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Rebels aim to get their mojo back

Red Deer lost six of their last seven
Captain Jayden Grubbe just missed the net on a breakaway chance against the Calgary Hitmen earlier this season. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

What goes up must come down.

The Red Deer Rebels began the 2022-23 season as if they were shot out of a cannon with a historic 15 straight wins that broke multiple Western Hockey League and franchise records. Since then, Red Deer has lost six of their last seven games, metaphorically descending back to earth.

However, the Rebels remain optimistic about getting back on track with three straight games beginning on Friday.

Rebels captain Jayden Grubbe said towards the end of their historic winning streak, they began to develop bad habits and since then, it’s been a matter of returning to their original style of play.

“We’ve played some good hockey and didn’t get a couple of bounces to go our way. We could have won a couple of those games but I think in general, we got to get back to it,” he said.

“We’ve had a good week of practice here and getting back to practicing our systems and practicing our details. We haven’t had a lot of practice time the last couple of weeks and I think that’ll help. It’s a long season you’re going to have ups and downs so I think for us it’s just taking it one game at a time and hitting the reset.”

The Red Deer Rebel brand of hockey has been physical, hardworking, and simple. The captain explained the team has been positive despite the results.

“We know we’re a good team. It’s a long year, you can’t dwell on stuff like that. You’ve got to be positive or else it’s going to add up … We’ve got a couple of games before Christmas and now we need a good stretch here heading into the break,” Grubbe said.

Last week the Rebels already saw flashes of their previous dominance beating the defending WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 on the road.

This led to a nail-biter in Lethbridge where Red Deer tied the game in the third period only to lose in the shootout. The Rebels returned home on Saturday to take on the Wheat Kings and severely outshot their opponents but could not buy a goal in the final frame.

Grubbe said all it takes is one play to change the momentum of the game and the team needs to be ready for it because you never know when it may come.

“I think we’ve got to be the hardest working team in the league and that’s our mindset,” he said. “You’re not going to win every game you play well so sometimes it goes that way. We’ve got back to that but it’s a matter of doing that every single game.”

On Friday, the Rebels play at the Centrium against the Medicine Hat Tigers for their second matchup of the season. Red Deer won the first tilt 4-2 in Medicine Hat on Oct. 21.

The Rebels will be wearing their special Spongebob Squarepants jerseys for WHL’s Nickelodeon-themed night for charity.

The game-worn jerseys for the Rebels Nickelodeon Night for Children’s Miracle Network will be auctioned off in the Peavey Mart Centrium through a silent auction with the proceeds going to the Children’s Miracle Network.

The next day the Prince Albert Raiders will visit for the second time this campaign and will look for revenge after the Rebels beat them 3-0 on Oct. 22. Red Deer will then travel to Calgary on Sunday to take on the Hitmen at the Scotiabank Saddledome.


Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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