Friday, 9 October 2015

Rebels Game Day Preview Game #6

Good day Rebels fans, its that time again. Red Deer looks to renew its rivalry with the Calgary Hitmen and return to its winning ways after a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Calgary's last game was on Sunday, a 3-0 win over the Regina Pats.

The Rebel's loss in Lethbridge came as a surprise to the fans and I'm sure that Brent Sutter was not happy with his charges effort on the ice. Red Deer lacked drive and determination, resulting in taking poor penalties. Trevor Martin, playing his first game of the season, was left to try to stop 40 shots on goal, the result of taking 8 minor penalties. Red Deer allowed 3 goals on 6 power plays, their worst outing of the new season.

Tonight, I would look to see Rylan Toth back between the pipes. He has won all 4 games he started, with a 2.03 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

The Rebels went with a new look Defense after the return of Haydn Fleury. He was paired with Kayle Doetzel while Colton Bobyk was paired with Nelson Nogier. The last pairing was Shmoorkoff and Strand. I would think that after 7 of the 8 minor penalties came against the Defense that Sutter will mix the pairings up and hope some chemistry is made.

Dave Brunner / Red Deer Rebels
I personally like our forward units. Once everyone has a little more practice and a few more games together, all 4 lines should gel nicely. Pawlenchuk, and Johnson centered by Bleackley has the potential to be a very good line when all three players are clicking. Pawlenchuk has elite level speed and Bleackley can be dangerous in all situations. Johnson is a playmaker, I just feel he needs to shake a little rust after being on 3rd line duty. A line that would be number 1 on many teams this season is the Nikolishin, Spacek, Musil trio. They all have speed to burn and Spacek is promising to be a great finisher. Nikolishin has great hands and has shown multiple times that he can stick handle himself out of most situations. This was a shrewd pick up by Mr. Sutter this past off-season.

While the Hitmen don't have a scorer in the top 40, they are a potent team. From top to bottom they will give the Rebels fits as they are built to apply pressure and sustain it. The back end boasts Travis Sanheim and Jake Bean, both are in the top 10 in defensemen scoring.

Jake Bean - EliteProspects
Goaltending in Calgary may be of some concern going forward as Brendan Burke is out with a reported lower body injury. He is out 1-2 weeks. This leaves Kyle Dumba (yes Matt's younger brother) and Lasse Petersen to man the net. Both have played well enough since Burke was injured.

For the Rebels tonight's game will be all about consistently following the game plan. Calgary is tough at home, Red Deer went 2-1-1-0 in Calgary last year and are 5-4-1-0 in the last 10 overall against the Hitmen. Look for tonight's game to be a close encounter.

Don't forget to check out my Stats Page for the WHL. It is updated as soon as possible following the games of the night. 

As always you can hear the game on 106.7 the Drive. The legendary Cam Moon will have the call starting at 6:50 PM. The game will also be on Shaw TV.

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