Today’s GameDay Preview: Red Deer Rebels @ Calgary Hitmen and more

The DUBNetwork game of the day has the Calgary Hitmen (14-7-2-1) hosting the Red Deer Rebels (7-15-0-3). The division rivals meet for just the second time this season.

The first game went to Calgary 5-1 back on September 28th.

Riley Stotts (photo Candice Ward)

Riley Stotts had a hat trick in that game. Luke Prokop and Riley Fiddler-Schultz had two assists a piece for Calgary. Dawson Barteaux had the lone goal for Red Deer

The Hitmen are coming off a 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday afternoon. It was a back-and-forth affair, but the Oil Kings pulled away in the third period with a couple of goals before the midway point of the period.

For the Rebels, the team has lost four straight, coming off a 4-3 loss to the Regina Pats in a game where Red Deer dominated the chances and shots on net. Unfortunately, they allowed three goals on six first period shots and could not beat a hot Regina goaltender.

Five Calgary Hitmen have exceeded 20 points on the season, including defenseman Egor Zamula. He has 25 points in 24 games. Mark Kastelic and Carson Focht lead the goal scoring brigade with 16 and 14 respectively.

The Red Deer Rebels have no players with 20 points on the season. Arshdeep Bains leads the team in scoring with 16 points in 25 games (5G, 11A). Josh Tarzwell has eight goals to lead the team in goal scoring, while defenseman Dawson Barteaux and forward Chris Douglas have six each.

With Ethan Anders sidelined, the Rebels have had to call up recently signed 16-year-old goaltender Chase Coward from the Moose Jaw Warriors Midget AAA program. He has played 21 minutes for the Rebels, allowing three goals on six shots. Byron Fancy is expected to get the start for Red Deer. He has a 2-5-0-1 record to go along with a 4.20 goals against average and .861 save percentage.

Jack McNaughton / Arshdeep Bains

On the home side, Jack McNaughton is the expected starter for the Hitmen. With a 3.01 goals against average and .890 save percentage, he has backstopped Calgary to a 9-2-0-1 record.

The Hitmen are 7-4-0-1 at the Saddledome, while Red Deer has gone 5-7-0-0 on the road this season.

These two teams will meet five more times this season, including a home-and-home in March.

In other WHL action:

Regina Pats (6-16-2-0) @ Edmonton Oil Kings  (16-6-4-2)

Both teams are coming off wins. Regina was a 4-3 winner over Red Deer while Edmonton won 5-4 on home ice over Calgary. Despite their 24-point difference in the standings, Edmonton (4-4-1-1) has collected just one more point than Regina (4-5-1-1) in the last 10 games. Riley Sawchuk, 34 points, and Austin Pratt, 21 points, lead the offensive charge for their respective teams.

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