The Castlegar Rebels' 2009-10 season came to an end in Washington state after a 3-2 loss to the Spokane Braves in Game 6. Spokane wins the first-round series 4 games to 2 and now moves on to the Neil Murdoch Division final against either Nelson or Beaver Valley.
Chip Petrino tapped home what proved to be the game-and-series-winner for Spokane, who went down 1-0 early but rebounded with three unanswered goals before Keagan Little made it close in the third period on the power play. Spencer Brodt scored the first Rebels goal.
Spokane took full advantage of their power-plays, capitalizing twice including Machuga's winner. The Braves were without leading scorer Joel Stewart, who was suspended for his slashing major at the conclusion of Game 5.
As the season ends, we say so long to three Rebel players who graduate from junior hockey. Gilbert Bilodeau, Keagan Little and Patrick Christie have now finished their final seasons of junior hockey, albeit in an unfortunate manner. I know personally I enjoyed watching the three bring their best effort every night, and wish all three the very best in the future, whether their lives are rooted in the game of hockey or not. You will be missed next year.
In the next few days, I'll have a more comprehensive look back on the season that was, but only after having time to fully reflect on what I've heard and seen since coming to Castlegar in December.
Spokane, surprisingly enough, still doesn't know who they'll play in Round 2. That's because the plucky Beaver Valley Nitehawks pulled out a 5-4 OT win at home to Nelson in their Game 6 tonight. Scott Morisseau, injury and all, potted the game-winner for Beaver Valley, while Paul Barclay made 48 saves in the Nitehawk goal. That series will finish up with a Game 7 tomorrow night in Nelson, it should be an absolute doozy.
Elsewhere, Creston Valley moved on to Round 2 with a 4-2 win over Kimberley. They'll face high-flying Fernie in the Eddie Mountain Division final.
The Okanagan Conference started their second round tonight with a pair of games. Princeton won a wild one at home, 7-6 over Sicamous, while the Revelstoke Grizzlies started out their post-season with a 4-3 OT loss at home to Chase. Colten DeFrias had the GWG for the Chiefs.
One BCHL result to pass along as well: Trail opened up their 2010 post-season with an impressive win, 6-3 over Westside in West Kelowna. As always, my Mountain FM colleague Shawn Mullin will have the very latest on his blog.
And finally, a KIJHL roster note. The North Okanagan Knights had a tough time in 2009-10, finishing last in the Okanagan Division and missing out on the playoffs. They did, however, graduate two players to Junior A: 16 year-old defenceman Marley Keca has spent most of the last two months with the Quesnel Millionaires, and now leading scorer Trevor Fitzgerald has committed to the Vernon Vipers for next season. Congrats to Trevor, who also represented the Knights at the 2010 All-Star Game in Fruitvale.