Red Deer Rebels forward Kai Uchacz was all smiles after captain Jayden Grubbe opened the scoring against the Prince Albert Raiders earlier this season. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Red Deer Rebels return home after three-week road trip

They’ll play at home in Red Deer Saturday

Home sweet home.

After three weeks of being on the road, the Red Deer Rebels will make their return to the Peavey Mart Centrium.

The road trip did not go as hoped for central Alberta’s team as they went 4-3-0-1 with one game still to go in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes Friday night.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Red Deer as they reached a franchise-best 15-0 three games into their expedition. However, they did experience their first four-game losing streak with two losses to the Winnipeg Ice, a loss to the Regina Pats, and a shootout loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Head coach Steve Konowalchuk was critical of his team after taking undisciplined penalties that led to an abundance of powerplay goals but they got back on track most recently in Edmonton with a 4-1 lead against the Oil Kings.

After Friday night’s matchup in Lethbridge, the Rebels will play the Brandon Wheat Kings at 7 p.m. at the Peavey Mart Centrium in a rematch of the shootout loss earlier this month.

This will be the first time the Rebels and Hurricanes have played each other in the 2022-23 season. Lethbridge has had a solid 10-8-0-1 start to the campaign and are sixth in the Eastern Conference.

They’re led on the offensive end by three of their centremen Cole Shepard, Jett Jones, and Logan Wormold. Shepard leads the team with 15 points after contributing seven goals and eight assists. Right behind him are Jones and Wormold who have 14 and 13 points. Winger Tyson Laventure also has had a good start to the year with three goals and nine assists for 12 points.

Between the pipes, the Hurricanes have been led by Harrison Meneghin through. Through 11 games he’s placed himself in the top five in the WHL with a 2.33 goals-against average. Goaltender Jared Picklyk has shared some of the load and started in nine games but on Thursday was dealt to the Tri-City Americans.

The Brandon Wheat Kings are 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 7-12-2-0 start to the 2022-23 campaign. Red Deer native Nate Danielson leads the team with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points and forward Brett Hyland is close behind with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points. The Wheat Kings have had great goaltending from Carson Bjarnason who has posted 2.89 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

The Rebels have seen a lot of individual success within the last week. Defenceman Christoffer Sedoff became the 14th defenceman in franchise history to record 100 career points. Sedoff is in some elite company alongside the likes of Dion Phaneuf, Darren Van Impe, Jim Vandermeer, Matt Dumba, and Haydn Fleury.

Forward Kai Uchacz has also taken his game to another level and is second in the WHL with 16 goals and leads the team with 24 points. Furthermore, defenceman Hunter Mayo has six powerplay goals, which is the most among defencemen in the league.

The Rebels also reassigned defenceman Luke Vlooswyk to the U18 Calgary Buffaloes and forward Escalus Burlock to the U18 Edmonton Jr. Oilers after short stints with the squad.

After the Rebels play in Lethbridge on Friday and against the Wheat Kings on Saturday, they’ll play two home games next week against the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Prince Albert Raiders.

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