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)

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

Hitmen 2 Rebels 0

The Red Deer Rebels simply couldn’t solve the mystery that was Brayden Peters.

Red Deer threw everything and the kitchen sink at the Calgary Hitmen netminder Friday, but the 18-year-old was a brick wall in Calgary’s home opener at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex & Jim Starlight Centre.

Peters was perfect in his 2020-21 WHL season debut, turning aside 27 shots for his first career shutout.

The visitors suffered their third loss of the abbreviated 24-game season, although Friday was a more complete effort than the previous two for the Rebels. Red Deer had their chances to beat Peters, including a pressure-packed third period and four power play opportunities that came up empty.

Calgary opened the scoring late in the first period and that was all the help Peters needed. Sean Tschigerl jumped out of the penalty box and picked up the puck up in the neutral zone before beating Ethan Anders on a breakaway.

It went from bad to worse early in the second, when a 200-foot clearing attempt by Tyson Galloway took an unexpected bounce past Anders.

Beyond the gaff, Anders was solid with 29 saves in the loss.

Three stars: 1: Brayden Peters. 2: Sean Tschigerl. 3: Ben King.

Red Deer will welcome the Hitmen to the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday night, with puck drop at 6 p.m. Fans are not allowed into the Centrium for the contest, but can follow the action on WHL Live.

Rebels’ roundup:

Captain Grubbe

The Rebels named 18-year-old Calgary native Jayden Grubbe team captain Friday afternoon. Grubbe has 32 points in 59 career WHL games. Grubbe was selected seventh overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft and is on the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft.

“This is a huge honour for Jayden. After meeting with our leadership group today, they felt it was important to have a designated captain within our room for this season,” said Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter.

“Going back to Jayden’s draft year, our staff identified him as a player and person that we saw leading our team down the road. All those attributes have proven true, and we’re confident he’ll lead our group with passion and energy in the seasons to come.”

Arshdeep Bains, Ben King, Chris Douglas, Josh Tarzwell, and Zak Smith are the team’s alternate captains.

Tests all-clear

The Western Hockey League announced Friday the results of its fourth week of COVID-19 testing. The league had no positive results over 602 tests administered between Feb. 27 and March 5. In the Central division, 159 tests were administered.

More games

The WHL also released the rest of the Central Division schedule for March. The Red Deer Rebels will play six more times after Saturday’s tilt against the Calgary Hitmen, with three games from March 12-14 and three more between March 19-21. The Rebels will be on their bye between March 26-28.

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