Matthew Dumba

Rebels’ Dumba ready to move forward

Four days after being a final cut of the Canadian junior national team, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba was able to smile. Not that the disappointment of failing to make the squad for a second consecutive year wasn’t still lingering.

Four days after being a final cut of the Canadian junior national team, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba was able to smile.

Not that the disappointment of failing to make the squad for a second consecutive year wasn’t still lingering.

“It’s kind of tough getting cut, that’s a tough experience,” Dumba said Monday, prior to a practice session at the Centrium. “But I just have to be a man about it and carry on. I’m happy to be back here with the boys. It’s exciting what we’re doing here and I’m just putting all of my focus on that and having fun.”

The Canadian coaching staff didn’t have many — if any — explanations as to why Dumba was a hard-luck victim for a second straight year.

“I wasn’t told much . . . nothing really,” said the 18-year-old who was selected seventh overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2012 NHL entry draft. “They said maybe next year will be my year, and wished me the best of luck with the rest of my season. It was pretty simple stuff. I’ll use it as motivation moving forward and next year push for a spot on that (national junior) team. I should be a better player a year from now.”

Dumba broke into the WHL as a 16-year-old and notched 15 goals and collected 26 points in 62 games. He was honoured as the league’s top rookie following the 2010-11 season.

Last winter was even more impressive in terms of his offensive output. The Calgary native reached the magical 20-goal mark and added 37 assists for 57 points in 69 outings.

But the current campaign hasn’t been a royal flush for the talented rearguard. After 33 games, he’s sitting with seven goals and 17 points, well off of his 2011-12 scoring pace.

Not to worry, Dumba insisted.

“The points will come,” he said. “I’m always going to have that offensive instinct, but to get to the next level, the pro level, you have to have that defensive game and that’s what I’m learning right now.

“My defensive game and decision-making have gotten way better. I’m really happy with that aspect of my game.”

Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter felt for Dumba when the blueliner received the shattering news last week.

“It’s always hard when you get released from a team, especially when you’re trying out for a national team,” said Sutter. “I know this is the second time it’s happened to him, but he has to use it as a learning experience.

“The world junior championship is, for the most part, a 19-year-old tournament. To play at that level as an 18-year-old, you have to be a special player and have your A-game going at that point in time. I think the three games Matty played just before the selection camp were the best he’s played all season. He’s had a tough go to the season and yet he’s starting to find his game and it’s our job as coaches to help him through it and get him ready for next year, for pro hockey or whatever may come his way.

“We have to spend time with him and get his game to where it’s acceptable not just to ourselves and him, but also the Minnesota Wild.”

Bolton Pouliot will be back in the Red Deer net tonight and will remain with the club for the remainder of the season.

Spencer Tremblay, who was brought in a few weeks to provide Pouliot with some competition for the back-up role, guarded the Rebels net in a 6-1 loss Saturday to visiting Kelowna and injured his knee in the contest. As a result, he likely won’t be ready for further action until after No. 1 stopper Patrik Bartosak returns from the world juniors.

“It’s a tough one for Spence,” said Sutter. “He won’t be ready to play for maybe three weeks, so the decision now is that Bolton will stay here for sure. We’ll get Spence to a junior A team and look at bringing him back next fall.”

Grant Naherniak was brought in from his Moose Jaw midget AAA team and will be the Rebels backup until Bartosak returns.

Tonight’s game against the visiting Kootenay Ice is the last for the Rebels before the Christmas break. Red Deer will play a home-and-home with the defending WHL champion Oil Kings, Dec. 27 at Edmonton and the following night at the Centrium.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Hub on Ross has announced it has permanently closed. (Photo courtesy The Hub on Ross Facebook page)
The Hub on Ross in Red Deer to permanently close

The Hub on Ross in Red Deer permanently closed on Wednesday. “The… Continue reading

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopened earlier this month, after closing in March due to the pandemic. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopens

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House was closed for months due… Continue reading

Guy Pelletier, vice-president of the Red Deer region for Melcor Developments. (Contributed photo).
Melcor has to redesign new neighbourhood after Molly Banister decision

City council disagreed with administration’s recommendation to scrap road plans

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Sergio Santos, right, of the Philadelphia Union, loses the race to the ball against goalie Quentin Westberg of Toronto FC during the first half of an MLS match Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Chester, Pa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
Frustrated coach Greg Vanney defends banged-up Toronto FC after second straight loss

Frustrated coach Greg Vanney defends banged-up Toronto FC after second straight loss

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Robert and third baseman Justin Turner pose for a group picture after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Sporting venues and games certainly have super-spreader potential but that risk can be minimized with buy-in from all involved, experts said Wednesday. The subject moved into the spotlight Wednesday after L.A. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 at the World Series. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Gay
Sports’ buy-in needed to prevent super-spreader potential: experts

Sports’ buy-in needed to prevent super-spreader potential: experts

In this image released by Fox, from left, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Rawle D. Lewis, John Candy and Leon are shown in a scene from the film "Cool Runnings." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, Fox
Not cool: Jamaican bobsledder wants thief to return stolen shell to Calgary bar

An original member of the Jamaican bobsled team featured in the 1993… Continue reading

Speedskater Ivanie Blondin trains at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on October 17, 2016. Canada's long-track speedskating team is chasing ice to Fort St. John, B.C. The country's top speedskaters have been without ice in Calgary's Olympic Oval since early September because of a mechanical failure there. World champions Ivanie Blondin, Graeme Fish and Ted-Jan Bloemen are among 50 people including coaches and support staff travelling to northern B.C. for a 15-day training camp starting Nov. 1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian long-track speedskating team finds temporary home in B.C.

Canadian long-track speedskating team finds temporary home in B.C.

The "Great One," Wayne Gretzky, left, holds up a banner bearing his number with some help from his friend Joey Moss during a jersey retirement ceremony at Skyreach Centre in Edmonton on Firday, October 1, 1999. Former Oilers captain Kelly Buchberger remembers how a familiar friend would come "barrelling" into the visitors' dressing room when he returned to Edmonton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Wayne Gretzky reflects on the life, legacy of Joey Moss: ‘He gave parents hope’

Wayne Gretzky reflects on the life, legacy of Joey Moss: ‘He gave parents hope’

Players' sticks are shown during a World Championships Group A hockey game between Russia and Denmark, in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A $30-million settlement of three class actions over the failure to pay junior hockey players the minimum wage has been thrown into jeopardy after three judges refused to sign off on the agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Junior hockey employment lawsuit on thin ice; judges refuse to OK $30-million deal

Junior hockey employment lawsuit on thin ice; judges refuse to OK $30-million deal

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Labour union leaders are urging Albertans to sign up to protest Premier Jason Kenney’s government through rallies and demonstrations and, if necessary, provincewide general strikes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Most Read