The WHL has extended its regular season to mid-April, after a number of cancelled games earlier this year. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

The WHL has extended its regular season to mid-April, after a number of cancelled games earlier this year. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Rebels tweak schedule, WHL extends regular season

The Red Deer Rebels will be playing into the middle of April.

Originally, the Western Hockey League regular season was slated to end on April 3.

Thursday, the club announced that four games from earlier in 2022 had been moved to April, extending the regular season.

Red Deer will now play on April 8 and 16 at home against Lethbridge and Edmonton respectively, with games on April 9 and 13 on the road.

“With the games that had been rescheduled, now those games can be played on better nights, instead of Monday nights,” Red Deer Rebels owner, president and GM Brent Sutter said.

“Just for everyone’s sake, it made a lot of sense across the Canadian Hockey League to do that and push the Memorial Cup back a couple weeks.”

The April 8th game was originally scheduled for Jan. 8 and the April 16th contest was supposed to be played on Jan. 7. All tickets for those games are valid for the rescheduled game.

The WHL 68-game regular season is now set to end on April 17, with a potential tiebreaker game set for April 19. The conference playoff format will return for the 2021-22 season, with three best-of-seven series.

The 2022 WHL Championship is scheduled from Friday, June 3 through June 14.

The Rebels have a 29-15-2-1 record on the year and sit second in the Central Division. Their remaining 21 games will fall mostly on weekends, giving the players lots of time to recover between games.

“Obviously the season is stretched out longer now. We’re not starting playoffs until the third week of April,” Sutter said.

“This is what’s happening with all the cancelled games, for us it was around the month of January. It’s good to have some open dates at the end of the schedule to make it all work.”

Sutter added, if all goes well it will be nice to have the Peavey Mart Centrium at full capacity again next month.

“It’s been two years. I know everyone is saying this but we gotta get some normalcy back in our world. I guess we’ll see where the government is at as we move forward with things,” he said.

The Rebels kick off a four-game homestand Friday when they take on the Saskatoon Blades at the Peavey Mart Centrium.

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