Red Deer Rebels forward Chris Douglas celebrates a goal on Wednesday with his teammates. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Rebels’ Douglas finding spark on energy line

Just like you need a pair of jumper cables to occasionally boost a car battery, the Red Deer Rebels have got a recent shot of life from a newly formed energy line.

Two B.C. boys have teamed up to provide a little edge to the Rebels forward mix, with Chris Douglas and Arshdeep Bains joining Spruce Grove, Alta. native Brandon Cutler the last several games.

It’s been Douglas who’s been the beneficiary of the new battery so far.

The 17-year-old old winger has goals in consecutive victories for the Rebels, one of which was the game-winning goal against the Swift Current Broncos.

“I love playing with those guys, we’re all young guys, I played with Cuts a bit when we were younger so there’s some chemistry there too. We both work really hard and we’re starting to play well which is nice,” Douglas said.

His other big goal gave Red Deer a two-goal lead over the Calgary Hitmen in an eventual 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday, but it was his effort on the marker that impressed Rebels Associate Coach Jeff Truitt.

“It was great that he gets a goal on the second effort at the net. That’s what he has to do. He has to create pressure on the puck with his speed and when he’s got the puck he’s a threat because of his speed,” Truitt said.

Truitt added that speed has been a major part of the equation for the trio in their brief time together so far this year.

“They’re reading off of each other really well. When their work level is higher, they are very effective players,” Truitt said.

The Richmond, B.C. native in his second WHL season has eight goals on the year and to go along with six assists.

Douglas, for his own part in the last few victories, said it’s just been fun to play in big games and as the season winds down, they’ll only get bigger.

“Every game is the biggest game of the year, especially this next one against Kootenay, it’s huge in the standings,” Douglas said.

“After every game, we’re checking to see if Kootenay won and see all that stuff so yeah, it’s definitely going to be a huge game (Friday).”

Douglas added that learning from veterans has taught him a lot about this time of year.

From Evan Polei and Adam Musil last year, along with Grayson Pawlenchuk and Brandon Hagel this season who were part of the Memorial Cup run two years ago, there’s been a lot of lessons to pick up.

“Last year I witnessed everything and I got to get into a couple playoff games against Lethbridge. You have to rise to the next level and you have to do whatever it takes to win,” Douglas said.

The Rebels will play perhaps the biggest game of the season to date when they host the Kootenay Ice on Friday night at the Centrium.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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