For the fifth-straight season, the Red Deer Rebels will return to the Western Hockey League Playoffs.
After the Brandon Wheat Kings lost 5-4 to the Regina Pats on Friday night, the Rebels attained the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference.
The Rebels were prosperous in the first half of the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, but a tight Central Division race in the second half of the season put the pressure on the Rebels to stay in the win column.
Providing offensive power, Brandon Hagel (Chicago Blackhawks) had a strong season, earning a career-high of 102 points (41G-61A) along with linemate and captain Reese Johnson (Chicago Blackhawks) who recorded 53 points (27G-26A).
2019 NHL Draft prospect Ethan Anders was also a substantial contributing factor to Red Deer’s success this season. He sported a 28-21-4-1 record, 3.09 goals-against-average, .907 save percentage, and two shutouts in 57 games. Anders is ranked 13th among North American goaltenders after the 2019 NHL Central Scouting Midterm ranking release.
The Rebels are back in action on Sunday, March 17th (4:00 p.m. MT) as they close out their season against the Kootenay ICE at Western Financial Place.
To date, 15 teams have secured their spot in the 2019 WHL Playoffs: Prince Albert Raiders, Everett Silvertips, Vancouver Giants, Portland Winterhawks, Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Edmonton Oil Kings, Victoria Royals, Tri-City Americans, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Calgary Hitmen, Moose Jaw Warriors, Medicine Hat Tigers, Seattle Thunderbirds, and Rebels. The Raiders, Giants, and Silvertips have each clinched their respective divisions while the Raiders have also secured the top record in the Eastern Conference and WHL, earning them the 2018-19 Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular season champions.