Rebels

Slow start sinks Rebels against Silvertips

Facing a team that had lost just once in regulation time this season, the Red Deer Rebels couldn’t afford a slow start against the Everett Silvertips Wednesday. But the Rebels stumbled out of the gate, giving up three unanswered first-period goals, and eventually dropped a 6-3 Western Hockey League decision to the ‘Tips in front of 3,123 fans at Comcast Arena.

Rebels’ win streak snapped

The Red Deer Rebels’ WHL winning streak was halted at five games Tuesday despite firing 39 shots at Seattle Thunderbirds netminder Taran Kozun through 65 minutes. Kozun made 37 saves, including 16 in the third period, and was named first star of the game as the T-Birds prevailed 3-2 in a shootout in front of 4,031 fans at the ShoWare Center.

Burman backstops Rebels to win

Basically an afterthought through the first six weeks of the Western Hockey League season, netminder Taz Burman was the Red Deer Rebels’ man of the hour Saturday. “Burms played outstanding for us. I was very proud of him, he just looked very calm and very in control. He played very well,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, following Burman’s first-star, 38-save performance in Red Deer’s 2-1 win over the Spokane Chiefs in front of 6,011 fans at Veterans Memorial Arena.

Rebels put Kootenay on Ice

CRANBROOK — The Red Deer Rebels opened a six-game Western Hockey League road trip with some offensive fireworks Friday, burying the Kootenay Ice 7-3 for their seventh win of the season. “We got some offence. We capitalized on some opportunities,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, following the contest played in front of 1,901 fans at Western Financial Place.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Rebels take down Tigers

Suddenly, home cooking is tasting awfully good to the Red Deer Rebels. The Rebels, who struggled on home ice last season and early this fall, posted their third straight Western Hockey League victory at the Enmax Centrium Tuesday night, 5-3 over the Medicine Hat Tigers — tied with Brandon for first place in the Eastern Conference — in front of 3,893 fans.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff
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Strand standing tall for Rebels

His birth certificate told Austin Strand that his dreams of one day playing for pay would possibly evaporate if he wasn’t in the Western Hockey League this season. The 17-year-old defenceman showed up at the Red Deer Rebels training camp in August coming off an industrious summer of training and determined to earn full time employment with the team that selected him in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft.

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Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Greg's gamer -- Red Deer Rebels goalie Rylan Toth stops Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Point

Rebels rewarded for strong team play

All hands were on deck for a second consecutive night as the Red Deer Rebels rolled to a 5-1 Western Hockey League win over the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday. Coming off a complete-team effort in Friday’s 6-3 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars, the Rebels turned in a similar performance against the Warriors before a recorded gathering of 4,491 at the Enmax Centrium.

Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Greg's gamer -- Red Deer Rebels goalie Rylan Toth stops Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Point
Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Rebels roll to win over Cougars

All for one and one for all. There were no passengers on the Red Deer Rebels bench as the home side skated to a 6-3 WHL win over the Prince George Cougars in front of 4,669 fans Friday night at the Enmax Centrium. “It was nice to see. I thought that was probably our best 60-minute effort of the whole season and hopefully just a sign of things to come,” said Rebels captain Conner Bleackley, who assisted on three goals.

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Rebels hitting reset button

The Red Deer Rebels coaching staff put their charges to work this week, with the practice sessions focused not only on physical components but also the players’ mental makeup. Certainly, there was much to work on with the Rebels having come out on the short end of their last five Western Hockey League outings and heading into a virtual must-win weekend.

Sandhu excited for fresh start

As Tyler Sandhu was en route to Red Deer Tuesday after departing a flight from British Columbia, he gazed upon combined crop fields instead of the waters of Possession Sound that lap the shores of Everett, Wash. Now that’s truly a change of scenery, and precisely what the 18-year-old winger is hoping will help him rediscover the offensive touch that produced 19 goals as a Western Hockey League rookie two seasons ago.

EVERETT

Rebels deal for some offence

While the Red Deer Rebels have given up far more goals through 11 games this season than what is deemed acceptable to the coaching staff, the club hasn’t exactly lit it up offensively, either. The Rebels have scored 33 goals to date and only six have come via a power play that is ranked 18th in the league with a 15 per cent success rate.

EVERETT

Rebels’ late game woes continue

The Red Deer Rebels were right there after two periods, a mere 20 minutes from snapping a four-game Western Hockey League losing streak. But their one-goal lead turned into a two-goal deficit before the halfway mark of the final frame and the Rebels fell 4-2 to the Prince Albert Raiders in front of 2,265 fans at the Art Hauser Centre.

Rebels can’t get by Blades

According to Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, there was a valid reason his club provided the Saskatoon Blades with their third WHL win of the season Friday. “We didn’t play very well here. It was disappointing to see how we played,” said Sutter, whose squad fell to a team that last weekend snapped a 16-game losing streak dating back to last season and then upset the host Swift Current Broncos 4-3 Wednesday.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels --- Late in the first period Red Deer Rebel Conner Bleackley brings the puck from behind the Victoria Royals net as goaltender Coleman Vollrath guards the goal and Travis Brown plays catch-up at the Centrium Tuesday night.

Rebels give up another big lead

The season is still early, just nine games in, but Red Deer GM/head coach Brent Sutter has already seen this act too many times. Three nights after gassing a 4-1 second-period lead and falling 6-4 to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings, the Rebels laid an even bigger egg Tuesday in front of a recorded gathering of 3,831 at the Enmax Centrium.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Rebels --- Late in the first period Red Deer Rebel Conner Bleackley brings the puck from behind the Victoria Royals net as goaltender Coleman Vollrath guards the goal and Travis Brown plays catch-up at the Centrium Tuesday night.
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Rebels have rough weekend

The long weekend turned out to be extra long for the Red Deer Rebels. After watching his club blow a 4-1 lead and fall 6-4 to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings Saturday, Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter wasn’t about to give his troops a break and instead scheduled practice sessions for each of the next two days.

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Medicine Hat Tiger Steven Owre tries to get the handle on the puck after being upended in front of Red Deer Rebel goaltender Rylan Toth at the Centrium in Red Deer on Friday night.

Slow start, late lapse proves costly for Rebels

The Red Deer Rebels were spectators instead of soldiers in the first period and then broke down in the homestretch of Friday’s Western Hockey League meeting with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Medicine Hat Tiger Steven Owre tries to get the handle on the puck after being upended in front of Red Deer Rebel goaltender Rylan Toth at the Centrium in Red Deer on Friday night.

Chance to play for something big

If they’re both back in Red Deer next year, they’ll be disappointed. Red Deer Rebels stars Haydn Fleury and Conner Bleackley were selected in the first round of June’s NHL entry draft — seventh overall to Carolina and 23rd to Colorado — and both attended their first professional training camps last month.

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Big things expected of Fleury

Bigger, faster and stronger. In comparison to most major junior players, National Hockey League skaters are all of the above. Haydn Fleury discovered exactly that when he attended the rookie and main camps of the Carolina Hurricanes, and yet he also noticed another major difference between juniors and pros — work habits.

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Rebels in no rush to change roster

The 2016 Memorial Cup tournament is a year and half down the road, and of course the Red Deer Rebels roster will not be then what it is today. The Rebels team that will host the Canadian Hockey League championship event will be somewhat similar to the squad that will face the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday at the Enmax Centrium, minus — of course — this season’s overage players, but also players who might not fit into Brent Sutter’s vision of what a potential championship team should entail.

Fleury expected back Friday

The Western Hockey League website has Red Deer Rebels defenceman Haydn Fleury’s injury status listed as ‘indefinite’. Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter, however, insisted Tuesday that Fleury, who suffered a lower-body injury during Saturday’s 7-1 loss at Brandon, is ‘day-to-day’ and should be back in the lineup Friday against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.