A day of preparation for the Castlegar Rebels as they move into the final weekend of the 2009/10 regular season, but they'll be doing plenty of scoreboard-watching in advance of tomorrow night's game against Creston Valley (7:30 PM, Castlegar Complex).
Every other team in the Neil Murdoch Division plays tonight, but from a Rebel point of view, the game that matters most is in Grand Forks, where the Border Bruins (6-40-1-1) welcome the Spokane Braves (27-19-0-2). If the surging Bruins manage to pick up another win on home ice tonight, they'll ensure the Rebels clinch home-ice against Spokane in the first round of the playoffs.
Creston Valley (27-17-0-4) and Beaver Valley (23-21-1-4) wrap up a home-and-home set tonight at John Bucyk Arena. The Thunder Cats won 4-0 last night in Fruitvale, Matt Dixon picking up a goal and assist for the winners. A single point from their two remaining games will give the Thunder Cats home-ice in the first round, they could face either Golden or Kimberley.
A battle of division leaders tonight in Fernie, as the Nelson Leafs (35-10-2-1) pay a visit to the Ghostriders (39-7-1-1). Fernie has clinched home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs as nobody else in the league will be able to match the 80 points they've already put up.
Our local BCHL team is in action tonight as well, as the Smoke Eaters open up a two-game set at home to the Westside Warriors (7:30, Cominco Arena). Read a more comprehensive preview of the game here.
Finally, with the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games just a few hours away, a local spin on the torch relay. Trail's Craig Cunningham, who played for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and currently leads the WHL in scoring with the Vancouver Giants, got to carry the torch as it crossed the Lions Gate Bridge this morning. Congrats to Craig for having the opportunity to be a torch-bearer, and also for his stellar play this year with the Giants. Having watched them play many times at the Coliseum I must say he's been one of the more consistent players on their team in the last three seasons, and is definitely a fan favourite among Giants faithful.