Tonight in Red Deer, the Vancouver Giants kick off a six-game stretch through the Central Division when they tangle with the Red Deer Rebels for the first and only time in 2018-19. The Giants are coming into this game having won eight of their last 10 games. They begin the second half of their season with a 12-point lead in the B.C. Division standings. The Red Deer Rebels come into tonight’s game deadlocked in a three-way tie for first in the Central Division standings.
RED DEER REBELS
Head Coach: Brent Sutter
Home Record: 13-5-0-0
Last Game: A 4-1 loss on Friday, December 14th at home against Red Deer
Last 10: 4-5-1-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 114 GF/102 GA (+12)
Power Play: 22.1% (14th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 75.2% (15th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Brandon Hagel (31 GP – 21G – 30A – 51PTS), Alexander Alexeyev (30GP – 7G – 24A – 31PTS), Jeff De Wit (32GP – 19G – 10A – 29PTS)
A MEMORABLE FINAL SEASON FOR HAGEL:
20-year-old forward Brandon Hagel has been a big-time contributor to the Red Deer Rebels success offensively this season. Coming into tonight’s game Hagel sits fifth in league scoring with 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points. He’s also a +25. The 6’1”, 173-pound forward signed an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks back in October after he went unsigned by the Buffalo Sabres after they drafted him in 2016.
DEPTH ON DISPLAY:
The Red Deer Rebels have six forwards in their lineup that have each scored 10-or-more goals so far this season. Brandon Hagel leads the way with 21 and is followed by: Jeff De Wit (19), Reese Johnson (14), Cam Hausinger (11), Brett Davis (10) and Chris Douglas (10).
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR ANDERS:
2000-born goaltender Ethan Anders is enjoying a strong second season in the WHL. So far through 27 games, Anders has compiled a record of 18-6-2-0 with two shutouts, a 2.99 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. He’s sixth in the league in games played for goaltenders and his 18 wins rank him third in the WHL.
Head Coach: Michael Dyck
Road Record: 7-3-1-0
Last Game: A 2-1 win at home over Prince George on December 16th.
Last 10: 8-2-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 100 GF/73 GA (+27)
Power Play: 22.7% (12th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 87.0% (2nd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Davis Koch (32 GP – 9G – 22A – 31PTS), Milos Roman (30GP – 16G – 13A – 29PTS), Bowen Byram (32GP – 9G – 18A – 27PTS)
GIANTS ADD FULLER/LEGIEN TO ROSTER:
The Vancouver Giants have added 1999-born defenceman Landon Fuller and 1998-born forward Jared Legien to their roster ahead of tonight’s matchup with Red Deer. Fuller has been playing in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers and has registered two assists and 41 penalty minutes through 27 games. Legien joins the Giants after suiting up in 32 games with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. Legien has potted 28 goals while adding 24 assists for 52 points which ranks him third in SJHL scoring.
The Giants will also get 2000-born forward Yannik Valenti back into their lineup for the first time in over a month. The 66th overall pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft rejoins the Giants after helping Germany earn a Gold Medal in the 2018 Div 1A World Juniors in Füssen, Germany. Valenti scored twice and added an assist in five games at the event. He has four goals and four assists for eight points this season with the G-Men.
THE POWER PLAY IS WORKING:
The Giants have recorded at least one power play goal in eight of their past 10 games. During that span the Giants have gone 11-for-42. The power play was the big difference maker for the Giants back on December 16th as it went two-for-five in their 2-1 win over Prince George. Brayden Watts had both power play markers in that game.