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

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

Just Posted

Oland murder case highlights costs required for successful defence

FREDERICTON — Dennis Oland didn’t receive special favours before the courts in… Continue reading

Tiny heart sensor giving Calgary doctors big advantage in ongoing patient care

CALGARY — A tiny wireless sensor is giving cardiovascular surgeons in Calgary… Continue reading

New NHL arena in Calgary back on the table, tentative agreement struck

CALGARY — Plans for a new arena in Calgary to replace the… Continue reading

‘Next big step’: Young Canadians lawsuit given approval to proceed

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed on behalf of several young men who… Continue reading

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

OTTAWA — Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre took aim at the Liberals… Continue reading

Oland murder case highlights costs required for successful defence

FREDERICTON — Dennis Oland didn’t receive special favours before the courts in… Continue reading

Tiny heart sensor giving Calgary doctors big advantage in ongoing patient care

CALGARY — A tiny wireless sensor is giving cardiovascular surgeons in Calgary… Continue reading

New NHL arena in Calgary back on the table, tentative agreement struck

CALGARY — Plans for a new arena in Calgary to replace the… Continue reading

‘Next big step’: Young Canadians lawsuit given approval to proceed

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed on behalf of several young men who… Continue reading

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

OTTAWA — Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre took aim at the Liberals… Continue reading

Vigil in Toronto marks first anniversary of Greektown shooting that killed two

TORONTO — The sound of church bells echoed through Toronto’s Greektown on… Continue reading

Cop father says couple’s double homicide in B.C. devastating for two families

SURREY, B.C. — The father of an Australian man who was gunned… Continue reading

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defence has been stellar so far this season

The offence has certainly been front and centre this season but the… Continue reading

Most Read