The Rebels (28-13-2-2) get right back to work in their penultimate home game of the regular season with Spokane (26-19-0-2) coming to town (7:30, Castlegar Complex). This is the 7th of 8 meetings between the two teams this season, with Castlegar having a 4-2 record in the previous six. The two teams will also meet on Valentine's Day in the Lilac City. Here's a look at the season series so far:
Sept. 18/09: Castlegar 5 @ 4 Spokane (OT)
Oct. 4/09: Castlegar 6 @ 3 Spokane
Oct. 13/09: Spokane 4 @ 2 Castlegar
Nov. 22/09: Spokane 3 @ 8 Castlegar
December 6/09: Spokane 4 @ 5 Castlegar
Jan. 3/10: Castlegar 2 @ 4 Spokane
Nick Redding played the hero the last time these two teams met, he had a 4 point night (1-3). Redding (4-6-10) and Joel Stewart (3-7-10) are Spokane's scoring leaders in the season series. Stewart also leads the Braves in scoring with 55 points (19-36). Castlegar is led by Ryan Aynsley (9-4-13) and Spencer Brodt (2-5-7) in the six games thus far. Cash Ulrich has been the goaltender of record for Spokane in every game, while Andrew Walton has gone 2-2 against the Braves, with the other two wins recorded by Alex Ross.
I say playoff preview because that's how it appears things are shaping up. Spokane has a solid hold on third place in the Neil Murdoch division and only Beaver Valley running the table and the Braves going pointless in their final three games would change that. The Rebels can finish no higher than second as Nelson clinched the division for the fourth consecutive season.
There is no webcast tonight, but hopefully we'll be able to provide that service in the very near future.
One player who is back in the Kootenays tonight is former Rebel Ryan Renz. The Rebels could certainly use his presence going forward as he racked up 6 points (1-5) against the Braves this year, but he's with the BCHL's Alberni Valley Bulldogs, who are in Trail tonight to take on the Smoke Eaters.
One other game of note in the Neil Murdoch division tonight. Nelson (34-10-2-1) are in Penticton tonight to take on the Lakers (12-29-0-3). This is the only meeting between the two clubs this season.