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Steve Konowalchuk steps down as Head Coach of the Red Deer Rebels with 86-36-3-3 regular season record


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Red Deer Rebels Coach Steve Konowalchuk behind the bench in Red Deer 2021-2022 season.  Photo courtesy of Rob Wallator and the Red Deer Rebels

Submitted by the Red Deer Rebels

Konowalchuk steps down as Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner/President/General Manager Brent Sutter announced on Thursday that Steve Konowalchuk has resigned as the club’s head coach.

Sutter says Konowalchuk made the decision to step down due to personal/family reasons.

“It’s disappointing to see Steve resign. But I also understand when it comes to personal/family reasons. He’s a great coach, and even more so a great man. I want to thank Steve for the outstanding job he did here for two seasons,” said Sutter.

“I wish Steve and his wife Leah all the best moving forward.”

In two years behind the Rebels bench, Konowalchuk compiled an impressive 86-36-3-3 regular season record and guided the team to two playoff series wins. The Rebels won 40 games in back-to-back regular seasons for the first time since 2001-03 and won the Central Division title in 2022-23. Konowalchuk was named Central Division Coach of the Year in 2021-22.

“I am very sad to be leaving the Red Deer Rebels organization,” Konowalchuk said.

“It was a pleasure and an honour to work with Brent, Shaun, and Merrick Sutter. The Rebels are truly a first-class organization in every way. I wish them and the players all the best going forward.”

Konowalchuk added, “I want to thank the best fans in the WHL, and the community of Red Deer for all their support.”

Steve had one year remaining on his contract with the club.

Also on Thursday, the Rebels announced that Assistant Coach Ryan Colville will not be returning after five seasons with the club as he plans to pursue other professional opportunities.

“Ryan grew a lot here during his time with us,” Sutter noted.

“He’s looking for a coaching opportunity closer to home in Cincinnati. He’s a good man, and I wish him all the best. I want to thank him for the job he did over five seasons.”

“I’ve had a great experience in my five years in Red Deer, I believe I’ve grown as a coach, and as a person under both Brent and Steve,” Colville said.

“I’m grateful for my time with the Rebels. I know that the experience here will serve me well moving forward and has prepared me for the next steps in my career.”

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Red Deer Rebels

WHL playoffs: Blades complete comeback, beat Rebels 5-2 in Game 7

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Saskatoon – It’s not exactly how they imagined it, or drew it up, but the Saskatoon Blades have advanced to the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference final after beating the visiting Red Deer Rebels 5-2 on Tuesday night.

The Blades, who dropped the first three games of the best-of-seven series to the Rebels, rattled off four straight wins to punch their ticket to the conference final and a date with the powerful Winnipeg ICE.

Conner Roulette and Spencer Shugrue each scored twice for the Blades, while Vaughn Watterodt added a single into an empty net.

Hunter Mayo and Ryker Singer scored for the Rebels, who were outshot 28-25.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 after the second.

The ICE defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 in their series, winning three straight after falling behind 2-1.

The Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds will open the best-of-seven Western Conference final on Saturday in Seattle, Wash. The Blazers will host, and play in, the 2023 Memorial Cup from May 26 to June 4.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2023.

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Red Deer

Blades knock off Rebels 5-3 to force Game 7 showdown

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After losing the first three games of their best-of-seven Western Hockey League playoff series, the Saskatoon Blades have rallied to force a Game 7.

The visiting Blades knocked off the Red Deer Rebels 5-3 on Sunday to force a winner-take-all showdown on Tuesday at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Sask.

Egor Sidorov scored twice and added an assist for the Blades, while Trevor Wong, Jake Chiasson and Jayden Wiens netted singles. Brandon Lisowsky chipped in with two assists.

Jace Isley scored twice for the Rebels, who outshot the visitors 38-24 but had problems solving Saskatoon netminder Austin Elliott. Kai Uchacz netted a single for the Rebels, who trailed 2-0 after the first period and 4-2 heading into the third.

The victor will advance to the Eastern Conference final to play the winner of the Winnipeg Ice-Moose Jaw Warriors’ series. The Ice lead 3-2 with Game 6 being on Monday in Moose Jaw, Sask.

The Western Conference final, featuring the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kamloops Blazers, gets underway on Saturday in Seattle.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2023.

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