Rebels sharper than Blades

Could these be the real Red Deer Rebels, a team that is looking more and more like a legitimate Memorial Cup tournament host? The Rebels posted their fourth consecutive Western Hockey League triumph Wednesday at Saskatoon, blanking the Blades 5-0 before 3,445 fans at the SaskTel Centre.

SASKATOON — Could these be the real Red Deer Rebels, a team that is looking more and more like a legitimate Memorial Cup tournament host?

The Rebels posted their fourth consecutive Western Hockey League triumph Wednesday at Saskatoon, blanking the Blades 5-0 before 3,445 fans at the SaskTel Centre.

Coupled with Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders, the Rebels were 2-0 on their mini trip into Saskatchewan and were ultra-impressive in the process, particularly Wednesday evening.

“We were solid and steady. We didn’t give up much and capitalized on our opportunities,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter. “We played a real solid game.”

Ivan Nikolishin’s 23rd goal of the season, a power-play marker at 17:01 of the opening frame, was the eventual winner. Haydn Fleury and Nikolishin, again, connected late in the second period.

Adam Helekwa potted a power-play goal at 6:30 of the final stanza and rookie Austin Pratt rounded out the Red Deer scoring just under 10 minutes later.

Rylan Toth turned aside 27 shots to record his fourth shutout of the season. Brock Hamm made 33 saves for the hosts.

“We didn’t give up a whole lot. I thought the kids played hard and played well,” said Sutter.

Toth has allowed just three goals — all in Tuesday’s win at Prince Albert — in his last three games, a welcome sign that he’s playing with confidence.

“He made the saves when we had to get them tonight. They (Blades) had a few chances and Tother shut the door on them,” said Sutter. “We need that kind of goaltending.

“Since Christmas he’s been pretty good. He won the game against Edmonton at home (on Dec. 27) although he might have wished he had been a little better. But he responded well against Brandon (in a 10-0 win last Saturday) and now on this road trip he’s been good.

“He’s had four decent outings since Christmas.”

The Rebels were slated to arrive home at roughly 2:30 a.m. today. The players will be on the ice this afternoon at the Centrium to prepare for Friday’s clash against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The two teams are tied for top spot in the Eastern Conference and the ‘Canes are 3-0 versus the Rebels this season.

“They’ve certainly been the better team the three games we’ve played them,” said Sutter. “If we want to finish first (in the Central Division and Eastern Conference) we have to beat the best teams.”

Red Deer also hosts the Vancouver Giants Saturday at 7 p.m.

• The three stars Wednesday were (1) Nikolishin, (2) Fleury and (3) Toth … The Rebels were two-for-four on the power play, the Blades zero-for-five.

Rebels

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council discusses strategies to restore integrated emergency dispatching

Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to… Continue reading

Local developers who are doing building upgrades or new construction will face less land servicing costs and gain some flexibility. (File photo by Advocate staff)
From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Pornhub says it has removed all content uploaded by non-verified users. The sex website faced accusations it hosted illegal content. The company, which is owned by Montreal-based Mindgeek, says it has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by one of its content partners or members of its Model Program. THE CANADIAN PRESS
International women’s rights advocates call on Canada to hold Pornhub to account

Jeanette Westbrook says being sexually abused as a child will haunt her… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen stands for the national anthem prior to an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Montreal, Saturday, January 30, 2021. Public health experts say Quebec should wait until more people have received a second dose of COVID-19 before increasing the number of fans allowed to attend Montreal Canadiens home games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec to increase arena capacity before first home game in Habs playoff series

MONTREAL — Quebec will increase the number of people allowed to attend… Continue reading

New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Halifax regional council will consider today a new report on a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast's largest city.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Most Read