The Castlegar Rebels (28-15-2-2) pay a visit to the Boundary tonight (7:30 PM, Grand Forks Arena) to wrap up the season series with the Grand Forks Border Bruins (5-40-1-1). Castlegar has won all 7 meetings this season against the Bruins, who will finish last in the division for the tenth consecutive season. The Rebels can't afford to take Grand Forks lightly with the Spokane Braves nipping at their heels, and the Bruins posted 2 big victories last week over Penticton and Beaver Valley and nearly had a third against Kimberley. Coach Jesse Dorrans has his Bad News Bears finishing out the season on a strong note, to be sure. The Rebels of course need only one point from their final three games to clinch home ice advantage in their first-round set against Spokane. Here's a look at the season series thus far:
Oct. 20/09: Grand Forks 0 @ 6 Castlegar
Oct. 24/09: Grand Forks 2 @ 7 Castlegar
Oct. 31/09: Castlegar 6 @ 3 Grand Forks
Nov. 6/09: Grand Forks 1 @ 4 Castlegar
Nov. 7/09: Castlegar 7 @ 1 Grand Forks
Jan. 5/10: Grand Forks 2 @ 4 Castlegar
Jan. 9/10: Castlegar 13 @ 1 Grand Forks
Keagan Little (6-10-16) is one of 6 Rebels with 10 or more points against Grand Forks this season. Ryan Aynsley (9-5-14), Gilbert Bilodeau (0-13-13), Joel Robinson (7-5-12), Spencer Brodt and Dylan Richardson (each 4-6-10) are the others with Robinson having a 4-goal game to his credit as well. Chris Vinette leads Grand Forks with 5 points (2-3) in the seven games this year. Andrew Walton has 4 wins for the Rebels including a shutout, while Ryan Garber has been the goalie of record in 5 of the Bruin losses. Richardson's return should help the Rebels' all-round game as well, he spent the weekend with the BCHL's Prince George Spruce Kings, appearing in 2 games.
kijhl.ca should have the webcast tonight, find out more here.
Elsewhere tonight, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (23-20-1-4) begin a home-and-home with Creston Valley (26-17-0-4). The Thunder Cats have motivation for tonight's game (7:00, Beaver Valley Arena) as they can all but lock down home ice advantage in the first round with a win. Creston Valley will be in Castlegar on Saturday as well.
3 games around the league last night, none involving Neil Murdoch teams. Golden got a hat-trick from Travis Herlein to beat Columbia Valley 5-1, and the turtle derby also known as the race for the final playoff spot in the Okanagan Conference continued, Princeton beat Penticton 7-3 while North Okanagan lost 8-2 in Sicamous. With the Knights loss, Penticton needs just a point from their final three games to make the playoffs, something they failed to do last year when they were the Summerland Sting.