Four points separate the Red Deer Rebels and the Prince Albert Raiders in the closest-matched of the first round matchups of the WHL playoffs. The series between the teams begins March 22.
• Series begins Friday, March 22 at 7:30 P.M. MDT in Red Deer.
Red Deer Rebels (39-26-5-2, 85 points — 208 GF, 204 GA)
- Top Scorer: Rhyse Dieno (RW), 27G, 32A, 59 points
- Left winger Turner Elson ended the regular season second on the Rebels, with 57 points in 64 games.
- Mathew Dumba led all Red Deer blueliners with 42 points (16-26) and was third overall in points scoring on the team.
- Defenseman Devan Fafard led the team with 98 penalty minutes in 67 games played.
- Red Deer will take a three-game losing streak into the postseason. The Rebels dropped a 4-3 decision to Calgary on March 10 before losing to Edmonton, 3-1 and 5-1 in the final two games of the season.
Prince Albert Raiders (37-28-3-4, 81 points — 234 GF, 233 GA)
- Top Scorer: Mark McNeill (C), 25G, 42A, 67 points
- Other players to watch on Prince Albert include rookie center Leon Draisaitl, who had 58 points in 64 games during his first season in the WHL. Draisaitl had 21 goals and 37 assists with the Raiders this year. Center Anthony Bardaro had 57 points (25-32) in 70 games, and Mike Winther had 50 points in 68 games.
- Josh Morrissey led Raiders defensemen with 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points in 70 regular season games.
- Prince Albert won its final two games of the season, both victories over Saskatoon. The Raiders defeated the Blades 6-5 on March 15 before defeating them 4-3 the following day.
The Season Series
The teams split the season series of four games. Prince Albert won the first game, a 5-4 meeting on October 2, while Red Deer took the next meeting, a 6-1 win on November 18. The Raiders won 4-3 on January 12 before Red Deer took to the final meeting of the regular season, a 4-2 victory on February 23.
Game #1: Fri Mar 22 7:30 PM Prince Albert at Red Deer
Game #2: Sat Mar 23 7:30 PM Prince Albert at Red Deer
Game #3: Tue Mar 26 7:00 PM Red Deer at Prince Albert
Game #4: Wed Mar 27 7:00 PM Red Deer at Prince Albert
Game #5: Fri Mar 29 7:30 PM Prince Albert at Red Deer * if necessary
Game #6: Sun Mar 31 7:00 PM Red Deer at Prince Albert * if necessary
Game #7: Tue Apr 2 7:00 PM Prince Albert at Red Deer * if necessary