Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Audio Blog (x2): Bill Ranford / Shane Bendera

Cam Moon can rest easy knowing he's paid his dues for his lifetime membership in the 'Goalie Guild'.

The former WHL netminder did a bang up job of snagging two other prominent former WHL goalies to be our intermission guest for Friday's Rebels/Rockets broadcast on 106.7 The Drive.

Our 1st intermission guest, Bill Ranford.  The former Conn Smythe winner with the Oilers is a goaltending consultant with the Los Angeles Kings nowadays.  Yup, he's a Stanley Cup champion again.  Bill and I chatted about a few things ranging from his thoughts on current Rebels goalies Patrik Bartosak and Bolton Pouliot.  We also talked about his rare chance to spend some time back in Red Deer and check out some of his favorite locales.  LISTEN HERE

On any normal night, having one great guest in a broadcast would be fun enough.  Not this time around.  Mooner dipped into the goalie pool a second time to arrange a visit from Shane Bendera, the man who backstopped the Red Deer Rebels to their Memorial Cup title in 2001.  Friday marked the first time Bendera had been in the Enmax Centrium for a game since his playing days ended.  The game just happened to feature the two teams he used to play for (he was traded from Red Deer to Kelowna midway through the 2001-02 season).  Shane was a fun guy to chat with and definitely enjoyed his night at the rink with his family.  LISTEN HERE

COMING UP ON THE BLOG... Last Saturday, I chatted with Jamie Hislop who is a scout with the Minnesota Wild.  Of course, we talked about Mathew Dumba. Hislop also gave us an update on former Rebels netminder Darcy Kuemper.  Sounds like things are going pretty well for Kemps.  I'll try to get Jamie's comments posted in the next day or so.

ALSO... be sure to check out today's brand new episode of REBELS THIS WEEK featuring Brady Gaudet's "goal from the parking lot"

TG

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Generals Briefing With Brandin Cote

Despite being the host team this time around, the road to the Allan Cup remains a long and eventful journey for the Bentley Generals.

The Generals, under the guidance of new Head Coach Brandin Cote, split their first two games to open the Chinook Hockey League season last weekend.

They have two more league games this weekend before heading to Saskatchewan for a two game trip next weekend.

Following that, they welcome their long time rivals, the Fort St. John Flyers, for a pair of exhibition games on the Remembrance Day long weekend.

On Thursday, I chatted with Cote about a number of topics concerning his club... including opening weekend, new faces on the Generals roster, and how he's settling into his new gig...

Audio Blog: Chatting With Brandon Sutter

(Trying to get back in the swing of things after taking a rare sick day yesterday...)

Just thought I'd share with you my recent interview with Brandon Sutter.  The Pittsburgh Penguins forward, and former Rebels captain, joined me on-air on 106.7 The Drive during the 1st intermission of Tuesday's Rebels/Pats game.

He's been spending quite a bit of time, both on and off the ice, at the Enmax Centrium as he toils through the NHL lockout.  Brandon says he has received interest from clubs in Europe but is still holding off when it comes to possibly making the jump overseas.

Anyhoo... I'll let you listen to his comments for yourselves (LISTEN HERE). 

TG

(Thanks to Brandon for being a last second addition to our broadcast on Tuesday and for doing a great job of hitting my softball questions out of the park!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rebels - Special Teams... Special Indeed

'The killers' have definitely been 'Mr. Brightside' for the Red Deer Rebels.

Despite their penchant for taking some inopportune penalties, the Rebels penalty killing unit has been nothing short of superb in recent games.

Heading into tonight's game at the Enmax Centrium versus the Regina Pats, the Rebels have killed off 66 of their 79 shorthanded situations.  A success rate of 83.5% (one tenth of a percentage point behind fourth place Kelowna.).  Even more more impressive is the fact that the Rebels are 29/30 on the PK over their past 7 games (thanks to Mooner for pointing that out to me).  The team's record over those games... 4-2-1-0, 9 points out a possible 14.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rebels Iced in Overtime

After a tough loss on home ice on Tuesday at the hands of Kamloops, the Rebels look to get back on track as they played the first half of a home and home series with the Kootenay Ice.



FIRST PERIOD

A nice, quick pace to start the game with the first whistle not coming until 2:45 of play had gone by. 

An eventful first period for Ice forward Jaedon Descheneau.  A few minutes after taking the game’s first minor penalty for high sticking (Kootenay killed off the penalty) Descheneau was leading the Ice rush across the Rebels blue line until he was levelled by a thunderous hit by Mathew Dumba.  Another ‘hit of the year’ candidate from the hulking defenceman came much to the delight of the crowd on-hand at the Enmax Centrium.

The fast pace in the opening period meant both teams had their share of scoring chances.  But the two goaltenders, Patrik Bartosak for Red Deer and Mackenzie Skapski for Kootenay, did their part to keep zeros on the scoresheet.  No score through twenty minutes of play.  Shots on goal were even at 8-8.



SECOND PERIOD



More great pace in the middle frame, including some extended shifts between whistles.  Neither side was particularly sharp at times when it came to passing.  Goaltenders once again made some great looking saves.  

Kootenay found themselves with a powerplay just 16 seconds into the period when Matt Bellerive was called for checking from behind but were unable to capitalize.  Later on, Brooks Maxwell was sent off for slashing but again the Rebels were able to kill off Kootenay’s man advantage.  

Same as the first period, the second period ended scoreless.  Rebels held an 18-13 lead in shots on goal.



THIRD PERIOD



The Rebels would finally open the scoring thanks in part to a luck break early in the third.  The Rebels dumped the puck deep into Ice territory.  The puck took a bounce off of a linesman, catching Skapski out of position, allowing Matt Bellerive to score from a sharp angle along the end line.  For Bellerive, the goal was his third of the season.  Mathew Dumba earned the lone assist on the goal which came 1:21 into the frame.

The Rebels held onto their one goal late until the late stages of the period.  Unfortunately, with the Ice on the attack in the Rebels zone, the puck would bounce off the skate of Devan Fafard and right onto the stick of Luke Philp.  He made no mistake in finding the back of the net, low glove side past Bartosak.  1-1 with 4:30 left to go in regulation time.

The Ice gained momentum from their goal and pushed hard to win this one in regulation but to no avail.  Bartosak held the fort for the Rebels sending this one to overtime.



OVERTIME



Heartbreak for the Rebels in the opening minute of extra time.  Bartosak made an outstanding save on Sam Reinhart.  The puck then came right to Jaedon Descheneau who fired it into the open Rebels net for the game winning goal.  2-1 Kootenay wins.  Reinhart and Brock Montgomery with the assists on the game winner 39 seconds into overtime.  Final shots on goal in the game were 25-23 in favour of Kootenay.



MOLSON CUP THREE STARS

1.  Descheneau KOOT

2.  Bellerive  RD

3.  Bartosak  RD



HARDEST WORKING REBEL - Christian Stockl



NEXT GAME... The Rebels take on these same Kootenay Ice this Sunday night in Cranbrook.  Game time is 5pm.  The pregame show on 106.7 The Drive hits the air starting at 4:50.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Down In A Blaze of Glory... err... Gory

To steal from a line from beloved former NFL Head Coach Dennis Green... "The Rebels are who we thought they were."

So too, for that matter, are the Kamloops Blazers.

In a dominating 4-0 win last night at the Enmax Centrium, the WHL's top team showed the Rebels just how far they have to go in order to reach the league's upper echelon... and, yes, there is a long way to go.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blazers Blank Rebels

A Tuesday night tilt at the Enmax Centrium versus the league’s hottest team.  The Rebels faced quite a challenge in taking on the Kamloops Blazers.



FIRST PERIOD



Not much in terms of scoring chances for either team in the opening few shifts of the game.  Neither Bolton Pouliot for the Rebels or Taran Kozun for the Blazers was overly busy in the first ten minutes or so.  For the most part, the Rebels did a good job of keeping Blazers forwards at bay.  Turner Elson created the best scoring chances for the Rebels, catching a piece of the goal post with a shot of his own while narrowly setting up Brooks Maxwell with a wide open net not long after.  There was a lot of ‘stop and start’ play in the first period, which probably worked out in favour of the home side.  No score after twenty minutes of play.  Neither side getting a powerplay.  Shots 11-9 favouring Kamloops.



Friday, October 12, 2012

Rebels Beat Tigers To Reach .500 Mark

After two long weeks away from home in which they played seven games, winning four of them, the Red Deer Rebels returned to the familiar (still under construction) confines of the Enmax Centrium.  In just their third home game of the season, second already against Medicine Hat, the Rebels sought to atone for a 5-4 loss to the Tigers on September 28th.



After the two teams traded scoring chances through the first half of the opening period, the Tigers would open the scoring in this one.  A defensive breakdown by the Rebels in their own end allowed Miles Koules to feed Hunter Shinkaruk who was left all alone in front of the net.  He beat Bolton Pouliot for his fourth goal of the season and a 1-0 Tigers lead 12:26 into the game.



The Rebels wasted little time in getting the game back on even terms.  On a set up from Turner Elson, Conner Bleackley would shoot through a screen.  The puck went off of a Tigers defender in front and past goaltender Dawson MacAuley.  Bleackley finally scores his first goal of the season at 14:21.  1-1 would be the score after one period of play with the Tigers holding an 11-9 advantage on the shot clock.



Red Deer would score the only goal in what was for the most part an uneventful second period.  The goal came at the 16:15 mark while the Rebels were on a powerplay.  Turner Elson threw a pass out from from deep in Tigers territory, he appeared to be looking for Joel Hamilton in the high slot, but instead it deflected off of the stick of a backchecking Miles Koules and past MacAuley.  A lucky break in the favour of Elson gives him his second goal of the season and the Rebels a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.  Rebels outshot the Tigers 10-8 in the period.



The teams would battle hard in the third period but to no avail.  Neither side was able to bend the twine in the third period.  That meant good news for the home side as the Rebels hung on for a 2-1 win over the Tigers.  Medicine Hat outshot Red Deer 14-7 in the third period and 33-26 for the game.



Molson Cup Three Stars

1.  Pouliot  RD

2.  Leier  MH

3.  Bleackley  RD



Subway Hardest Working Rebel - Joel Hamilton



Next Game... the Rebels visit the Calgary Hitmen Saturday night for a 7pm game at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Cam Moon will have the pregame show on 106.7 The Drive starting at 6:50pm.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Look Rebels - So Far, So Good

There is a long, long way to go before we're able to pass final judgement on Brent Sutter's work as Red Deer Rebels General Manager this season.

That being said, the early returns for his wheeling and dealing are looking good.  Very good.  And the possibility for long term benefits from these moves should have Rebels fans feeling pretty darn good about what the boss has been up to.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rebels Trade Kambeitz To Saskatoon

Adam Kambeitz
As soon as Brandon Underwood was acquired from Regina, the rumblings began.

The Rebels have four 20 year old's.  Who will stay?  Who will go?  Surely, they can't trade their captain?

In the end, that's exactly what they did.  Adam Kambeitz is now a member of the Saskatoon Blades.

In return for their fan favorite Captain, the Rebels get a forward whose potential upside is huge.  Christian Stockl put up huge numbers playing midget AAA in Winnipeg (36 goals, 68 points in 38 games last season) and, as GM Brent Sutter noted in the Rebels media release for the trade, addresses the Rebels lack of depth in the '95 age group.  Stockl was teammates with both Jesse Miller and Kevin Pochuk in Winnipeg.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - "Rebels Clip Blades"

First off, if for some reason you have not seen Mathew Dumba's "Goal of the Year" candidate from last night... get on it!  Dumba's beauty goal was good enough to earn TSN Highlight of the Night honours... which, by the way, is a first time occurrence for the Rebels franchise.

---

The Red Deer Rebels have earned points in three straight games thanks to their 5-3 win over the Blades last night in Saskatoon.  The Rebels are 2-0-1 to start their stretch of seven straight games away from the Enmax Centrium.  Some thoughts...

- SCORING BY COMMITTEE... Five different players, none of them named Charles Inglis, lit the lamp for the Rebels last night... which is a great sign for this club.

- GIANT DIVIDENDS... Matt Bellerive was acquired from the Vancouver Giants with hopes/intentions that his playmaking ability to jump start the Rebels sometimes stagnant offensive attack.  Bellerive is tied for the Rebels scoring lead with six points, including the three assists he had in last night's win.

- KEY MOMENT... Midway through the third period, with the Rebels on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Josh Nicholls found himself with a breakaway for the Blades.  Patrik Bartosak came up with a huge save for the Rebels.  Mere seconds later, Cory Millette scored for the Rebels to make it 4-1, essentially putting the game out of reach. (Although Saskatoon scored just 10 seconds later to set up an interesting finish to this one).  Both Bartosak and Bolton Pouliot, as advertised, have been outstanding in net for the Rebels so far this season.

- CAPTAIN'S CRUNCH TIME... Adam Kambeitz's assist on Tyson Ness' empty net goal was just his second point of the season.  With Inglis on a scoring tear, and Turner Elson still day-to-day with his lower body injury, Adam needs to seize the moment and start contributing offensively.  Only four games (max.) left until the Rebels overagers (20 year old's) situation will be dealt with.

- MILLER TIME?... Also waiting for Jesse Miller to make an impact in his first WHL season.  He got invovled physically last night with a third period fight with Jessey Astles but that's not why he's here.  The Rebels are banking on the 18 year old's offensive abilities to add some much needed scoring depth.

- MOON MAN... I don't always get to appreciate it while working at home games... but sitting in my living room last night while listening to Cam Moon's call of the game on 106.7 The Drive was a real treat.  Judging by a look at my twitter timeline... many of you agree with me that Mooner calls one helluva good game!

NEXT GAME... The Rebels continue their East Division tour tomorrow night by visiting the Regina Pats.  Game time is 7:00pm.  The aforementioned Mooner hits the air with the pregame show on The Drive starting at 6:50.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WHL Vice President Discusses Checking To The Head

It’s a bit after the fact now, but I wanted to make sure I shared this you incase you missed it (which if you were at last Friday’s Rebels/Tigers game you would have).



During the second intermission of our broadcast on 106.7 The Drive I had the pleasure of chatting with Richard Doerksen, Vice President of Hockey for the Western Hockey League.

Richard offered some great insight into the WHL’s recent stance on checking to the head, notably Mathew Dumba’s major penalty from opening night back on September 21st.