Today’s Gameday Preview: Friday March 8, 2019

DUBNetwork feature game of the night: Wheat Kings @ Rebels 7 PM MST

Two teams in a dogfight for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference will square off tonight in Red Deer. The Red Deer Rebels and Brandon Wheat Kings will meet for the fourth time this season, in one of the league’s biggest games of the season.

The Wheat Kings (30-25-4-4) are running into make-or-break time in the season and with the way things have been going, they are looking to keep the momentum going. If you look at the last 10 games, it might seem like things have been rolling smoothly. But if you look at their last five games, it might raise some eyebrows, as they’ve only won one of their last five outings. Something surely they hope to turn around against a Rebels team that they blanked 4-0 in their last meeting.

In their last win over the Rebels, Connor Ungar was the man behind it all. The 2002-born stood tall to stop all 34 of Red Deer’s markers to earn his first career WHL shutout, and first career WHL win in just his third game in the league.  Don’t expect to see him between the pipes tonight though, as both Ethan Kruger and Jiri Patera are healthy with either of them possible to get the nod.

The Rebels (31-25-4-2) were once top dogs in the Central Division. After a mid-season collapse, they find themselves scraping the bottom of the barrel for a spot in the post-season. The Rebels are coming off back to back losses against powerhouses in the Eastern Division. The Rebels should be worried though as the games remaining start to wind down, they could have a four point separation with the Wheat Kings with a regulation loss tonight.

Something important for Red Deer tonight will be offense, as they’ve been outscored 13-8 in the season series in those three games. Allowing five goals or more in two of those three games.

Expected in goal:

  • Jiri Patera (BDN) 3.214 GAA, .909 SV%- The Wheat Kings number one guy, Patera has only won a single game in his last five starts.
  • Ethan Anders (RD) 2.981 GAA, .911 SV%- Is 1-1-0-0 vs Brandon this season, allowed three goals in each of those appearances.

Other action:

Swift Current Broncos (10-46-4-2) @ Prince Albert Raiders (51-9-2-2)

  • Seventh meeting of the season between the clubs. Prince Albert leads the season series 5-1

Moose Jaw Warriors (35-19-6-2) @ Regina Pats (18-42-1-2)

  • Moose Jaw 5-1 against the Regina Pats this season, meeting number seven tonight.

Medicine Hat Tigers (32-25-4-2) @ Lethbridge Hurricanes (36-18-5-5)

  • Medicine Hat not helping their playoff cause, on a 2-7-1-0 run in their last ten games.

Edmonton Oil Kings (37-18-4-4) @ Calgary Hitmen (36-22-5-1)

  • Each team on their own six game winning streak, with one set to end tonight. Who will it be? Edmonton 4-1 in the season series

Kelowna Rockets (27-30-5-1) @ Kamloops Blazers (23-32-5-2)

  • Blazers barely hanging on mathematically to playoff hopes, this season series tied at four coming into puck drop.

Portland Winterhawks (38-19-3-3) @ Prince George Cougars (17-39-5-3)

  • Cougars back on a losing streak, this one at five games long coming in. Have not won a game at home since January 12th.

Victoria Royals (33-26-2-2) @ Seattle Thunderbirds (26-28-6-2)

  • Seattle looking to separate themselves even further from the Blazers in the standings, with a win tonight and a Blazers regulation loss would cement them nine points ahead in the standings with five games remaining.

Vancouver Giants (45-14-2-2) @ Spokane Chiefs (35-20-2-5)

  • Vancouver looking to extend their win streak to six games long, and leapfrog into first place in the Western Conference.

Everett Silvertips (45-14-2-2) @ Tri-City Americans (34-25-3-1)

  • Everett has had trouble with Tri-City this season, as they only lead the season series by a 4-3 count.


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