Red Deer Vipers ready to take on Ponoka in junior B Heritage League playoffs

The Red Deer Vipers feel good about their chances when the Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoffs underway Wednesday.

The Red Deer Vipers feel good about their chances when the Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoffs underway Wednesday.

Red Deer will start their playoff run at home against the Ponoka Stampeders, a team they have beat in all four matchups this season, although three of four games were decided by a goal, including two in overtime.

The Vipers have won five of their last seven games.

“Ponoka plays us hard every single time, it’s never an easy game,” Vipers head coach JD Morrical said. “They work extremely hard and our biggest problem with the team this year is we have a really hard time getting up for games against teams that are below us. I think it’s going to be interesting. Good first round for us for sure.”

The Vipers also played Ponoka in the first round of the playoffs last year and won the best-of-three series in two straight games.

Morrical is happy with the way his team is performing heading into the playoffs, despite losses in their last two games.

Saturday’s loss came as Morrical decided to pull the goalie late in a 4-4 tie against Airdrie because a win would have vaulted the Vipers into second place. Sunday’s loss, 7-5 against High River was partially the result of some rest for banged-up players.

“To lose to High River (Sunday) after we were up 5-1 wasn’t easy,” Morrical said.

“The game against Airdrie, we pulled our goalie when it was tied. They scored with about two seconds left. We had to win in regulation to try and get second place… We did rest a few guys (Sunday). I feel pretty confident in our team, I think it looks like if we can get past Ponoka we play Airdrie again and we’re pretty confident against Airdrie.”

Brandon Bilodeau will get the start in net for Red Deer in game one of the best-of-three series and had a 15-8 record this season to go along with a 2.89 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

“He’s going to be our go-to guy for the start of the playoffs, he earned it over the season,” Morrical said.

Puck drop for game one is 8 p.m. Wednesday night at the Collicutt Centre.

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month