Rebels seek redemption at home

Game 1 and Game 2 were basically a carbon copy of each other for the Red Deer Rebels. They withstood the early onslaught from the Brandon Wheat Kings, controlled the game for stretches and even held leads with single-digit minutes left in the third period.

Game 1 and Game 2 were basically a carbon copy of each other for the Red Deer Rebels.

They withstood the early onslaught from the Brandon Wheat Kings, controlled the game for stretches and even held leads with single-digit minutes left in the third period.

But, the Rebels find themselves down 2-0 in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference final as the series switches to Red Deer.

Defenceman Haydn Fleury said the team feels a little refreshed after playing a lot of hockey over the past two weeks. After a gruelling seven game series against the Regina Pats, the Rebels were on the ice two days later against the Wheat Kings. With an off-day Sunday, the Rebels were back at practice Monday afternoon.

“Tuesday is a new challenge, we have to win on home ice and we’re comfortable with that,” said Fleury. “We have to limit their chances. We can’t give up 10 goals in two games, that puts a lot of pressure on us to score that many goals. We need to tighten up defensively.

Giving up 10 goals in two games is out of character for the Rebels are undefeated this post-season when they have limited opponents to three goals or fewer.

But the feeling through the first two games is the Rebels were able to match the intensity the rested Wheat Kings had.

“Those games, I thought we played really well,” said Defenceman Kayle Doetzel. “I thought our game was where it needs to be. They got a couple of bounces and a couple of more goals than us, but for the most part if we stick to our game we’ll do fine.”

Doetzel believes the team can shut down the high-flying Wheat Kings attack.

A hit-or-miss power play led to only two special teams goals on 11 attempts for the Rebels. Fleury said the work had to include getting bodies to the net and shooting the puck more.

“We had some good timely goals during the games, but I think we need have more of them,” he said.

Fleury scored twice over the weekend including a game-tying goal with 4.1 seconds left in the third period of Game 1.

Forward Jake DeBrusk said there will be some desperation in the Rebels play in Game 3, saying they can’t afford to lose the next game.

“It’s do or die, we can’t let them have a 3-0 lead or a 3-1 lead,” said DeBrusk. “It will be desperate times. But we just have to bring our all and play to our identity. Whenever we shifted away from our identity, they made us pay. Throughout the playoffs, whenever we’re off our game it has been bad.

“We have to play our style and we’ll be fine. This time of year home-ice advantage is huge. I don’t see it as a huge panic that they’re up 2-0, they have home-ice for a reason. But this is the biggest two games of the series. We know when a team comes back with two wins, it puts you a bit on your heels.”

Game 3 of the best-of-seven showdown starts at 7 p.m. tonight at the Centrium.

Rebels

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

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… 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 on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read