Rebels ride east on road trip

It’s the Red Deer Rebels’ annual rite of fall — the yearly Eastern Division road trip roughly two weeks into the Western Hockey League season. The Rebels pulled out of the Centrium parking lot Wednesday morning and headed east on a three-game jaunt that starts tonight against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

It’s the Red Deer Rebels’ annual rite of fall — the yearly Eastern Division road trip roughly two weeks into the Western Hockey League season.

The Rebels pulled out of the Centrium parking lot Wednesday morning and headed east on a three-game jaunt that starts tonight against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The early-season trip, said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, is good for team chemistry and is often easier to navigate than is the case during the cold winter months.

“When you get away together as a group it’s always a good thing,” said Sutter, prior to boarding the team bus. “It’s the first (WHL) road trip for some of these kids. It’s a good time to do it for them, but it’s also better for travel because the roads are good.

“You get that one trip out of the way early because you have enough of them through the winter.”

The Rebels take a two-game winning streak into Moose Jaw and could easily be 3-0 to start the season. So far, so good.

“We just have to keep building. We have a really good group of kids and they’ve been very receptive of the things we want to do and how we want to do them,” said Sutter.

“This has been a fun group to work with.”

Considering the Rebels boss has been satisfied with the performance of his charges to date, lineup changes will be minimal tonight. The only possible change will be the inclusion of import rearguard Mario Grman, a healthy scratch for the first three regular-season contests.

“We have to start getting Grman into some games,” said Sutter. “He’s a really good young defenceman, it’s just that when you have young guys like Austin Strand and Josh Mahura, it’s difficult to find room.

“On top of that, when Haydn (Fleury) gets back we’re going to have eight defencemen. You know that (Brett) Cote, Fleury and (Kayle) Doetzel are going to be everyday guys, so it’s a matter of working the rest of the group around them. (Kolton) Dixon and (Nick) Charif have played really well and I’ve also been happy with the young guys like Josh and Strand, who have really taken steps, but we have to get Grman into the mix.”

Speaking of Fleury, there’s a strong possibility he’ll be back with the Rebels in time for the last two games of the trip — Saturday against the Brandon Wheat Kings and Sunday versus the Regina Pats. The 18-year-old suited up with the Carolina Hurricanes, who selected the six-foot-three defenceman sixth overall in June’s NHL entry draft, in a 3-1 preseason loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Despite Fleury’s imminent return, Sutter doesn’t anticipate making any moves in the near future.

“Haydn will give us eight healthy defenceman and you need that (many) throughout the year,” said Sutter. “We’re certainly going to have to continue playing these younger kids. I’m not saying they’re going to be in every game, but we have to make sure we manage them properly and develop them the way they need to be developed.”

Rylan Toth will get his second consecutive start in the Red Deer net tonight. The 18-year-old WHL rookieis tied for the league lead with a 1.00 goals-against average and sports a .947 save percentage.

“At the end of the night, he’s made the saves for us,” said Sutter. “The other night at home (during Saturday’s 7-1 thumping of the Kootenay Ice) he made a big save on a two-on-one that kept the game at 2-0 and we were able to keep rolling.

“That’s why goaltending is huge. Goaltending can not change momentum in games in a bad way. That’s just the state of being a goalie, it’s just the way it is.”

The Rebels’ next home game is Oct. 10 versus the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Most Read