Rebels bring ‘A’ game to Brandon

There’s something about the best that brings out the best in the Red Deer Rebels. The Rebels knocked off yet another highly-ranked Western Hockey League team Wednesday, blanking the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-0 before a sold-out audience of 5,108 at Westman Place.

BRANDON — There’s something about the best that brings out the best in the Red Deer Rebels.

The Rebels knocked off yet another highly-ranked Western Hockey League team Wednesday, blanking the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-0 before a sold-out audience of 5,108 at Westman Place.

Red Deer has defeated the likes of Victoria, Kelowna and Seattle this season, Likewise, teams with borderline records and below have proven to be tough nuts for the Rebels to crack.

For example, Wednesday’s triumph came four days after Red Deer fell 4-2 to the 8-7-0-3 Saskatoon Blades, a result that was preceded by a 4-0 blanking of the Prince Albert Raiders, who sit second to the front-running Rebels in the Eastern Conference.

So, what gives?

“We continue to try and talk to the guys about how it doesn’t matter who our opponent is, our level of play has to be at a certain standard,” said GM/head coach Brent Sutter, basically suggesting – without saying as much— that his players have taken some of the so-called lesser lights at least somewhat for granted this season.

“It all has to do with the mental side of the game … not getting caught up in who your opponent is and just focusing on what we have to do as a team,” he continued. “Our inconsistency has come into play at times and it’s hurt us at certain points of the season.

“But we have to learn from all that stuff and get better. Now the key is what will be our response Friday after playing a big game here today.”

Sutter was referring to Friday’s contest against the Regina Pats, the Rebels’ fourth foe on their five-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Moose Jaw.

If the Rebels turn in a similar performance to the one they showcased Wednesday, the Pats could be in major trouble.

“We played well today, it was a really good response after dropping off in Saskatoon,” said Sutter. “We got some timely goals and our goalie was really good. He played really well and made some big saves for us at key times.”

Rylan Toth was indeed solid, his 31-save showing earning him his second — and second in as many starts — shutout of the season. The 19-year-old hasn’t allowed a goal since late in the middle period of a 4-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Nov. 3 at the Centrium.

“It’s huge for him, absolutely,” said Sutter. “It’s no different for a goalie than anyone else … for a goal scorer or whoever. You get shutouts and wins and it adds to your confidence.”

Toth turned aside 15 shots in the first period as his teammates struggled out of the gate.

“He played well in the first and I thought we was really solid throughout the game,” said Sutter. “We were a little stale in the first period, we weren’t moving our feet and we had some turnovers, but Tother stood tall.

“In the second and third our team play was more like the game we played in Prince Albert.”

Grayson Pawlenchuk notched the only goal — his ninth of the season — the Rebels needed midway through the opening frame. Michael Spacek, with his ninth, made it 2-0 early in the middle period and rookies Brandon Hagel and Austin Pratt sealed the deal with third-period markers.

Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny faced 28 shots.

The Rebels’ next home game is Nov. 20 versus Saskatoon.


Just Posted

RCMP looking for these two suspects
Police looking for suspects who stole truck in central Alberta

A Ford F350 was stolen out of Blackfalds on June 9. Two… Continue reading

An excavator is tearing up old parking lots at the Michener Centre north site. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Demolition gets underway at Michener Centre’s north site

Some people are nostaligic, but not everyone is sad to see it go

The Red Deer Indian Industrial school stood off Burnt Lake Trail and across the Red Deer River from Fort Normandeau. The residential school is known to have lost at least 70 students through illness, poor sanitation and nutrition. (Advocate file photo)
Some Indigenous leaders say SNC-Lavalin can’t make up to First Nations people with offer of help

Quebec company is connected to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould allegations

RCMP are looking for this 30-year-old missing woman.
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing woman

The Red Deer RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance to locate… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley says the UCP is not making good use of federal wage funding help.
File photo from THE CANADIAN PRESS
‘So unfair’: Métis take Alberta to court over refusal to discuss consultation policy

EDMONTON — The Métis Nation of Alberta is taking the provincial government… Continue reading

The Calgary Stampede park is shown in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 23, 2020. The Calgary Stampede's board of directors cancelled the world-famous exhibition and rodeo this year because of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Plans for Calgary Stampede include reduced attendance, COVID-19 safety protocols

CALGARY — Officials with the Calgary Stampede say reduced daily attendance and… Continue reading

(Photo contributed)
Red Deer’s Ernco Braves go 4-0 in opening weekend games

Braves shot out Edmonton Padres in four straight games

Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings in many drinkers. For some, there are bad memories. But today’s premium tequilas are changing some of those perceptions. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Rethinking tequila: Premium brands aim to change perceptions

LONDON — Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings… Continue reading

This image provided by Glenorangie shows Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. To enjoy the occasional beverage and also help wildlife, consider Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. The Highland Scotch maker's stills are the tallest in Scotland, as tall as a giraffe, and the collectible tin is patterned like the animal's coat. Each purchase supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Glenorangie via AP)
Father’s Day gifts that celebrate interests old and new

After a pandemic year in which the shape of work and play… Continue reading

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., on June 20, 2007.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Canada’s crude oil exports have increased 15-fold in 30 years: report

HALIFAX — The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased… Continue reading

Everlasting Wind, aka Dawn Goodwin, joins others by raising her fist in the Mississippi River near an Enbridge pipeline construction site, on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Clearwater County, Minn., to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3. Goodwin is a co-founder of RISE Coalition. More than 2,000 Indigenous leaders and "water protectors" gathered in Clearwater County from around the country. The day started with a prayer circle and moved on to a march to the Mississippi headwaters where the oil pipeline is proposed to be built. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota court affirms approval of Line 3 oil pipeline

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed… Continue reading

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a news conference held by the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of airports, airlines, hotels, boards of trade and chambers of commerce, to urge the federal government to implement a reopening plan for travel and tourism, at the Ottawa Airport in Ottawa, on Monday, June 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadian business leaders demand plan to reopen borders, economy now

OTTAWA — Business leaders are calling on Ottawa to immediately lay out… Continue reading

Most Read