The Red Deer Rebels will host their annual Toque and Teddy Bear toss Saturday night at the Centrium. Zak Smith scored that goal 1:51 into the game. (Advocate file photo)

The Red Deer Rebels will host their annual Toque and Teddy Bear toss Saturday night at the Centrium. Zak Smith scored that goal 1:51 into the game. (Advocate file photo)

Rebels host Warriors on Toque and Teddy Bear Toss night

Friday is set to be a fun night at the Peavey Mart Centrium.

The Red Deer Rebels will take part in what has become an annual tradition, the Toque and Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are asked to bring toques, mitts, socks and teddy bears and toss the goods onto the ice when the Rebels score their first goal of the game.

All the items will support the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, a non-profit organization that was set up to help children and families in need at Christmas.

It might be a safe bet to lock in Rebels’ forward Ben King as the opening goal scorer Friday night against the Moose Jaw Warriors. King scored his 16th goal of the WHL campaign last Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Regina Pats. In Friday’s loss to the Saskatoon Blades, King scored first, just 4:55 into the game, on the man advantage.

King leads the WHL in power play goals with 10, one more than Matthew Savoie of Winnipeg.

The 19-year-old undrafted forward from Vernon, B.C. is third in WHL scoring, behind Connor McClennon and Mikey Milne, of the Winnipeg ICE.

“I think I’m just trying to play my game and I’ve just been getting lucky,” King told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com earlier this week.

“I’m getting chances and putting the puck in the back of the net.”

Rebels forward Liam Keeler scored just 1:57 into the game against the Pats and in the last toque and teddy bear toss game on Dec. 14, 2019, former Rebel Zak Smith notched the first goal 1:51 into the game.

Red Deer beat the Warriors 5-2 in Moose Jaw on Nov. 9, and Friday marks the first trip to the Centrium for them since Jan. 4, 2020.

The Rebels are led by Arshdeep Bains, who has nine goals and 17 assists in 26 games, followed by King with 16 goals and nine assists. Blake Stevenson (8-12-20), Kai Uchacz (7-13-20) and Christoffer Sedoff (1-19-20) round out the team’s top five point getters. Rebels netminder Connor Ungar has a 2.34 GAA and .915 save percentage and his partner Chase Coward sports a 2.34 and .918 with one shutout.

Prior to Thursday’s contest with the Calgary Hitmen, the Warriors were 10-10-1-1 and third in the East Division. Ryder Korzak leads the team with 25 points and sensational rookie Brayden Yager has 10 goals and eight assists on the year. Moose Jaw goalie Carl Tetachuk has played 19 of 22 games, with a 2.83 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.

Red Deer’s power play sits fourth overall in the WHL, operating at 25 per cent with 27 goals for on 108 chances. Their penalty kill is also one of the top unit’s in the league, sitting in seventh with at 82.5 per cent.

Rebels forward Kalan Lind, who missed three WHL games while representing Canada at the Capital City Challenge, will be back in the lineup. Lind helped Team White to a bronze at the event, picking up an assist in a 6-1 victory over Canada’s National Women’s team. The 16-year-old recorded three goals and an assist in five games at the tournament.

The Rebels will also host the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday at 4 p.m.