The Saskatoon Blades (13-12-0-1) look to start the month of December off on the right foot tonight as they take on the Red Deer Rebels (16-11-1-1).
The game is the first meeting of the season between these teams in Red Deer and the second overall this year. On October 3rd, the Rebels dumped the Blades 5-3 in front of 4,423 fans at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
But, much has changed since then for the Blades as they are winners of 6 of their past 10 games, currently ride a two-game winning streak and have climbed out of the basement of the division and the conference since these teams last met. Most recently, the Blades earned a 4-0 shutout win last night in Calgary against the Hitmen. In that game, 16 year old Matt Revel scored twice and added an assist, while Andrey Makarov made 25 saves for his second clean sheet of the year.
While the Blades are playing well coming into tonight, so are the Rebels. Red Deer have won six-straight games and have climbed back into contention in their division and conference with 34 points in 29 games.
Another very worthy storyline of tonight’s game is the return of Adam Kambeitz to Red Deer. The long-time Rebel was acquired by Saskatoon on October 8th, in exchange for a draft pick and forward Christian Stockl. It should be an emotional meeting for Kambeitz, as he had spent his entire career with the Rebels organization, playing in 267 career regular season games and wearing their captains ‘C’ at the time of the deal. So far this season with Saskatoon, Kambeitz has posted 4 goals and 6 points in 19 games and has been a steadying veteran force for the team both on and off the ice.
Speaking of returns to Red Deer, this game is also a home coming of sorts for Graeme Craig. The defenceman will take on his hometown Rebels for the first time as a member of the Blades.
For a further breakdown of tonight’s meeting including stats, rosters and other information, visit our game notes page here.
Puck drop for tonight’s meeting goes at 8:30PM SK time from Red Deer. To follow the game, you can go ahead and tune in live with WHL Live, listen along on 92.9 The Bull or follow @bladeshockey on Twitter for all the action.