Home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oil Kings bookend the Red Deer Rebels’ 2016-17 Western Hockey League season.
The league’s regular season schedule was released Monday, featuring all 72 Rebels games including 36 at home.
It starts on Sept. 23 as the Rebels host the Oil Kings in their home opener. The next night the Rebels journey up the QEII as the Oil Kings play their first home game at the newly built Rogers Place.
The Rebels’ regular season ends on March 18 and 19 also against the Oil Kings. They host the Oil Kings on 18th and close out their 2016-17 season on the road in Edmonton.
Between those four games, the Rebels will play 68 games against WHL opponents.
Their longest road trip starts on Oct. 29 and ends on Nov. 15, with eight-straight games away from Red Deer. Their longest homestand takes place from Jan. 20 to Feb. 1 when they will play five-straight games on home ice.
Outside of the opening and closing home-and-home series, the Rebels will play in four others. Against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Dec. 2 (Lethbridge) and Dec. 3 (Red Deer), Edmonton Oil Kings on Dec. 27 (Red Deer) and Dec. 29 (Edmonton and two times against the Kootenay Ice on Nov. 23 (Cranbrook) and Nov. 25 (Red Deer) and March 10 (Cranbrook) and March 11 (Red Deer).
All Rebels home games start at 7 p.m.
In other Rebels news:
— The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft starts at 9 a.m. today. The two-round draft features all 60 teams from the WHL, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League. Red Deer will pick 49th overall and have already indicated they will pass on their second round pick, 109th.
Three teams in front of the Rebels, the Tri-City Americans, Prince Albert Raiders and Gatineau Olympiques have passed on their first pick, effectively raising Red Deer’s pick to 46th overall.