Wheat Kings first-round playoff matchup set

Photo by Jeremy Champagne (Scramble Studio)

The Red Deer Rebels and Brandon Wheat Kings will tangle in the first round of the 2022 WHL Playoffs.

The first-round matchup was confirmed on Friday evening after the Brandon Wheat Kings suffered a 2-1 regulation defeat at the hands of the Saskatoon Blades. With the Rebels already locked into the third seed, Brandon’s regulation loss ensures they will finish no higher than sixth place in the Eastern Conference while remaining ahead of the seventh-place Lethbridge Hurricanes. The 2022 WHL Playoffs marks the return to the Conference-based playoff format for the first time since the 2014 WHL Playoffs.

The Rebels and Wheat Kings last met in the 2016 WHL Eastern Conference Championship, with the Wheat Kings securing the series in five games en route to winning the 2016 WHL Championship.

The 2021-22 season series between the two Eastern Conference opponents was split right down the middle. The Wheat Kings are winners of two straight in the season series – a 3-1 home win on February 8 and a 4-1 road victory on January 14. The Rebels opened the season series with back-to-back wins prior to the Christmas break – a 5-3 road triumph on November 5 and a resounding 7-1 home ice win way back on October 23.

Ottawa Senators prospect Ridly Greig led all skaters with seven points (3G-4A) during the season series, while Rebels forward Jhett Larson collected five points (2G-3A) on behalf of his Club.

Veteran Wheat Kings puck stopper Ethan Kruger sports the best numbers of any goaltender to appear in the season series, going 1-1-0-0 with a 0.73 goals-against average and .978 save percentage. His Brandon crease mate Carson Bjarnason also went 1-1-0-0 in the season series.

In the Red Deer net, both Connor Ungar and Chase Coward went 1-1-0-0, with Coward boasting a 2.01 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Before dropping the puck on the 2022 WHL Playoffs, the Rebels will close out the regular campaign on Saturday when they host the Edmonton Oil Kings at 7 p.m. MT (Peavey Mart Centrium). As for the Wheat Kings, they close the schedule on Saturday evening in Prince Albert with a road game against the Raiders (7 p.m. MT, Art Hauser Centre).

Game 1 of the first-round series between the Red Deer Rebels and Brandon Wheat Kings will take place on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. MT (Peavey Mart Centrium). The best-of-seven series will move east to Brandon for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. CT (Westoba Place).

Game Visitor   Home Date Time
1 Brandon @ Red Deer Friday, April 22 7:00
2 Brandon @ Red Deer Saturday, April 23 7:00
3 Red Deer @ Brandon Tuesday, April 26 7:00
4 Red Deer @ Brandon Wednesday, April 27 7:00
5 * Brandon @ Red Deer Friday, April 29 7:00
6 * Red Deer @ Brandon Sunday, May 1 5:00
7 * Brandon @ Red Deer Tuesday, May 3 7:00