Rebels looking for improvement

The Red Deer Rebels would prefer to crack their Western Hockey League preseason goose-egg this weekend, but simply improving their quality of play will be the priority in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. meeting with the Edmonton Oil Kings at Lacombe.

Array

Array

The Red Deer Rebels would prefer to crack their Western Hockey League preseason goose-egg this weekend, but simply improving their quality of play will be the priority in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. meeting with the Edmonton Oil Kings at Lacombe.

The same goes for their preseason clash with the Medicine Hat Tigers 24 hours later at Stettler.

“That’s been our focus and that was the message after the game last Saturday (a 1-0 exhibition loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes at Innisfail),” Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin said on Thursday, following a practice session at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.

“Obviously, we want to win these next two games, but it’s more about daily improvement and raising our game and getting to where we need to be.”

Wallin hasn’t been tickled with his 0-4 club’s performance through most of the exhibition season. Clearly, he feels he has more at his disposal than a winless record would indicate, including three new defencemen set to start the regular season with the club next week.

“We have some new defencemen in the lineup and this weekend we want to continue to push them to acclimatize to the league as quickly as possible . . . to get used to the strength and the pace of the game down low in our zone,” said Wallin, in reference to Jan Bittner, Haydn Fleury and Riley Boomgaarden.

“It’s also important that we really work on puck movement with our overall group and just work on our overall game . . . raising our level. We’re down in numbers now and we had a good week of practice. Now we’re looking to continue to build and get better going into this weekend and the following weekend (including a regular-season home opener Sept. 21 versus the Calgary Hitmen) for sure.”

Patrik Bartosak will start in the Rebels net tonight and will eventually be spelled by Bolton Pouliot. Bartosak will play the entire game on Saturday.

l Rebels star defenceman Mathew Dumba was limping along in a walking boot on Thursday after suffering a mild ankle sprain in practice earlier in the week.

“He hurt it in practice and we’ve kept him off the ice ever since,” said Wallin. “There’s no break, it’s just a sprain, and he should be OK for next weekend.”

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Rebels

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

Just Posted

(Image from Facebook)
UPDATED: Rocky Mountain House store bars vaccinated customers

‘No proof the vax works and no proof it does not shed’

Bloc Québécois MP Sebastien Lemire rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 12, 2021. A Bloc Québécois MP has apologized for taking a screen shot of a Liberal MP who inadvertently appeared nude during virtual proceedings in the House of Commons last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bloc Québécois MP apologizes for taking nude photo of Liberal MP William Amos

‘I have no idea how that photo made its way into the media’

FILE - This Sunday, June 25, 2017, file photo shows TK Holdings Inc. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. A driver in South Carolina is the latest person to be killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator. Honda says that a faulty driver’s air bag blew apart in a crash involving a 2002 Honda Accord in Lancaster County, South Carolina. The company wouldn’t give details of the Jan. 9, 2021, crash near Charlotte, North Carolina, nor would it identify the person who was killed. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
South Carolina driver killed by exploding air bag inflator

Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled

Hospital staff shift the body of a COVID-19 patient on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance at a specialized COVID-19 hospital in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Low on beds, oxygen, India adds global high 314K virus cases

Government rushing oxygen tankers to replenish hospital supplies

A traveler wearing a protective mask, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, walks through the nearly empty JetBlue terminal at Logan Airport in Boston, Friday, May 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa
JetBlue expanding wings with service to Vancouver from New York and Boston

JetBlue will have to compete with Canadian airlines

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

A Blanding’s turtle (Gabrielle Fortin/Contributed)
Earth Day: Finding hope in an old sweater

During the pandemic, many of us have spent several months at home.… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says 1.7 million reusable masks have been ordered at a cost of $4.2 million.” (Advocate file photo).
Alberta teachers and education minister swap accusations of politicizing curriculum

EDMONTON — Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the group representing Alberta teachers… Continue reading

FILE - In this March 19, 2021, file photo, people take pictures of the Olympic rings installed by the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Olympic bodies launch competitive series in virtual sports

Olympic body hopes to reach more young people

Linda Tomlinson
Gardening: Leave the lawn until the soil is dry

Spring is arriving, Alberta style with warm days, cold days and snow.… Continue reading

Silent protests were held recently in response to Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to reject a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week. Some former employees at Red Deer Public are saying the decision is misguided. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Letter: School board silencing Pride Week concern

While it has been our practice to not comment on matters arising… Continue reading

Most Read