The Red Deer Optimist Rebels went a tad overboard with their home-ice advantage this season.
The Rebels put the wraps on an undefeated home-ice schedule with a 7-0 thumping of the Medicine Hat Tigers in an Alberta Midget Hockey League contest at the Red Deer Arena on February 4.
“We’ve had a good run here, for sure,” said Optimist Rebels fifth-year head coach Brent Fudge.
“Obviously, this is the best record the team has had at home since I’ve been (behind the bench).”
The Rebels, who possess an overall slate of 25-5-3 and will host the TELUS Cup National Midget Championship in April, can nail down top spot in the South Division by winning their remaining two games — Feb. 10 in Calgary against the Northstars and Feb. 18 at Lethbridge
The UFA Bisons, four points behind the Rebels, have three games left. Both clubs have already secured a first-round playoff bye and won’t participate in a post-season game until the first week of March.
Adam Gingras posted the shutout with a 25-save performance against the Tigers and Mitch Kaufmann, Matt Fraser, Cass Mappin, John Digness, Landon Hiebert, Chase Schaber and Bowen Fraser each scored once.
“Our defensive game has been solid from the get-go and our goals-against average (71 goals allowed in 33 games) is tremendous and has actually been dropping the last few games,” said Fudge. “When you shut down the other teams, they become discouraged and you eventually break through and score.”
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