Red hot Red Deer Rebels ready for matchup with Calgary Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels hope to keep their hot streak alive as they host the Calgary Hitmen.

The Rebels remain 10 points out of a playoff spot with 19 games to go in the regular season. They’ll have to hold off the Hitmen, who are five points behind the Rebels in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference wildcard.

Left winger Jakob Stukel, a sixth-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, leads the Hitmen with 41 points (26g, 15a). Centre Jake Kryski is second on scoring for the Hitmen with 37 points (10g, 27a).

The Rebels have been red hot over the past few weeks winning five of the past seven games and earning at least a point in all of them. They came out of the weekend with a 4-3 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings in overtime. Before that the Rebels pulled out wins against Moose Jaw Warriors, Saskatoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders during their road trip through Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The last time the Rebels faced the Hitmen, the Rebels gave up a 3-1 lead and then lost 4-3 in a shootout.

Mason McCarty leads the Rebels in scoring with 50 points (26g, 24a) in 51 games. Left winger Grayson Pawlenchuk is second in team scoring with 41 points (16g, 25a).

Key to the Rebels recent success has been the efforts of its two goaltenders Ethan Anders and Riley Lamb. Lamb won two games, posted a 1.96 goals-against-average and had a 0.934 save percentage. His net-mate Ethan Anders turned in a shutout against the Blades last Wednesday and turned aside 20 of the 24 shots he faced against the Wheat Kings.

The Hitmen have relied on Nick Schneider in net. The 20-year-old has a 3.74 goals-against-average and a 0.883 save percentage in 46 games this season.

The game goes on Wednesday at the Enmax Centrium. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

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