Darren Tarasoff picked a perfect time to score his first goal since returning to the Castlegar Rebels from the BCHL. His seeing-eye point shot at 14:42 of the second period stood up as the game-winner as the Rebels held off the Spokane Braves 2-0 in a chippy Game 1. Ryan Aynsley tapped a Keagan Little centring pass into a gaping cage in the third for the other Castlegar tally, and Andrew Walton made 29 saves for the shutout. It was only fitting Aynsley score, as a quick wrister in the second period found iron after leaving his stick, as did a wild chance in front a few minutes later by Spencer Brodt.
Spokane controlled a majority of the play in the first period, as it appeared the Rebels may have had some nerves playing in front of a noisy crowd at the Complex. They failed to capitalize on a number of chances however, including a Dylan Tappe breakaway in the opening 5 minutes.
The game was certainly not lacking in emotion, capped off by a last-minute scrap between Gilbert Bilodeau and Jake Peterson. I'm told Bilodeau may have a shiner to show for his efforts, though to me it appeared Peterson got his only really good punch in after the Rebels captain was down on the ice. No doubt we'll see more scrums and chirpiness from both sides for tomorrow's Game 2 (7:30 PM, Castlegar Complex).
The game summary is up on kijhl.ca, you can take a peek by clicking here.
One other note, we did manage to get the webcast up and running. Credit for this certainly has to go to Spokane video man Vince Hughes, whose son just happens to be a Braves forward. I chatted with Braves head coach Mike Bay between periods and he seemed very pleased we were able to make it work tonight, and will again tomorrow through the KIJHL website though as always, the very best way to catch the Rebels is to see them in person. (Trust me, if tomorrow night's game is anything like tonight, you'll leave feeling as though you got your money's worth).
I will also have post-game audio available here tomorrow courtesy of Tarasoff and Andrew Walton, and will hopefully have a picture or two from tonight's game courtesy of a Rebels parent.
As for tonight's other KIJHL action, it sounded like a close game in Nelson, as the Leafs needed overtime to get past Beaver Valley 4-3. Connor McLaughlin with the winner for Nelson, Layne Stopanski had a goal and an assist for the Nitehawks.
Creston Valley beat Kimberley 5-3 tonight in their series opener. The Thunder Cats had the #1 seed in the Eddie Mountain division last year only to be knocked out by the Dynamiters in the first round.
Two games to report from the Okanagan Conference as well. Chase snuck past Kamloops 2-1 thanks to two third-period goals from Devon Hobbs and Jordan Wood. Sicamous had no trouble with the Penticton Lakers, beating them 10-1 in the Shuswap.
As mentioned, I'll gladly post the post-game audio from tonight here tomorrow, you will also be able to hear it on Mountain FM throughout the day as part of our hourly newscasts. I'll set up tomorrow's Game 2 as well.