Skip to content

Rebels ready to take on division rival Calgary Hitmen

Rebels look for second win in a row
Rebels forward Frantisek Formanek heads up ice against the Calgary Hitmen at the Peavey Mart Centrium this season. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

With plenty of divisional matchups this week, the Red Deer Rebels will look to build off their electric start to the second half of the Western Hockey League (WHL) season.

On Thursday the Rebels will welcome the Calgary Hitmen to the Peavey Mart Centrium for their fourth matchup of the WHL season. The rare midweek game comes after the Rebels beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 7-1 Tuesday night in their return from the holiday break.

The Rebels are undefeated against the Hitmen with a perfect 3-0 record so far with five games left between the two squads.

The Rebels won the first game in overtime 3-2 on Oct. 8 only to dominate Calgary later that month 5-2 in Red Deer. They didn’t meet again until Nov. 27 at the Scotiabank Saddledome where the Rebels capitalized on a nail-biting 3-2 victory in overtime.

The Hitmen are 12 points behind the Rebels in the Central Division standings and Calgary will hope to make up some ground on the deficit. In the three games so far they’ve been physical contests with even a few fights mixed in between.

The Hitmen have been led on the offensive end by forward Riley Fiddler-Schultz who has contributed 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points. Forward Zac Funk has added 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points meanwhile defenceman Grayden Siepmann has passed the puck well for 23 assists.

Calgary has run with a goaltender tandem between the pipes between Brayden Peters and Ethan Buenaventura. Peters has carried more of the load with 19 starts posting 2.52 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

The Rebels have been offensively sound this season. Leading the charge has been forward Kai Uchacz with 26 goals and 17 assists for 43 points. Uchacz is just one off tying Regina Pat’s phenom Connor Bedard for the WHL lead in goals.

Forward Jace Isley has also been scoring when he needs to notching 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points.

Following Thursday night’s game, Red Deer will head to Edmonton to take on the Oil Kings Friday night at 7 p.m. before they rematch the Hitmen in Calgary on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m.

In other Rebels news, Red Deer has 11 players taking part in the annual Circle K Classic, formerly known as the Mac’s Midget Tournament. The tournament plays host to some of the world’s best U18 AAA hockey teams. Of the players taking part includes Jaxan Hopko, Escalus Burlock, Kanye Huang, Mason Karakochuk, Zhenya Miles, Sam Rousseau, Evan Smith, Steven Steranka, Taylor Tabashnuik, Luke Vlooswyk, and Chase Wutzke.

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