If the Czech import Bartosak starts today, it's shaping up to be a good battle of rookie goaltenders who are emerging for their club. The Blazers will go with Cole Cheveldave between the pipes
Bartosak's numbers are impressive at 12-3 with a save % of .934 and a 2.04 GAA. Cheveldave's early numbers have been great too - 6-1 with a save % of .926 and a 2.27 GAA.
The Rebels don't have a lot of scoring. They are not an explosive team, rather a patient and well structured group. Bartosak and strong coaching is probably the two biggest aspects of their impressive 12-4-0-1 start.
They have also been strong on special teams. The Rebels penalty-kill is ranked 1st in the WHL at 86.3 % while their PP is 4th best at 24.6 %.
The Rebels are playing game two of a four-game BC division swing. They defeated Kelowna 6-4 Tuesday in the first game of the trip. They will play back-to-back nights in Victoria tomorrow and Sunday before heading back to Alberta.
The Blazers enter having lost two of their last three. They dropped a 3-1 decision in Prince George Saturday in their last game. JT Barnett practiced with Brendan Ranford and Chase Schaber this week at practice and I'd expect that trio to be reunited.
At 12-5, the Blazers lead the BC division but their lead has shrunk to just a single point over the Vancouver Giants who have come on recently. The Blazers do hold three games in-hand.
It's the 2nd time the Blazers have played the afternoon 2pm game this season. Back on Thanksgiving Day, they blew a 4-1 2nd period lead and lost to Medicine Hat 5-4.
We're on the air with our Radio NL pre-game show at 1:30pm, the play-by-play at 2pm.