Friday, September 28, 2012

Rebels Score Four, Lose Third Straight

In their final game before a heading out on a seven game road trip, the Red Deer Rebels debuted a pair of new faces in their lineup.  Forward Matt Bellerive, who was brought in from the Vancouver Giants, and Brandon Underwood, who was acquired from the Regina Pats.

Rebels fans came into the game looking for a hot start from their club to match the hot summer-like weather outside, and that’s exactly what they would get.  Devan Fafard floated a wrist shot in from the point, Marc McCoy got a piece of the puck, pushing it toward the goal line.  It was a close play, the referee initially waved it off setting the stage for a lengthy video review.  The Rebels got the call, and the goal.  1-0 2:38 into the first period on McCoy’s first goal of the season, assisted by Fafard.

Not long after, the Rebels would go up 2-0 courtesy of Charles Inglis.  He got a piece Joel Hamilton’s sizzling wrist shot from high in the slot to beat Tigers goalie Dawson McCauley at the 4:05 mark.

The home side didn’t stop there, making it 3-0 just 57 seconds later.  Tyson Ness cashed in on his first of the season with Adam Kambeitz earning the lone assist.  Three goals on six shots for the Rebels was enough for the Tigers to replace McCauley with Marek Langhamer between the pipes.

The Tigers would get one goal back before the end of the period.  While shorthanded, Hunter Shinkaruk made a strong play toward the Rebels net.  The net came off of its supports but not before Dylan Bredo put the puck past Rebels goalie Patrik Bartosak for his first goal of the season at 16:20.  Spencer Jensen also earned an assist on the goal.  3-1 Rebels after the first period.  Shots on goal were even at 15 apiece.

Medicine Hat took the game over in the first half of the second period, thanks in large part to penalty trouble on the part of the Rebels.  With Adam Kambeitz in the penalty box for tripping, Trevor Cox tipped home his first of the season.  Kyle Becker and Tyler Lewington with the assists.  3-2 Rebels 3:32 into the middle frame.

Then with Stephen Hak banished for cross checking, Miles Koules with pull the Tigers even, firing home his own rebound short side past Bartosak.  6:27 into the second period, the Rebels three goal lead was gone.  Game tied 3-3.  That would be the score through 40 minutes.  Tigers outshoot the Rebels 16-11 in the second period.

Much of the same in the third period... another Rebels penalty, another Tigers powerplay goal.  Trevor Cox found the back of the net for his second ppg of the night, Boston Leier and Kyle Becker with the assists.  Medicine Hat takes the lead for the first time in this game, 4-3 at the 8:42 mark.

But the Tigers lead was short lived thanks in part, ironically, to a penalty of their own.  Chad Labelle was sent off for delay of game.  Charles Inglis would take advantage by firing home his second goal of the night.  It was also the Rebels second powerplay goal of the game.  Hamilton and Conner Bleackley with the assists at the 11:05 mark of the period.

Life on even terms would not last long for the Rebels.  Jayden Hart would score the Tigers’ first even strength goal of the night at 15:27 with a scorching wrist shot past Bartosak.  Cox earned an assist for his third point of the game.  Ty Stanton also assisted on the Tigers go-ahead goal.

The Rebels would come with a late push, with their net empty, in the final minute.  However, they were unable to score the equalizer.  Medicine Hat pulls out a 5-4 victory.


1. Trevor Cox MH

2.  Joel Hamilton RD

3.  Charles Inglis RD

Next Game... The Rebels visit the Calgary Hitmen for a game Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Game time is 7pm.  Cam Moon has the Worley Parsons Cord pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:50pm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two Game Suspension: Lesson Learned For Dumba?

Amongst his long list of impressive attributes, Mathew Dumba's maturity goes somewhat unnoticed.

His booming shot, offensive prowess, and thunderous hitting power are what steal the headlines most often.  But between the ears, he is just as impressive.  Case in point, his handling of his bit of controversy.

Dumba has been suspended two games by the Western Hockey League for the checking to the head major penalty and game misconduct he incurred Friday night versus the Calgary Hitmen.  (If you haven't seen the hit yet, CLICK HERE!  Dumba sat out Sunday's game in Edmonton and will also sit out Friday's home game versus Medicine Hat.  He will return to the Rebels lineup Saturday night in Calgary.

Not only is he taking things in stride, Dumba also realizes there is a lesson to be learned here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Giant Trade Sees Bellerive Join Rebels

Brent Sutter wasted little time in following up on his promise to make the changes he feels are needed to improve his hockey club.

He has pulled the trigger on a deal with the Vancouver Giants to acquire RW Matt Bellerive from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for the Rebels 3rd round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

Bellerive has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 98 career regular season games with the Giants.  He was their 2nd round selection in the 2009 bantam draft.  He had apparently requested a trade from Vancouver.  In their official release, Giants Executive VP and General Manager Scott Bonner said "Matt was a good kid whom wanted a fresh start with another team.  We wish Matt all the best with his hockey career and thank him for the contributions he's made to our franchise over the years.”

Matt Bellerive
Hometown - North Vancouver, BC
D.O.B. - December 7, 1994 (18 years old)
Height - 5'11"  Weight - 188lbs.

"He's still a younger guy that we think has lots of potential to break out," said Rebels Head Coach Jesse Wallin at today's media scrum.  "He's a guy that we hope can find his way a little bit with a fresh start and a new environment."

It's pretty clear as to why Bellerive is on his way to Red Deer (he will arrive here on Tuesday and will be in the lineup Friday night versus Medicine Hat).  Wallin and Sutter see the potential in him to kick start the Rebels apparent lack of depth when it comes to scoring.

"He was a good scorer at the bantam and midget level," noted Wallin.  "We're hoping that with a change of scenery here, and a fresh start, that he can start to produce and be a guy that can certainly be a top six forward for us and provide some offense."

Bellerive recorded 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 35 games with the Vancouver NW Giants (Midget AAA) and was a member of bronze medal winning Team Pacific for the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in the 2010-11 season (recording 2 points in 6 games).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hitmen Spoil Rebels Home Opener Party

It’s the night the Rebels, and their loyal fans, had been waiting a long time for.  A chance to turn the page on a very long, difficult, injury-riddles 2011-2012 season.  And what better way to get things going than by taking on one of their arch rivals, the Calgary Hitmen, in their home opener.

The Hitmen came out quick, recording the first six shots on goal, but it was the Rebels who would open the scoring in this one.  A turnover at the Calgary blue line allowed Turner Elson to set up Colten Mayor.  He beat Hitmen goalie Chris Driedger with gloveside wrister to kick start the hometown fans and give the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 6:54 of the first period.

The lid came off the Enmax Centrium a few minutes later when Mathew Dumba lit up Joe Kornelson with a massive open ice hit at the Rebels blue line.  Unfortunately, Dumba was assessed a five minute major penalty for checking to the head and a game misconduct.  He also incurred a second major penalty after dropping the mitts with Darian Henry, who took obvious offense to the huge hit on his Hitmen teammate.

Calgary would take full advantage of their five minute powerplay.  Cody Sylvester would score with just 29 seconds left in the opening period to tie the game 1-1.  Brady Brassart and Pavlo Padakin with the assists.  Shots in the first period were 19-11 in favour of Calgary.

With Dumba’s penalty still on the clock to start the second period, Sylvester struck again to give the Hitmen their first lead of the night.  Brooks Macek and Chase Clayton assisted on the goal which came just 39 seconds into the middle frame.

Another Rebels penalty, another Hitmen goal.  With Turner Elson in the sin bin for tripping, Brady Brassart would put one past Patrik Bartosak.  Cody Sylvester, with his third point of the game, and Zane Jones with the assists.  3-1 Calgary at 6:44 period two.  The Hitmen would take their two goal lead into the final period.

The Rebels would get a powerplay of their own as they sought to overcome their deficit.  In fact, the Rebels found themselves with a pair of man advantages but would come up empty.  

In the final minute of the third period... Turner Elson gave the Rebels a glimmer of hope with his first goal of the season.  3-2 Calgary with 46.5 seconds remaining.  After a Calgary penalty, the Rebels would get two faceoffs deep in Hitmen territory but to no avail.  Final score - Hitmen 3, Rebels 2.  Final shots on net were 34-27 favouring Calgary.


1.  Cody Sylvester CGY

2.  Patrik Bartosak RD

3.  Brady Brassart CGY

Next game... the Rebels visit the reigning WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday afternoon.  Game time from Rexall Place is 2pm.  Cam Moon will be on with the pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 1:50pm.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rebels: It's Show Time!

I have just one bit of advice for this year's edition of the Red Deer Rebels...

Win... and win often!

Easy to say, I know.  I say it not because I have the power to do anything if they don't... but because their General Manager does.

In an exclusive interview for our next episode of 'Southside Dodge Rebels This Week', Brent Sutter told be he isn't about to sit idly by the sidelines if this current assembled group struggles early.

WHL Central Division Preview

Here are the team previews for the WHL Central Division as compiled and released by the Western Hockey League...

Calgary Hitmen

General Manager: Kelly Kisio

Head Coach: Mike Williamson

2012 pre-season: 4-2-0-0

2011-12 Record: 44-25-2-1, 91pts (2nd in Central Div., 3rd in Eastern Conf.) GF: 273  GA: 221

2011-12 Power Play / Penalty Killing ranking: PP: 20.9% (12th); PK: 81.0% (4th)

2012 Playoffs: Lost in five games to Brandon in first round

2011-12 Top Scorers:

Jimmy Bubnick  72gp-36g-41a-77pts

Cody Sylvester  66gp-23g-45a-68pts

Victor Rask       64gp-33g-30a-63pts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playing For 'Keeps'

Joel Ward, Keith Hansen, Trevor Keeper
I will not use the obvious pun and say that RDC found a real keeper to coach their men's hockey program.

Whoops... I guess I just did.

Red Deer College President / CEO Joel Ward and Athletics Director Keith Hansen announced this morning that Trevor Keeper will be behind the bench when Kings Hockey returns to ACAC competition for the 2013-2014 season.

Keeper has a wealth of elite level coaching experience, including as an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels from 2003-07.  Trevor has also coached the Red Deer Midget AAA Rebels, at the World U17 and U18 championships with Team Canada, and various elite teams with Hockey Alberta.  Keeper coached the RDC Queens Hockey team this past season and will maintain those duties for the 2012-2013 season while building the Kings program at the same time.

For Keeper, the task is a daunting one.  To build a college men's hockey program from the ground up while also overseeing a women's program at the same time means he'll be busy to say the least.  But it's a challenge he's quite looking forward to.

"I relish that," Keeper said when asked about the pressure of making the Kings a contender in relatively short order.  "I want to be competitive right off the bat.  We have a plan for the first four or five years that we wanna be right at the top of the league."

Hansen echoed those sentiments.  He is fully confident that Keeper and his five year plan will have Kings Hockey where RDC wants it to be, at the top.

"There's no doubt in my mind about that.  I know Trevor feels the exact same way I do.  It is athletics and you play it to win, to be honest with you, and you play it to be as good as what you can be.  We're not going into the league just to be a solid team.  We want to go in being one of the best teams."

The reincarnated Kings have quite a lofty set of expectations to try and meet.  The past program won seven ACAC championships and three national titles. 

As you would expect, RDC received quite a number of applications for this particular coaching position.  But Hansen has no doubt they've made the right call by staying in-house and hiring Keeper.

"When you hire someone from within, you know them.  You know what kind of character they are, what kind of person they are, and what kind of coach they are," Hansen explained.  "He fit the bill perfectly.  He's a great instructor, a great leader, and I think will be the perfect person to bring the program back. 

Keeper says while they will be looking far and wide for the right players for their program, his main focus will be on building around a strong core of local talent.

"The key thing is to build from our Central Alberta base.  Six year ago, I coached the Midget AAA's here in town.  A lot of those guys are 20, 21, 22 right now.  Some of them have expressed interest in coming back already.  So that's where we're gonna be starting from."

One thing that definitely works in Keeper's favour when it comes to recruiting is the fact he has an entire year to do it.

"It would be extremely difficult if it was a shorter term.  Knowing that I have a year to do it, watching players over the course of the next season, speaking to them, meeting them face to face, talking to their parents even though they're in their early 20's.  Try to get some key recruits in, not just open the doors to anybody." 

Ward also used this morning's press conference to officially announce that RDC's bid to the ACAC to have Kings Hockey reinstated for 2013-2014 has been approved.

"We're very excited about it," Ward told the local media this morning.  "It took a lot of work and a lot of committment by a lot of people to make this happen.  But we absolutely believe that bringing back men's [college] hockey to Red Deer is the right thing to do.  This is the right time and we're committed to making it work."

The "re-addition" of Kings Hockey also makes RDC the only school to be competing in every single sport in the ACAC, something Hansen takes great pride in.

"We're the biggest athletic program in Alberta now," he explained.  "That was always for me a bit of a hole, without men's hockey.  Quite honestly, it was a big hole because it's a marquee sport.  This fills the hole without taking anything away from any other athletic team.  You get stronger when you get bigger and I think this will be fantastic for our program."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Countdown To The Home Opener...

Four weeks after it began... training camp for the Red Deer Rebels is over.

Rookies and veterans.  Free Agents and draftees.  Forwards.  Defense.  Goalies.  Just as a reporter, training camp is a lot to (try to) keep up with.  I can't imagine what Rebels brass goes through!

Anyway, the slicing and dicing and wheeling and dealing is pretty much done.  We know what this year's edition of the Red Deer Rebels will look like... for the most part.

Here's a quick rundown of the 24 players on the Rebels roster as of Tuesday afternoon...

  Patrik Bartosak '93
  Bolton Pouliot '94

  Devan Fafard '94
  Jan Bittner '93
  Haydn Fleury '96
  Stephen Hak '94
  Kayle Doetzel '95
  Mathew Dumba '94
  Riley Boomgaarden '94

  Conner Bleackley '96
  Turner Elson '92
  Cory Millette '95
  Colten Mayor '93
  Charles Inglis '92
  Jesse Miller '94
  Joel Hamilton '94
  Chad Robinson '93
  Scott Feser '95
  Brooks Maxwell '94
  Tyson Ness '93
  Adam Kambeitz '92
  Marc McCoy '94
  *Cody Thiel '95

Of note, Wyatt Johnson is not listed on the Rebels website roster.  But he remains with the team on a tryout basis and will suit up once his healthy enough to do so (concussion).

I have Cody Thiel listed here as a forward after his audition up front during preseason action.

Readers, give me your thoughts...

Who are you surprised to still see here? 

Who did the Rebels cut/reassign that you think should still be here instead?

Who will lead this team in scoring?  Will be there enough scoring?

What are your expectations for the Rebels this season?  Playoffs? Second round?  Basement dwellers?

The countdown to Friday's home opener is on.  No chance of a lockout screwing us out of a fun night at the rink!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rebels Shuffle Their Deck

Just when we thought we had it all figured out, the Red Deer Rebels shook things up in a somewhat substantial way on Wednesday.

First, they announced that both Vukie Mpofu ('96) and Dexter Bricker ('95) had both been reassigned, reducing the Rebels training camp roster to 24.

But then they added another forward, 18 year old Wetaskiwin native Ryley Bennefield, on a tryout basis.  Bennefield had two goals in preseason action this month with the Calgary Hitmen.

And then the Rebels announced the addition of yet another forward, 17 year old Wyatt Johnson, also on a tryout basis.  Johnson was second in team scoring for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers last season (45 points in 42 games) and was recently cut by the Vancouver Giants.

The battle for forward positions on this Rebels club, with only two preseason games remaining, has just become a whole lot more interesting.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Fresh Cote

Bentley Generals Head Coach
Brandin Cote
Coming off of a season in which they failed to make the Allan Cup for the first time since 2006, the Bentley Generals knew that the time for change had finally come.

After winning the cup in 2009, the Gens did an admirable job of scrapping their way back to the final tournament twice more only to come up just short. 

"We had to make some changes," team manager Jeff McInnis said on Wednesday.  "We were stagnant and we knew that.  We've learned a lot of lessons over the years. We watched other teams who are stagnant and you're saying 'gee, why don't they make changes?' But then you realize how hard it is to make changes when you're dealing with players who become your friends.  But you have to kind of separate that."

Letting go of a former NHL coach of the year definitely counts as change.  But in the minds of Bentley Generals management (McInnis and Team President Wes Gyori) it was the right thing to do.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Generals Look To Be "Hosts With The Most"

Tickets for the 2013 Allan Cup are now on-sale.

The Bentley Generals plan on giving their faithful 'army' plenty to cheer about, on and off the ice.

The 2009 Allan Cup Champs and three time runners-up will host the 105th edition of the Senior AAA national hockey championship at the Red Deer Arena from April 15th - 20th, 2013.

1,500 full tournament ticket packages are available.  You can also sign up to help out as a volunteer.  

Complete details are available on the tournament's official website -