Skip to content

Rebels and Blades begin second-round series Friday

Games 1 and 2 begin in Saskatoon
The Red Deer Rebels will take on the Saskatoon Blades in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Friday. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

For the first time in 13 years, the Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades will meet in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The last time they battled it out in the postseason was in 2010 but met once before that in 1993. But the result was not what central Alberta’s team hoped for losing both series to the Blades.

This time around they’re hoping history doesn’t repeat itself in the Eastern Conference semifinals

Despite earning the top spot in the Central Division, the Rebels did not have a winning record against Saskatoon.

The Blades won three out of four games against the Rebels this season, one of which was decided in extra time.

During those games, Kai Uchacz led all Rebels players with two goals and two assists for four points. For the Blades, Trevor Wong contributed three goals and five assists for eight points.

Red Deer is coming off a tight battle against the Calgary Hitmen that took five games before the Rebels won the seven-game series.

After winning Game 1 at home the Rebels dropped Game 2 in overtime at the Peavey Mart Centrium. Red Deer went on to win Games 3 and 4 in Calgary before winning the deciding game in overtime after overcoming a two-goal deficit in the third period.

Saskatoon had their backs against the wall when they took on Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats in round one.

After dropping the first two games at home the Blades appeared to be in trouble but responded by stealing Games 3 and 4 in Regina. The two teams traded wins in Games 5 and 6 but in the final matchup of the series, Saskatoon came out on top.

So far in the playoffs Blades Egor Sidorov sits tied for third in points with 13 and third in goals with five.

Seventh in points is Rebels captain Jayden Grubbe who earned 10 points in five games, nine of those come from assists. He was also 61.7 per cent from the faceoff circle. More veterans stepped up for Red Deer when Kai Uchacz scored four times in the opening series followed by three goals from sniper Ben King.

Defensively the Rebels have been strong and goaltending has also been a highlight of their playoff run so far. Goaltender Kyle Kelsey has played every game for Red Deer posting a 1.87 GAA and a .938 save percentage, which is good enough for fourth in the WHL.

The series kicks off on Friday and Sunday in Saskatoon at 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. mountain time. The series then shifts to Red Deer for Games 3 and 4 on April 18 and 18 at 7 p.m. If needed Game 5 in Saskatoon will take place at 6 p.m. on April 21 and Game 6 in Red Deer on April 21 at 2 p.m.

The series-deciding Game 7 will go back to Saskatoon on Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m.

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.
Read more