Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Midget Rebels Are Provincial Champs (Again)

I'm always a bit hesitant to use the word "dynasty" but the Red Deer Optimist Rebels have earned it.

They beat the St. Albert Raiders 5-3 last night at the Red Deer Arena to sweep the Alberta Midget Hockey League final series three games to none.

For the Baby Rebels, it's their third straight AMHL and Midget AAA provincial title and their sixth in the past ten years.

Dynasty? Yup, that definitely counts.

Last night's game had a much different feel for Red Deer compared to all of their other playoff games. It had become almost routine to see the Optimist Rebels outshoot their opponents by at least 20 or 30 shots on their way to victory (there were a few 2-0, 2-1 and 3-2 games that were nowhere near that close in terms of game play).

Red Deer opened the scoring just 2:47 into the game courtesy of Rory Davidson. But Liam McNamara replied with a shorthanded goal for St. Albert and it was 1-1 through twenty minutes.

Tyler Lomsnes gave Red Deer a 2-1 lead 3:14 into the second period and BJ Duffin scored just 18 seconds later to make it 3-1. The Optimist Rebels were seemingly in cruise control at that point.

But St. Albert called a timeout after Duffin's goal and it definitely had an impact. The Raiders refused to roll over and eventually cut into the Rebels lead late in the middle frame. It was 3-2 heading into the third period.

The gathered crowd over over 1,000 was silenced when McNamara scored his second of the game for the Raiders, tying it 3-3 just over six minutes into the third. St. Albert was full of confidence and Red Deer was on its heels somewhat.

In the end, special teams would prove to be the difference. The Raiders took back to back minors with just over three minutes remaining, giving the Optimist Rebels a 5-on-3 powerplay. The would take full advantage.

Stefan Danielson scored the eventual series winner with a blast from the point with 3:08 remaining. Joel Topping would add an insurance marker forty seconds later. Red Deer wins 5-3.

Red Deer Head Coach Doug Quinn was pleased with how his team battled back to earn the win.

"We were back on our heels in the second half of the first period. I thought we actually played pretty well in the second period, we kind of regrouped. We got into penalty problems and once they got that second goal then we were playing like we were trying not to lose, which is a dangerous combination."

Quinn says winning a third straight provincial crown is a testament to the overall strength of their program.

"The group of coaches that we have here and the type of players that are coming through the program, there's an expectation that if you're gonna play here you gotta give us everything. And we certainly feel that that combination will always give us an opportunity to compete for provincial championships."

But now a much tougher challenge lays ahead for the Rebels, a third straight meeting with the Vancouver Northwest Giants in the Pacific Region Midget AAA Final. The best-of-three series will be played at the Red Deer Arena, April 6-8. There is no doubt in Quinn's mind that home ice advantage will play a huge role in the series.

"Two years ago when we played [Vancouver] it was a huge advantage playing at home." (Red Deer won the series). Vancouver came out on top when they hosted the series last year.

If/when the Baby Rebels get past Vancouver they will go after the Telus Cup national title that has always been just beyond their reach (Red Deer finished as the runner-up when they hosted in 07, as well as back in 94 and 95). This year's Telus Cup tournament will take place in Leduc, April 23 - 29.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Hot Rocks Hodgson"

It's been quite a week for Lacombe curler Colin Hodgson.

The former Alberta junior champion was selected by David Nedohin to play third for the Edmonton skip's newly formed rink for the 2012-2013 season. Nedohin announced a brand-new lineup following teammate Randy Ferbey's retirement from competitive curling. Calgary's Mike Westlund will play second. Grande Prairie's Tom Sallows will play lead.

"It was a big surprise" Hodgson admitted during out phone chat yesterday. "You never expect someone like that to give you a call to play. I was pretty shocked but excited at the same time."

Hodgson says the newly-formed team will spend quite a bit of time bonding as they get set for the 2012-2013 season... meaning there will likely be plenty of golf in their near future.

Colin also has reason to smile over his first foray into the world of coaching.

Hodgson spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working as a defacto Assistant Coach with the South Koreans. It all came about while Colin was with his junior team in Calgary.

"The girls come to Calgary for about a month at a time. They came and practiced and were looking for some games. So we got a few people together and played some games against them and they were like 'hey why don't you come help us out a bit' and I was like 'ok, why not!'"

And while he somewhat jokingly takes credit for their success this week in Lethbridge, Hodgson says the South Koreans are fully deserving of their 8-3 round robin record.

"They're a great group of girls. Their [head] coach is awesome and they work harder than anyone I've seen."

Should his playing career not pan out the way he hopes it eventually will, Hodgson admits coaching is something he would like to pursue.

"I was talking just the other day with Mike McEwen [from Winnipeg] and Scott Howard [Ontario] and we were thinking that's a great possible future career thing to do. Travel around and be 'coaches for hire' and see if you can improve teams not only in Canada but around the world. So that's maybe a possible future business endeavor I'm looking it."

Big ambitions for sure. If successful it would make for quite a 'world rock tour.'

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alex The Great Receives His Due, UFC Comes To Alberta, Saints Not So Much

It blew me away when Jesse Wallin told me that Alex Petrovic lost 13 lbs during the final month of the WHL season.

I guess playing 35+ minutes per game will do that to a guy.

That fact alone makes Petrovic deserving of whatever honour comes his way... and he received two more yesterday. The Rebels 2011-12 MVP was named as the WHL Eastern Conference Defenceman of the Year as well as a 1st-team Conference All-Star.

It is somewhat surprising that Petro was not a unanimous all-star selection but nevertheless there is no one more deserving of the honour. Whoever is named this afternoon as the Western Conference Defenceman of the Year will be in tough against Alex for the league award.

Meantime... Petro has officially been added to the roster of the San Antonio Rampage and will make his AHL debut tonight when they take on the Grand Rapids Griffins. Petro will be up against former Rebels teammates Willie Coetzee, who has 9 goals and 10 assists for Grand Rapids this season, and Landon Ferraro, who has 8 goals and 10 assists.


Rebels forward John Persson made his AHL debut last night for Bridgeport. Unfortunately, they lost 3-0 to Binghampton.


Here is the full list of WHL Eastern Conference All-Stars and Awards Finalists...

Goaltender – Tyler Bunz (St. Albert, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers
Defenceman – Alex Petrovic (Edmonton, AB), Red Deer Rebels
Defenceman – Ryan Pulock (Dauphin, MB), Brandon Wheat Kings
Forward – Emerson Etem (Long Beach, CA), Medicine Hat Tigers*
Forward – Mark Stone (Winnipeg, MB), Brandon Wheat Kings*
Forward – Jordan Weal (North Vancouver, BC), Regina Pats

Goaltender – Nathan Lieuwen (Abottsford, BC), Kootenay Ice
Defenceman – Mark Pysyk (Sherwood Park, AB), Edmonton Oil Kings
Defenceman – Brandon Davidson (Taber, AB), Regina Pats
Forward – Michael St. Croix (Winnipeg, MB), Edmonton Oil Kings
Forward – Max Reinhart (Vancouver, BC), Kootenay Ice
Forward – Michael Ferland (Brandon, MB), Brandon Wheat Kings

*-Indicates unanimous selection


WHL Rookie of the Year, Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Sam Reinhart (Vancouver, BC), Kootenay Ice

WHL Goaltender of the Year, Del Wilson Trophy
Eastern Conference – Tyler Bunz (St. Albert, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers

WHL Defenceman of the Year, Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Alex Petrovic (Edmonton, AB), Red Deer Rebels

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Brad Hornung Trophy
Eastern Conference – Mark Stone (Winnipeg, MB), Brandon Wheat Kings

WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Jimmy Bubnick (Saskatoon, SK), Calgary Hitmen

WHL Coach of the Year, Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Pat Conacher, Regina Pats

WHL Executive of the Year, Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Bob Green, Edmonton Oil Kings

WHL Humanitarian of the Year, Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Taylor Vause (Calgary, AB), Swift Current Broncos

WHL Marketing / Business Award
Eastern Conference – Moose Jaw Warriors

WHL Regular Season Champions, Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy
Edmonton Oil Kings: GP – 72 W – 50 L – 15 OTL – 3 SL – 4 Pts – 107

WHL Top Scorer – Bob Clarke Trophy
Brendan Shinnimin – (Winnipeg, MB) Tri-City Americans
GP – 69 G – 58 A – 76 Pts – 134 PIM - 82


Alberta mixed martial arts fans finally got the news they've been waiting for...

UFC 149 will take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Friday, July 21st.

UFC President Dana White and UFC Canada Director of Operations Tom Wright made the announcement yesterday in front of a packed house at Flames Central in downtown Calgary.

Red Deer's Jason MacDonald was also on-hand for the announcement and has been front and centre in helping promote the event. It would be wonderful to see @jaymac185 in the octagon when the big night rolls around but that remains to be seen. Jason has hinted that he would likely retire following an appearance at UFC 149. As he said in the Calgary Herald "I really hope to be part of this show. It would be a storybook ending for me."

Jason remains busy promoting MMA at the local level... his latest installment of Pure Fighting Championship is slated for May 11 at the Westerner here in Red Deer. You can bet we'll have more details as the event draws nearer.


Mess with the bull and you get the horns...

The New Orleans Saints "bounty program" earned them the largest punishment ever given to an NFL team in league history. To call is devastating would be an understatement...

- Head Coach Sean Payton has been suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season effective April 1st (no fooling) which reportedly cost Payton as much as $7.5-million.

- Former Saints DC Gregg Williams, the reported mastermind behind the bounty program, has been suspended from the league indefinitely, leaving his new team the St. Louis Rams in search of a replacement

- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.

- In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks this year and next.

The punishment is sweeping and unprecedented... but deserved.

One would be naive to think the Saints are the only team past or present to run a "bounty program" of any kind. In fact, if you read tweets from any number of NFL and CFL players such programs have been quite commonplace over the years.

Then why such a harsh punishment for the Saints? Two reasons...

1. Commissioner Goodell wanted to nip such behaviour in the bud while he had the chance. Unfortunately for the Saints they were the ones who got caught (NFL Network Analyst Warren Sapp says former Saints TE Jeremy Shockey was the whistleblower / snitch) and in order for Goodell to start a "culture change" in the NFL he needed to make an example of Saints... and that he did. "
I don't think you can be too hard on people that put at risk our players' health and safety," Goodell said. "That is a critical issue for us."

2. Goodell was flat out lied to. "This went on for three years, and it was investigated. We were misled, there were denials throughout that period," Goodell told NFL Network. "Clearly, we were lied to. We investigated this back in 2010. We were told it was not happening, and it continued for another two years." That's not a smart way to go about doing business with a Commissioner who has clearly established himself as a hardliner with his track record of handing out discipline. He is well within his right not to put up with any crap, especially when someone misleads him in the way which the Saints apparently have.

Mess with the bull and you get the horns

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Odds and Ends

A few quick notes for you on a Wednesday morning...

- The WHL Bantam Draft Lottery is being held this morning in Calgary (11am) you can catch the live webcast at The Rebels currently own the 6th overall pick and have one ball in the lottery draw. With a win, they could move up to 4th. The bantam draft itself takes place on May 3rd.

- Our 26th and final episode of 'Southside Dodge Rebels This Week' is now online. It's our 47min 'megashow' featuring highlights, awards, player interviews, and exclusive one-on-one chats with Cam Moon and Jesse Wallin. There are many thank you's to give out for the success of our first season... Matt and the crew at Southside Dodge for sponsoring us, the entire Red Deer Rebels organization for their co-operation and support, 106.7 The Drive for letting me do the show and helping us promote it, all of the great Rebels fans who tuned in online and on Shaw TV, and most importantly Calvin Bellows at Exposure Productions for creating the show and making it come to life each week. Here's looking ahead to season two this fall!

- Red Deer's Rob Armitage is 6-0 at the Canadian Senior Curling Championship in Abbotsford, BC heading into games today versus Ontario and Manitoba.

- Hey Ladies... your chance to hit the gridiron is here. The Western Women's Football League is holding an open house at the Collicut Centre this Saturday. To be clear, this is NOT the Lingerie Football League, the WWCFL is full gear, full contact football for women ages 16+. Visit for more info on the league and their free event this Saturday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Samuelsson Suspended for Slamming Kambeitz

First off... I apologize for taking a two-day sabbatical following the end of the Rebels season. But there really wasn't much I could say that hadn't been said already. "The boys battled hard. Too many injuries. Damn, we missed the playoffs." Other than that, I had nothing lol.

Thankfully, the WHL issued a brief statement yesterday that provided plenty of fodder for talk around the water cooler last night and this morning...

"#WHL Suspension @EdmOilKings Henrik Samuelsson, two games for clipping major and g.m. at Red Deer on March 17"

You can view the footage courtesy of "Rebels This Week" (Kudos to Calvin for getting the exclusive, this is the only place to see the hit in question!)

When I saw the hit live on Saturday night, I thought the clipping major and game misconduct assessed to Samuelsson was appropriate (my view of the hit came from the end of the rink from behind Samuelsson, far to the left of the view shown on the video) and that supplementary discipline would also be in order. What I saw at the time was the Oil Kings forward drop down low to send Rebels Captain Adam Kambeitz flying head over heels through the air. I didn't like it. I even tweeted at the time that Henrik "took a page out of dad Ulf's playbook with a below the belt hipcheck."

But after having now viewed the video clip countless times (and from a new angle) I'm changing my opinion... somewhat. When compared to what we've seen happen with Mathew Dumba on multiple occasions this season, the hit likely deserved a minor penalty at worst. A major and a game misconduct, I suppose so. A two-game suspension now seems too much punishment in my opinion.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for eliminating dangerous hits from hockey. But if you watch the clip closely you can see that Kambeitz adds to the danger by leaping into the hit. Had he remained on his feet, he likely does not get flipped up in the air like he did. The obvious good news is that Kambeitz was not injured on the play.

Anyhoo... those are my thoughts. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say. Here is another perspective from Guy Flaming, host of The Pipeline Show on The Team 1260 radio in Edmonton. He also did colour commentary for the game here on Saturday in which the hit took place.

Samuelsson's time with the Oil Kings has certainly been eventful. This marks the third time Samuelsson has been suspended this season. He was given one game for a charging major and game misconduct he received on January 15th in a game versus Calgary. He was also given a one game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct from a February 22nd game versus Kelowna. That's a lot of discipline considering Henrik only joined the Oil Kings in mid-January.


Peyton Manning is apparently after more than just another Superbowl ring.

Had he simply been "in it to win it" he would have made the choice to sign with the San Francisco 49ers, who out of his three finalists are clearly the team best-suited to win the Lombardi Trophy sooner than later.

Contrarily, had he chosen with his heart, Manning would have signed on to play with the Tennessee Titans. He is still very much revered in that state after his outstanding college career.

But in the end, he chose to become a Denver Bronco (thereby marking the end of Tebow Time in the Mile High City). What this tells me is that Manning was looking for a situation where he would have the most control over his situation, which is fair when that's what you've been used to for 14 seasons. In San Francisco, even though he would have had his best shot at "winning now" Manning would have been at the mercy of Jim Harbaugh... who is clearly in full control of the 49ers ship. Peyton would also have had to deal with the possibility of playing against brother Eli on the road to the Superbowl, something he also wanted to avoid. It also can't be understated just how well Manning and John Elway have hit it off over the past few days. Combining the minds of two of the very greatest quarterbacks to play the game will do nothing but wonders for the Broncos. Sorry, Tebow.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Thiel For The Future

Rebels fans got another glimpse into the maturation process their team has gone through this season.

It came in the third period courtesy of Cody Thiel.

The 18-year-old Bruno, Saskatchewan gained the puck in the offensive zone, pulled not one but two toe drags, then went top shelf for the prettiest goal of the night.

Another example that in the end this long and often painful "learning experience" could well be worth it in the long run for the Rebels.

The goal was just the rookie blueliner's second of the season. But it's the latest shining moment in what has been quite a journey.

It wasn't so long ago that Thiel was playing Midget 'A' in small town Saskatchewan. Now he is playing top four defence minutes every night in major junior. And he's done a pretty darn good job of it. To be thrust into the situation in which he has been, and to come out of it with just a plus/minus rating of -1 through 52 games played, speaks quite well on the young man's character.

I suppose now would be a good time to talk about the fact that the Rebels beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 last night at the Enmax Centrium.

It was a fairly entertaining game between two teams who have travelled down much different paths on their respective non-playoff campaigns.

The Rebels started the season on fire (if you recall, they were within grasp of the conference lead at one point) before the 13-game losing streak and atrocious run of injuries sent their season into purgatory. They have been playing .500 hockey while continuing to limp toward the finish line (man games lost to injury this season will be close to reaching the 300 mark by the time all is said and done).

The Hurricanes started out the season 3-19 and no one was quite sure what the future had in store. But the Hurricanes were also going through their own bought of injuries at that time. Eventually, they got healthy and were able to put together a pretty decent string of .500 hockey the rest of the way. Chatting with GM / Head Coach Rich Preston, the certainly have high hopes for their future.

One final game for the Rebels tonight... should be an interesting one as the Edmonton Oil Kings come calling to the Enmax Centrium. Game time is 7:30pm. Be sure to tune in to our pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 7pm as we chat about tonight's game and the season as a whole.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taming the Tabbies, "Fightgate" Update

A feather in the cap last night for Deven Dubyk.

In his final appearance in the rink where he spent his first three WHL seasons, Dubyk made 28 saves to backstop the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers.

By all accounts, it was a solid team effort. A perfect way for the Rebels to say "thank you" to the guy who gave them so much in so little time.

Dubyk made a very difficult decision when he joined the Rebels in late December... passing up a chance to play in the RBC Cup with the host Humboldt Broncos. The Rebels are thankful he made the decision that he did.

His overall solid play kept the injury-riddled Rebels in countless games over the past three months. Obviously, the Rebels did not win nearly as many of those games as they would have liked. But Dubyk at least gave them a chance more often than not. As I mentioned in a previous blog... his numbers don't jump right out at you (3.05 GAA, .905 save %) but if you think the Rebels season was bad enough already... not having Dubyk between the pipes would have made it look much worse.

Back to last night's game... Alex Petrovic started his farewell week by scoring a pair of goals, his 11th and 12th of the season. As Director of Player Personnel for the Florida Panthers Brian Skrudland told me last month, Petrovic is a lock to play for their AHL affiliate in San Antonio next season. So let's enjoy his final few games with the Rebels because his presence will definitely be missed next year.

Tyson Ness scored his 20th goal of the season last night. Ness has taken full advantage of the extra ice time he's received this year. He will be a valuable leader for the Rebels as a 19-year-old next season.

Just two games left for the Rebels, both of them at home, Friday versus Lethbridge and Saturday versus Edmonton.


Meantime... Edmonton Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal is softening on his stance, somewhat.

You'll recall that he accused the Rebels of using some dirty tactics during last Saturday's game at Rexall Place... setting the stage for what could be an explosive game this Saturday at the Enmax Centrium.

But in another article featured in today's Edmonton Journal, Laxdal wasn't so sure that will be the case...

Saturday’s game against Red Deer could be a rough one. The teams combined for 156 penalty minutes at Rexall Place on Saturday and Laxdal was vocal after the game, repeatedly saying that the Rebels — who were eliminated from the playoffs —were unprofessional in how they conducted themselves.

Laxdal now brushes off the suggestion that the Rebels’ final game of the season Saturday could get out of hand.

“It’s the game of hockey,” he said. “The game gets physical and we’ve got to play through it. We’ve got to focus on getting those two points and focus on the way we play.

“We want to play a physical hard game. If it gets out of control a little bit, that’s the referee’s job to settle it down. It’ll be fine.”

We shall all find out together on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Left To Play For?

(NOTE - The latest episode of 'Southside Dodge Rebels This Week' is now online)

Even with their main goal of earning a WHL playoff spot no longer possible, there are still a few things on the line for the Red Deer Rebels this week.

If they somehow manage to win their remaining three games starting tonight in Medicine Hat, they would salvage a .500 record for the season. They enter tonight 30-33-1-5 on the season.

But I'm going to have a closer eye on the team scoring race... which is still very much a race in the final week of the regular season.

John Persson currently leads the way with 56 points (23 goals, 33 assists) in 67 games played. He is just two points ahead of Mathew Dumba who sits with 54 points (20 goals, 34 assists) in 66 games.

By no means are the totals overwhelming. But it could make for a interesting bit of team history.

No defenceman has ever led the Rebels in scoring through an entire regular season despite some rather impressive performances...

- Darren Van Impe (1993-94) had 20 goals and 64 assists for 84 points in 58 games (that translates to 104 points over 72 games). Craig Reichert led the team with 119 points.

- Ross Lupaschuk (2000-01) had 28 goals (team record for d-men) and 37 assists for 65 points in 65 games. Justin Mapletoft led the Rebels and the WHL with 120 points.

- Dion Phaneuf's best total was 56 points in his final season with the Rebels in 2004-05. Roman Wick led that team with 70 points.

You can draw your own conclusions as to what it would mean to have the Rebels team scoring leader possibly finish with under 60 points. (Brandon Sutter led the team with 49 points in the much maligned 18 win 07-08 season) But should Dumba finish as the team leader it would still be an impressive feat.

For his part, Dumba told me he doesn't think that he will end up winning the team scoring race...

"I think Johnny's got that. He's a great player, and he's a forward. I think he's gonna rack up more points than I will in the last few games here. I'm not too concerned about it."

We'll see what happens.

The Rebels visit the Medicine Hat Tigers tonight at 7pm. Cam Moon has the pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:50pm.


Oilers fans... help me out if you could.

You continue to show an incredible amount of patience despite the fact your team continues to pile up the losses one after another.

I get the fact that the Oilers are a young team with some impressive talent and plenty of potential. But how long should it take before progress is made when it comes to actually winning some games.

The coach has finally lost his patience (for what it's worth) and the Edmonton media is quickly losing it's patience (for what it's worth) but yet the fans for the most part have remained patient while waiting for results to come around at some point.

Perhaps it's the promise of yet another elite prospect soon coming in the form of another high draft pick. The Oilers appear to be a lock to finish 29th overall meaning they'll likely pick 2nd overall this June in Pittsburgh. Heck, if they win the draft lottery they could pick 1st for the third straight year. Nail Yakupov would create quite a log jam of talent in the Oilers forward ranks. Wouldn't do much for their sagging defence or leaky goaltending though.

For the record... my NHL allegiances do lie with Calgary. But also for the record... I've long desired for them to start a rebuild of their own. Sven Baertschi creates good reason for excitement... but the Flames could use a few more like him.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, Monday... So Cruel To Me (Rebels Fan)

As if Mondays aren't already tough enough to deal with...

Rebels fans are dragging themselves to work while dealing with the reality that the dream of getting into the WHL playoffs is officially over.

That dream ended with a thud over the weekend. Three losses in three nights. All of them of the blowout variety... 5-2 to Edmonton on Friday (which included two empty netters), 7-4 in Edmonton on Saturday, and 5-2 yesterday in Calgary.

Yesterday's game in Cowtown was a recipe for disaster before it even started. The Hitmen were at home looking to clinch home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. A huge crowd of more than 13,000 Hitmen supporters were on-hand at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Chad Robinson and Cory Millette were lost to injury. And... the Rebels were playing their third game in less than three days while losing an hour to the spring ahead time change.

That's a rather nasty recipe.

To their credit... the Rebels did battle with everything they had left in their tank. It was 3-2 early in the third period before the Hitmen scored a pair to pull away for the win. Calgary can now finish no lower than 4th in the conference and are just two points behind Medicine Hat for third. The Rebels will likely finish 9th as they are six points ahead of 10th place Swift Current.

Meanwhile... some rather interesting accusations were made by Oil Kings Head Coach Derek following Saturday night's game in Edmonton (7-4 win for Edmonton).

Laxdal, as quoted in Chris O'Leary's Edmonton Journal article, accused Rebels GM / Head Coach Jesse Wallin of sending players on the ice specifically for the purpose of injuring and fighting some of the Oil Kings players.

From the article...

The word repeatedly used by Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal after the game was "unprofessional."

"When their coaches start chirping our bench, I have a problem with that," Laxdal said. "And I think that's very unprofessional.

"We don't tell our players to go out and hurt other players and I saw their coaches talk to one of their players. I think that's very unprofessional and that's all I have to say about that."

Wallin was somewhat caught off-guard when asked about the allegations...

"Tell a player to go out and do something. Derek Laxdal said that? Wow. It surprises me that Derek Laxdal would say that," Wallin said. "I've never told a player to go out and do anything. If Derek Laxdal would like to address that with me, he's more than welcome to come down and do so.

"That didn't happen. Absolutely not. Never done that, never will."

Regardless, Laxdal set the stage for some potential fireworks to go off during the regular season finale this coming Saturday at the Enmax Centrium...

"It was very cheap and very unprofessional. We picked up an injury from it and that's going to hurt us down the stretch here. But we've got guys we can put in the lineup. We have to go in (to Red Deer) next Saturday night. What comes around, goes around."

My personal opinion... I have a hard time believing Wallin and the Rebels would use such tactics... simply because they don't have a full roster as it is. Having players sit in the penalty box with majors, or get tossed from the game altogether, wouldn't really help that out much. Admittedly, I don't know Laxdal as well as I do Wallin. But it seems quite surprising that he would straight out accuse the Rebels of playing dirty pool like that.

As a rather colourful football once proclaimed... "Get Your Popcorn Ready!"

Just three games left for the Rebels to play out starting tomorrow night in Medicine Hat. Friday, they host Lethbridge before Saturday's potentially explosive home game versus Edmonton.


Another playoff game... another shutout for the Red Deer Midget AAA Optimist Rebels.

They blanked the Calgary Northwest Flames 3-0 in yesterday's opening game of the Alberta Midget Hockey League south division final at the Red Deer Arena.

Red Deer scored all three of their goals in the third period. Scott Ferguson (Rebels prospect), Kirk Johnson and Brady Bakke each scored once.

Dasan Sydora made 24 saves for his third shutout in four playoff games.

Game two of the series goes Wednesday night in Calgary. []


It was an all Red Deer final at the Sutter Cup midget-15 playoff tournament in our city.

The IROC Chiefs beat the North Star Chiefs 2-1 to win gold.

Both teams earn spots at Provincials later this month in Calgary.


What an absolutely fantastic Saturday night in Lacombe!

More than 350 supporters turned out for the 3rd annual fundraising gala in support of MEGlobal Athletic Park.

Darren Gagnon of Lacombe Ford and his tireless group of volunteers did another great job of putting together this event. And this year's list of CFL celebrities was perhaps the best yet...

- Hamilton Tiger-Cats QB Henry Burris
- Calgary Stampeders RB Jon Cornish
- Calgary Stampeders DB Keon Raymond
- Edmonton Eskimos P Burke Dales
- Edmonton Eskimos Alumni Ed Jones, Bing Norrie, Fred Dunn, and Bill Marchuk

Not gonna lie... it was pretty weird to see Henry wearing TiCat colours (and Burke wearing Esks colours for that matter) but both wore their new silks with pride and had a ton of fun on the night. In fact, Dales was not originally scheduled to attend this year's event. But he had such a blast last year that as soon as he found out about this year's gala he wanted in again. Awesome stuff.

Jon Cornish said the same thing. He attended the inaugural gala in 2010 along with Joffrey Reynolds and had a blast. 'Corn Dog' was the life of the party this time around.

I was lucky enough to sit at a table with Keon Raymond (thanks to a friend of mine who made a generous donation to the athletic park!) just one day after he won the Stampeders President's Ring Award and signed a contract extension. Needless to say, he was in a good mood.

One of my favorite parts of this event is that personalities from most all of the radio stations in our market join forces for the emcee duties. Savage and T-Bo from The Drive along with Al and Marilyn from Zed, Lindsay from Kraze and Tank from Sunny did a helluva job and made the night quite entertaining for everyone.

The event raised tens of thousands of dollars (I hope to get a final total in the next day or two) for the athletic park... which you can find out more about by visiting


The 2012 Red Deer Community Sport Awards were handed out at the Sheraton hotel on Friday... (nominees and winners are listed)

Junior Male Athlete of the Year
Nick Marchuk
Brett Pasula
Mathew Dumba

Junior Female Athlete of the Year
Jordan Hudson
Emma MacDermaid
Molly Li

Open Male Athlete of the Year
Darcy Kuemper
Keegan Soehn
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Open Female Athlete of the Year
Zina Kosher
Julie Young
Jodi Sanguin

Senior Male Athlete of the Year
Birchmans Pereira

Senior Female
Marianne Badenhorst

Team of the Year
Lindsey Thurber Junior Raiders
Midget AAA Optimist Rebels
Peterman Curling Team

Coach of the Year
Doug Quinn
Esad Elkaz
Rene Simon

Kendall Dunkle Award
Shawna Pearman
Tammie Lynn Paul

Official of the Year
Harvey Penhale
Donna Hately

Youth Official of the Year

Local Business of the Year
Vellners Leisure
Eastside Marios
Runners Den
Dairy Queen

Lifetime Achievement

Spirit of Sport

Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to all!


It's been a long, long time since the Calgary Flames had reason to be excited about one of their draft picks... but Sven Baertschi is changing that in a real hurry.

Baertschi scored his first ever NHL goal, in just his second game, in yesterday's 4-3 Flames win in Minnesota.

WHL fans are certainly aware of what the Swiss forward brings to the table... the Portland Winterhawks forward is 9th in league scoring with 94 points in just 47 games played (putting him on pace for 144 points in a full 72 game season).

The last draft pick to create anywhere close to this much buzz in Calgary... it probably was Dion Phaneuf back in 2004.

The Flames still have a long way to go when it comes stocking their cupboards with young talent... but Baertschi is an excellent start.


No Alberta sweep when it comes to Canadian curling titles.

Kevin Koe's rink simply ran out of mojo in their 7-6 loss to Ontario's Glenn Howard in the Brier final in Saskatoon.

Alberta rallied form behind in playoff wins over the Territories and Manitoba. They fell behind early against Ontario as well... but Howard would have no part in letting Koe and Co. pull out more late game heroics.

In fact, Ontario played a near perfect game. The final score definitely flattered Alberta.

So... our province will have to be content with winning three of four major national curling titles (Scotties, Canadian Men's and Women's Juniors).


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gone In Under 130 Seconds

They simply lost to a better team.

The effort put forth last night by the Red Deer Rebels would be good enough to beat a lot of teams in the Western Hockey League... but not the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Three goals in the span of 2:04 in the first period ended up being the difference as Edmonton clinched the Eastern Conference pennant with a 5-2 win over the Rebels at the Enmax Centrium. [GAME SUMMARY]

It was a great start to the game for the Rebels. They came out flying and took an early 1-0 lead courtesy of Marc Mackenzie (just his 2nd goal of the season). It was great to see Mackenzie finally find a way to bend the twine as has been a strong presence in the last handful of games that I've seen. I thought he was one of the few bright spots in Tuesday's loss to Calgary.

The Rebels continue to take the play to the Oil Kings. At one point, the shots on goal were something to the tune of 11-5 (sorry, I don't have the exact number written down) and had the momentum.

And then... the game turned on a dime thanks to penalty trouble.

Conner Bleackley was sent off for tripping, allowing the WHL's #2 ranked powerplay to take the ice. And, if that weren't already trouble enough, Alex Petrovic got sent off just 19 seconds later for cross-checking. Yup, trouble.

TJ Foster scored on the 5-on-3 to tie the game 1-1. 30 seconds later Foster scored again to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.

Old mo had switched sides in a real hurry.

Curtis Lazar then scored again for Edmonton before the end of the period. Three goals in 2:04 made it 3-1 for the Oil Kings. For the rest of the night... the Rebels were in chase mode.

Try as they might, the Reb simply couldn't muster up enough offense to get back in it. Yes, Mason Burr did make it 3-2 late in the second period (congrats to Dexter Bricker for earning his first WHL point with the assist) but the game was never really in doubt once the Oil Kings took the lead.

In the third period, when the Rebels needed to mount their most desperate attack, Edmonton held them to just six shots while firing fourteen of their own on Deven Dubyk.

Simply put... the better team won the game. Not easy for the Rebels and their fans to take... but that's the lay of the land. Give the Rebs credit for another full out effort put forth. Too bad the results didn't match.

Big props go out to the faithful fans who turned out to the Enmax Centrium last night to cheer on their hometown heroes. I can't remember many games in the past few seasons where the electricity in the crowd matched last night's.


The Rebels really are on their last gasp. Saskatoon beat Brandon last night 6-2. The only scenario left for the Rebels to get into the postseason is for them to win all five games they have remaining and to have Brandon lose their remaining four. That would put the Rebels and Wheaties even with 76 points creating a one game tiebreaker to determine who gets the 8th and final playoff spot.

The Rebels visit the Oil Kings tonight in Edmonton. Game time is 7:30pm. Catch the broadcast with Cam Moon on 106.7 The Drive starting at 7:20. It's fan appreciation night for the Oil Kings... word is there will be more that 15,000 fans in attendance at Rexall Place.

Friday, March 9, 2012

As The Witching Hour Approaches...

With the Rebels hunt for a WHL playoff spot possibly coming to an end tonight... let's take a break and talk about what might be ahead for next season.

Let's start by taking a quick look at the 20's eligible to return next season...

Persson (import)

Petrovic will most certainly be playing in the AHL next season.

Persson is the x-factor. Should the Islanders decide to sign him now and put him in the AHL or ECHL then that would free up the Rebels to select a skilled forward in the import draft.

Elson I suppose is the other domino to fall. It's quite possible that the Flames will plant him in the AHL next year too (the juggling which Calgary/Abbotsford has had to do because of injuries this week tells shows the Flames organization could always use more forwards).

However... if both Persson and Elson return to the Rebels next season, where does that leave Kambeitz and Inglis? Outside of trying to do too much on his own at times, Inglis has been the Rebels best all-around forward over the last month and half. And considering the Rebels gave up a "top six" forward of their own to get him, Inglis is seemingly a lock to stay... meaning the Captain might be caught in a tough spot.

As for the defence corps... I think we cal all assume that Dumba will be back to anchor the blueline. Petrovic, Weller, and Borejko of course will all be gone. But with the latter two already done due to injuries, the Rebels have a head start on planning for life without them next fall.

Doetzel, Hak, Thiel, and Fafard are all expected to return this fall along with Dumba. Prior to his rib injury, Doetzel showed enough to make me think he will be a solid anchor for the #2 defence pairing. But when it comes to the ginormous amount of ice time that will be made available with Petro's impending departure... the Rebels will likely have to take a 'by committee' approach to filling the void.

But, as 'Section N Deserter' in part pointed out after my blog following the Hitmen game, the resolution of the 20-year-old situation could make acquiring a veteran WHL to help fill the void a definite possibility as well. (I suppose selecting an import defenceman is possible if Persson is gone).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hitmen Push Rebels To The Brink

You can moves the doomsday clock another tick closer to midnight for the Red Deer Rebels.

Once again, the Rebels played hard but came up short in a 3-2 to the Calgary Hitmen last night at the Enmax Centrium.

That reduces the Rebels elimenation number to four... meaning any combination of points gained by the Brandon Wheat Kings and/or lost by the Rebels will elimenate the local hockey heroes from WHL playoff contention. More simply... a Wheaties win combined with a Rebels loss in regulation closes the lid.

One could look at last night as another case of the Rebels putting forth a solid effort but coming away with nothing to show for it. Mind you, GM and Head Coach Jesse Wallin wasn't particularly sold on his team's effort last night...

"We just seemed to give them a little bit too much respect and too much time and space in our zone. Didn't finish enough checks to get the puck back. In the end we allowed them to score too easily."

One could say the Rebels were lacking a certain 'excellence in execution' versus the Hitmen.

The Hitmen fired 43 shots on goal last night. Not good enough if you're a team needing to win at all costs (the Rebels had 35 shots last night).

Rather than keep hashing on the nearing of the end for the Rebels... here are some good things from last night's game...

- Marc Mackenzie played one of his best games (that I've seen) as a Rebel. Not counted on to be an offensive leader, Mackenzie had a number of great scoring chances last night. He even showed some slick hands while making some nice moves to create his opportunities. Mackenzie was also a force down low and was effective in cycling the puck in Hitmen territory on numerous shifts. A nice effort last night by #27.

- Dexter Bricker gave us another glimpse of the play that will surely make him a fan favorite next season. The 16-year-old call up laid a solid jolt on 19-year-old Hitmen foward Cody Sylvester in the first period last night. Sylvester didn't really like that very much and challenged Bricker to a duel. They dropped the mitts but no real blows were landed. Regardless, Bricker is the kind of player who plays without fear and who loves to stir things up on the ice. Look for him to bring that on a nightly basis next season.

- Deven Dubyk, as per usual, was solid between the pipes and gave the Rebels a chance to win. He couldn't be faulted for at least two of Calgary's three goals as they came from rebound opportunities on which his teammates failed to get the puck out of harm's way. It won't rank highly when it comes all-time Rebels performances... but Dubyk's work this season has been nothing short of exemplary.

Next game for the Rebels... Friday night at home versus Edmonton.


Jocelyn Peterman and her Red Deer rink continue to roll at the World Junior Championship in Sweden.

They beat Russia 10-6 earlier this morning to improve their record to 6-1, tied for first place with Sweden.

Of note, Peterman's win came over Anna Sidorova who skipped Russia's team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rebels - Bucked By The Broncos, Clip The Blades

At a time when they need every win available... it was another one of those frustrating 'lose one, win one' weekends for the Red Deer Rebels.

Friday night saw the Rebels finally return to the Enmax Centrium after an eight game road trip that covered three provinces and well over 6,000km. They were anxious to get back on the horse in front of their hometown fans with a win over the Swift Current Broncos.

Unfortunately, Jon Groenheyde had other ideas in mind.

He wasn't necessarily spectacular, but he was steady and in full control in a 4-0 Broncos win. It's just the second shutout of Groenheyde's career and second this season. Funny enough, both goose eggs have come against the Rebels. His 45 saves on Friday were the most by any WHL goaltender in a shutout performance this season.

For the Rebels... it was a game where they appeared hungry, but not hungry enough. Very few of their 45 shots were ones where the Rebels forced the issue by getting to a rebound or crashing the net. In other words, they did a good job of getting the initial shot away but not such a good job of following up.

In the end, the Rebels found themselves swept away by Speedy Creek in the season series four games to none. Needless to say those are eight valuable points in the standings. Just imagine how the Rebels playoffs chances would look had they managed to split the season series or better.

Saturday night... the Rebels had a chance to get back on track against a team they've played quite well against this season. Also working in the Rebs favour, the Saskatoon Blades came in having lost four of their last five games including 4-3 in OT in Calgary on Friday. And, much like their rivals from Red Deer, the Blades have been dealing with some injury trouble in recent weeks.

It didn't look good early when the Rebels squandered a pair of powerplay opportunities before giving up the first goal of the game to the Blades. The Rebels failed to score a goal in the first four and a half periods playing back at the Enmax Centrium. Thankfully, Bolton Pouliot held the boys in with a solid performance between the pipes (more on that in a future blog).

But that finally changed when Mat Dumba set up Chad Robinson for a pretty shorthanded goal to tie the game 1-1. Red Deer then failed to score on a pair of late second period 5-on-3 powerplays but you could see some confidence brewing as the third period arrived.

The Blades seemed to be a bit tired and the Rebels took advantage. Adam Kambeitz game his team the lead for good with a powerplay goal at 4:24 of the final frame. John Persson added an insurance marker and Dumba provided an empty netter for a 4-1 Rebels win.

Now we can't talk about the Rebels desperate playoff chase without talking about last night's game between the two teams Red Deer is chasing... the Regina Pats and Brandon Wheat Kings. The Rebs went into last night trailing Regina by nine points for the eighth and final playoff spot.

And for much of the night it appeared that Red Deer would be closing that gap to seven points. They had taken care of their own business by beating the Blades and the Wheaties appeared to be in cruise control leading Regina 4-0 in the third period.

But former Rebel Lane Scheidl got the Pats on the board 3:27 into the final period... and by the time the 10-minute park had past Regina came all the way back for a 5-4 lead. They added an empty netter for a remarkable 6-4 victory.

So... instead of gaining two points on Regina to sit seven points out of the playoffs, the Rebels gain two points on Brandon and sit eight points out. More frustration to say the least.

And here's a handy little stat courtesy of @WHLfacts on Twitter... Top 4 WHL Records Over The Last 10 Games: Portland (9-0-1-0), Moose Jaw (7-2-0-1), Regina (7-2-0-1), Brandon (7-2-0-1)... the last two don't come as good news for the Rebels.

From the 'wouldn't it be nice' file @WHLfacts adds this nugget... Eventhough @Rebelshockey are 8 points out of a playoff spot, they can still mathematically finish as high as 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Sigh... if only.

Anyhoo... it really was great to see the Rebels win one at home last night. They hope to do the same Tuesday night when the Calgary Hitmen come calling.

Tomorrow on this here blog... I'll have more on the Rebels along with thoughts on the Bentley Generals, Midget AAA Optimist Rebels, and the latest from RDC Athletics.

On a personal note... thanks to all of you for checking out there here blog. Apparently, there are quite a few of you dropping by to make this one of Red Deer's busiest blogs. I haven't even had to offer any bribes haha. Thanks for reading and feel free to spread the word.



Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday On My Mind

Friday On My Mind. The Easybeats. I frickin' love that song.


The finalists for the 2012 Red Deer Community Sport Awards have been announced...

- Nick Marchuk
- Brett Pasula
- Mathew Dumba

- Jordan Hudson
- Emma MacDermaid
- Molly Li

- Darcy Kuemper
- Keegan Soehn
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

- Zina Kocher
- Julie Young
- Jodi Sanguin

- Lindsay Thurber Raiders, bantam football
- Midget AAA Optimist Rebels, hockey
- Team [Jocelyn] Peterman, curling

The winners will be announced next Friday at the annual community sport awards banquet presented by the Red Deer Primary Care Network. Visit the Sport Council of Red Deer website for more details.


Here is the full list of 2012 honourees for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum..

Barb Clark Parolin - Swimming Athlete, Stettler
Blythe Hartley - Diving Athlete, Calgary
Dale Henwood - Multisport Builder, Red Deer
Edward Molstad - Football Builder, Edmonton
Bob Niven - Multisport Builder, Calgary
Russ Parker - Baseball Builder, Calgary
Larry Robinson - Rodeo Athlete, Innisfail
Michael Slipchuk - Skating Athlete/Builder, Edmonton
Gary Deman - Achievement Award, Calgary
Lorne Starko - Bell Memorial (media), Red Deer

The induction banquet takes place May 25th in Red Deer


The Bentley Generals five year run as Senior AAA Provincial Champions could come to an end tonight. The Gens host the Horse Lake Chiefs, trailing their best-of-seven semifinal series three games to one. Game time in Bentley is set for 8:30pm. It would be quite a culture shock for the Generals and their fans (aka The Army) as this team has made of habit of extending their season well into April (playing in each of the last four Allan Cup championship games).

The Innisfail Eagles host Carstairs for game four of their Senior A/AA playoff series at 8pm. Carstairs leads the series three games to none.


The RDC Queens will also try to keep their season alive tonight when they visit Mount Royal. The Cougars lead the best-of-five ACAC semifinal two games to none.

Also tonight... Kings Basketball takes on Grant MacEwan at the ACAC Final Four at Mount Royal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TNT (Thursday Night Thoughts)

A huge smile came across my face today when I found out that my dear late friend Lorne Starko is being honoured by the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

"Coach" Starko, who left us way too early in 2009, is this year's recipient of the Bell Memorial Award which is given each year by the HOF to a distinguished member of Alberta's sports media. Coach is more than deserving of this award for his thirty-plus years of dedicated, passionate coverage of the Red Deer sports scene. Radio. TV. Newspapers. Lorne did it all... and he did it with a smile on his face. Although we all miss him dearly we are all proud of Lorne Starko for the honour he is receiving.


The Rebels latest injury to forward Turner Elson has left me feeling disappointed in more ways than one.

Firstly, I am disappointed that Turner will be missing both of this weekend's games and quite possibly beyond. He has been a real spark plug for this team on the ice all season long. Off the ice he is one of the "go to" guys when it comes to interviews and can always be counted on for a great sound bite... but that's for me to have to deal with I suppose. Bottom line, its another devastating blow to a Rebels team desperately trying to find a way into the postseason.

Secondly, I am disappointed in the Western Hockey League for its handling of the hit that led to Elson's injury. It occurred in the first period of Tuesday night's game in Moose Jaw as the Warriors' Kenton Miller comes in and drives Elson's head into the glass while he was playing the puck. (you can view the hit at the end of the game's highlight reel at Miller was given just a one game suspension for the hit... not cool!

After watching the hit a couple dozen times, it is clear to me that Miller got off lucky by only being dinged one game. On the play, he targets Elson's head as the primary point of contact and actually rises up as he drives Turner's head into the glass. After some of the multiple game suspensions we have seen the league hand out this season, most notably for the Rebels a six-gamer given to Elson himself and a four-gamer to Petrovic for some dangerous hits last November, a one game suspension in this case is simply unacceptable. So much for taking a hard line stance when it comes to addressing head shots. I admit that supplementary discipline is a touchy issue, but the WHL dropped the ball with this one.


Sticking with the Rebels... I had a chance to visit today with both Jesse Wallin and Adam Kambeitz before they stepped on the ice for practice.

It goes without saying that Kambeitz is thrilled to be back in the Rebels line up after missing a month with a sprained ankle. The fact that he returned ahead of schedule is an added bonus (his original target date to return was tomorrow vs. Swift Current).

In regards to the Rebels push for a playoff spot, Kambeitz says the players are still feeling loose and feeling confident.

"There's no point in being uptight about anything" noted the Rebels Captain. "We still have an opportunity to make the playoffs and we fully believe in our dressing room that we are going to make the playoffs this year. Obviously we need some help from some other teams. But I think we're just gonna try to stay lose and stay positive and what's gonna happen is gonna happen."

For his part, Wallin is glad to see that his players are taking things in stride as they go about their business.

"We've been trying to approach things that way for the last few weeks. We all understand the situation we're in but squeezing the sticks isn't gonna help any. We know we've got a mountain to climb and we have to take care of our end of the bargain and get all the points that we can."

Admirable talk from the coach and the captain. Unfortunately, the both admit that winning their games isn't enough anymore. They need help, and lots of it, from the out of town scoreboard to erase their eight point deficit.

Here is the full audio from my chats today...

- Jesse Wallin

- Adam Kambeitz

Rebels Kings in Queen City

I suppose you can say that the Red Deer Rebels deserve a 'pat on the back' after their latest win.

Tyson Ness led the way with a goal and an assist as the Rebels beat the Regina Pats last night by a score of 3-2.

The Rebels end their eight game Scotties-induced road trip with a 4-3-1 record. Pretty good by typical standards. But with the Rebels being in the desperate situation that they are in... nine out of a possible sixteen simply isn't enough to help their cause. They are eight points out of a playoff spot with nine games left on their schedule.

Regardless, last night's game was a nice way for GM / Head Coach Jesse Wallin and crew to finish off their extended time away from the Enmax Centrium...

"Just a real gutsy effort at the end of a long trip like this. Feels live we've been gone for two and a half months more so than two and a half weeks. It sometimes can be tough to be engaged at the end of a trip like that and I thought the boys were focused and played really well."

Wallin made particular mention of Ness' solid outing, which earned him first star honours...

"Tenacious. Nesser played the way he does. He was good on the forecheck and good on the penalty kill. He blocked shots and is a talented player and it was good to see him get rewarded with a goal."

Brooks Maxwell and Chad Robinson also scored last night for the Rebels while Deven Dubyk made 20 saves.

Dominik Volek and Jordan Weal each scored powerplay goals for the Pats, who missed out on a chance to move past Saskatoon and into fifth place in the conference.

The Rebels pulled back into town at around 5:30 this morning so today will be rather low key. They return to action at the Enmax Centrium tomorrow night versus Swift Current and Saturday versus Saskatoon.

INJURY NOTE - was hoping to get through the rest of the regular season without having to talk about yet another injury to yet another Rebels veteran, but alas here are... Turner Elson missed last night's game, and will be out for the foreseeable future, after having his bell rung by a hit from behind from Moose Jaw's Kenton Miller on Tuesday. Here's hoping it's nothing serious but it sounds like he could be out a while.