two with a 60- to 65-minute effort. “We found a way to get a point, but I don’t think we’re overly pleased with the way we played, though,” said Sutter, following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Kelowna Rockets in front of a recorded gathering of 5,180.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels 3 ---Red Deer Rebel Riley Sheen tries to control a bouncing puck as Kelowna Rocket Josh Morrissey defends during first period action at the Centrium on Tuesday.
Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau

Gaudreau leads Flames past Sabres

Forty-eight hours after playing in his first all-star game, Johnny Gaudreau was back in Calgary and making the type of impact that earned the Flames rookie an invite to the NHL’s gala weekend. Gaudreau scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season on Tuesday as the Flames rallied in the third period to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1.

  • Jan 28, 2015
Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau

Coyle’s late goal lifts Wild past Oilers

A trip to Edmonton usually seems to be able to break the Minnesota Wild out of a funk. Charlie Coyle’s goal late in the third period stood up as the winner as the Wild snapped a two-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, their ninth win in their last 10 visits to Edmonton.

  • Jan 28, 2015
Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Rebels can’t hold off Broncos

The Red Deer Rebels have come to lean on their captain in the big moments ever since Conner Bleackley arrived in town three years ago. He has been clutch the past month, and on Tuesday night he again nearly pulled a game out from the flames, but a late collapse saddled the Rebels (20-13-3-2) with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Swift Current Broncos (19-15-0-4) in front of 5,234 fans at the Centrium.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff
Team Canada's Curtis Lazar celebrates his goal past Team Finland goaltender Juuse Saros with teammate Josh Morrissey during third period preliminary round hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championship Monday

Finishing off the Finns

Sam Reinhart scored two goals and his linemate Anthony Duclair had another as Canada stayed perfect at the world junior championship with a 4-1 victory over Finland on Monday night. Curtis Lazar also scored and Max Domi had a pair of assists for Canada (3-0-0), which ends group stage play with a showdown against the United States (2-0-1) for first place on Wednesday.

  • Dec 30, 2014
Team Canada's Curtis Lazar celebrates his goal past Team Finland goaltender Juuse Saros with teammate Josh Morrissey during third period preliminary round hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championship Monday