Add one more name to the lengthy Red Deer Rebels injury list.
Forward Colten Mayor suffered a broken thumb during Friday’s 3-2 Western Hockey League loss at Edmonton and joins six teammates in the infirmary. None of the injured skaters will be available for duty tonight when the Rebels host the Prince Albert Raiders.
Mayor was already playing with a cast for a hairline fracture in his wrist when he broke his thumb on the same hand.
“He actually played through the injury Saturday (in a 6-2 loss to visiting Calgary),” Rebels assistant coach Bryce Thoma said Tuesday. “It was turning blue after the game so we had it x-rayed and it was revealed that the thumb was broken.”
As a result, Mayor will be out at least four weeks. His absence will hurt the Rebels as they attempt to chase down the Brandon Wheat Kings for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Red Deer is currently four points back of Brandon with two games in hand.
The continued absence of upper-body injured defencemen Aaron Borejko, Kayle Doetzel and Devan Fafard — as well as Justin Weller, who is out for the season — will hurt even more as the Rebels are down to four healthy rearguards and will be in the same predicament for games Friday at Cranbrook and Saturday at home to Moose Jaw.
The insantity continues, but the Rebels aren’t feeling sorry for themselves.
“As a team we’ve taken our lumps this season in terms of injuries,” Thoma allowed. “But we still have healthy bodies and we have guys who are going to go out there and just keep working. At the end of the day there’s not much you can do about injuries. Injuries happen, we just have to keep moving forward and keep bringing our work ethic to the rink.”
The Raiders sit 12 points and three positions back of the ninth-place Rebels in the Eastern Conference, but are 2-0 against Red Deer this season with a whopping 12-2 advantage in goals scored in the two outings.
“Prince Albert has always been a team that has enough skill and ability to put the puck in the net,” said Thoma. “And the last time we played them they shut us out (5-0 on Dec. 11 at the Centrium) so their goalie played well too.
“As far as our team goes, we have to play well defensively tomorrow. They (Raiders) have always had a good power play so we have to stay out of the penalty box and play five-on-five for the most part. And not dressing a full roster and having only four defencemen, we have to make sure we keep the puck going up the ice and not give up any easy goals like we did against Calgary.”
l The Rebels ‘Jersey Off Your Back’ event Friday resulted in winning bids that raised $26,5000 for KidSport Red Deer.
Along with Finning (Canada), the corporate sponsors of the event, the Rebels will present a cheque for that amount to KidSport prior to or during Saturday’s game against Moose Jaw.
“The generosity of the Rebels fans is overwhelming,” Doug Holloway, co-chair of Red Deer KidSport, stated in a press release. “This is a small fraction of the great work the Rebels organization does in the community. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity.”
KidSport is a national charitable organization that allows children to get involved in recreational activities by helping overcome the financial barriers that prevent them from participating in organized sport programs.
Through an application process, local KidSport chapters provide grants to help with the cost of registration fees and/or equipment for sustained sport programs with qualified instructors for children and youth 18 years of age and under. Eligible applicants can receive up to $250 per year towards sport registration fees and/or sport equipment.
KidSport applications are available from most sport organizations, the City of Red Deer recreation venues, various locations throughout the city and online at www.kidsport.ab.ca.