Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post-Grand Forks Audio

I chatted with a couple Rebels, and as per usual, the head coach following yesterday's 7-0 win over Grand Forks.

Ryan Aynsley
: click here.

Alex Ross:
click here.

Steve Junker:
click here.

Proud To Be Pink:
The Rebels will use pink stick tape and pink skate laces on Saturday night when they host the Spokane Braves (7:30, Complex) in support of the following day's CIBC Run for the Cure to end breast cancer in Castlegar. We've seen this done by other teams in previous years (the Vancouver Giants come to mind for me). It's a small gesture but in my opinion an appropriate one, and kudos to the Rebels (and other teams across the country taking part in similar nights) for showing their support.

Out of Town:
Tonight, Nelson takes on Spokane at the NDCC Arena. A Braves parent tells me Spokane has never won in the new building in Nelson. Mountain FM's Matt Soper has the pay-per-view call beginning tonight at 7.

Bits & Bites: RiderNews has the latest on Fernie's injury situation. It appears forward Jordie Cool will be out for at least 6 weeks after being checked from behind last weekend. The Riders also shipped Keanan Patershuk to Beaver Valley to complete an earlier trade that saw Thomas Abenante head east.

Rebels 7 Border Bruins 0

Ryan Aynsley scored a hat-trick and added three assists, and Alex Ross picked up his first KIJHL shutout as the Rebels scored early and often in a 7-0 win over Grand Forks. Matt Ridley, Darren Tarasoff, Anthony DeLong and Arthur Andrews also tallied for the Rebels, who improve to 6-1 on the season. Stay tuned to the blog tomorrow, I'll have post-game audio from Aynsley, Ross and head coach Steve Junker.

To me, Castlegar took advantage of a Grand Forks team that was high on energy but low on size. You could sense the frustration build up as the score got bigger, although the Border Bruins kept skating until the final whistle. I was impressed by Diego Bartlett's ability to join a revamped top line with Aynsley and DeLong, and thought the fourth line of Curtis Pereverzoff, Dylan Richardson and Josh McGladery worked hard at both ends. Grand Forks has a couple of talented players in Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov. They both handle the puck well and created chances on virtually every shift. Watch for them as the season progresses.

In The Press Box: The Rebels were without forwards Tyler Robinson (suspension) and Spencer Brodt, who played sparingly Sunday afternoon in Spokane.

Up Next:
The Rebels pay their first visit to Beaver Valley on Friday in a rematch of last Saturday's loss. Game time is 7:30 at the Beaver Valley Arena.

Bits & Bites: Spokane could have forward Jesse Collins back in their lineup tomorrow in Nelson, he had been with the NAHL's Wenatchee Wild. A pair of trades by Fernie: they shipped 19 year-old Dean Wilson to the Southern Oregon Spartans in the NORPAC league for futures, and also sent 18 year-olds Kevan Mikkelsen and Devin Bell to Columbia Valley to complete last year's Darrell Boldon deal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gameday: Rebels vs. Border Bruins

The Rebels return to action tonight (7:30, Complex) after an up-and-down weekend that saw them lose 5-2 at home to Beaver Valley before squeaking out a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon in Spokane. Ryan Aynsley scored his second game-winner of the season 6 minutes into the third period to lift the Rebels to a 5-1 record. Alex Ross stood between the pipes in both games to improve his record to 2-1.

Coach's Corner: I interviewed Rebels head coach Steve Junker yesterday. If you missed it on Mountain FM's Overtime, hear what he had to say here.

Pre-Game Ceremony: The Rebels will honour Castlegar minor hockey before the start of tonight's game. The pee-wee and bantam provincial championship banners from last season will be raised to the rafters. Rebels assistant coach Bruno Tassone was the head coach of the bantam team that won their provincial tournament on home ice in 2009/10.

Our Opponent:
Grand Forks (1-8-0) sits 5th in the Neil Murdoch division and have lost their last three games by a combined score of 20-4, although by all accounts they gave Beaver Valley a run on Sunday, only losing 3-1 in Fruitvale. Offensively, they're led by Zach Thompson (4-5-9 in 8 GP), and 20 year-old Nick Van Damme (4-3-7 in 6 GP). We still haven't seen the Bruins' Belarussian recruits, Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov, though a report in the Grand Forks Gazette reports it is "strictly a red tape issue."

Last Meeting:
The Rebels skated to a 4-3 victory on September 14th against a Grand Forks club that refused to let go. Castlegar had a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes only to see it evaporate by the second intermission. Ryan Aynsley's power-play wrap-around proved the difference in the third.

: The Rebels will be without forward Tyler Robinson, he's serving the first of a two-game suspension incurred on Sunday afternoon in Spokane. Grand Forks forward Joey Cormano is still listed as injured after he took a vicious hit from behind on September 12th against the Braves.

Broadcast Info:
We will have the webcast tonight at, beginning at 7:30 PM. A note to anyone who tried to watch the Beaver Valley game Saturday and was refunded, the technical issues were a result of the Telus cable being re-strung in the arena at some point during the week off. We ran a test of the system last night to make sure there were no hardware issues, and everything ran as normal. My sincere apologies to anyone inconvenienced by the issue this past weekend.

Next 5:
Fri. 10/01 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Sat. 10/02 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/08 @ Creston Valley, 6:30 PM
Sat. 10/09 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/15 vs. Nelson, 7:30 PM

Bits & Bites: The major midget Kootenay Ice dropped both weekend games with the North Island Silvertips in Nanaimo by 3-2 and 5-2 scores over the weekend. Rebels camp attendee Quinn Klimchuk scored in Saturday's opener. The Ice will open the home portion of their schedule Saturday in Nelson against the Okanagan Rockets.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rebels 4 Braves 3, Robinson Suspended

Ryan Aynsley's goal just shy of the 6-minute mark of the third period proved to be the difference as the Castlegar Rebels edged the Spokane Braves 4-3 in Washington state yesterday. Erik Wentzel, Erik Alden and Anthony DeLong also scored for Castlegar, while Alex Ross made 33 saves in goal in his second straight start. Mitch Fowler had 3 points in a losing effort with 2 goals and an assist.

Suspension: Rebels forward Tyler Robinson will sit out the next two games after being assessed with a checking from behind major and game misconduct in the dying seconds of yesterday's game. Ironically enough, he'll be eligible to return October 2nd, when the Rebels host Spokane. Robinson wasn't the only player hit by the league disciplinarian yesterday either, Braves defenceman Brycen Fisher will sit out a game after being tossed for checking from behind yesterday as well.

Up Next:
Castlegar welcomes the Grand Forks Border Bruins tomorrow night (7:30 PM, Complex).

Out Of Town: Osoyoos continued their hot start, going three for three on a weekend trip to Beaver Valley, Kimberley and Columbia Valley. They beat a depleted Rockies squad 6-3 yesterday. Beaver Valley won again, this time 3-1 at home over Grand Forks.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gameday: Rebels @ Braves

A chance for redemption this afternoon as the Rebels take on the Braves in Spokane (2:00 PM, Eagles Ice-A-Rena). Spokane of course beat Castlegar in 6 games in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Rebels will surely want to put last night's loss to Beaver Valley in the rear-view mirror; a 2-0 lead quickly evaporated in the second period as the Nitehawks came from behind to win 5-2.

Our Opponent: Spokane last played Thursday night, they walloped Grand Forks 9-0 in the Boundary. They sit at 3-3 on the young season despite having lost offensive stalwarts Dylan Tappe, Jake Peterson, Uriah Machuga and Chip Petrino. 20 year-old goaltender Garrett Barr is fresh off a season in the MJHL. 19 year-old Rance Hughes is off to a hot start as well for the Braves, he's scored 5 times already for the Braves.

Broadcast Info: Our friends in Spokane will have this one on, beginning at 2:00.

Next 5:
Tue. 09/28 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/01 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Sat. 10/02 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/08 @ Creston Valley, 6:30 PM
Sat. 10/09 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM

Out Of Town: One other game involving Neil Murdoch division teams, Beaver Valley takes on Grand Forks at the Hawks' Nest. BV is 1-1 on the weekend, while the Border Bruins are coming off an 8-3 loss Friday night at home to Nelson.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nitehawks 5 Rebels 2

Derek Lashuk scored the go-ahead goal with just over nine minutes to play to lift Beaver Valley to a 5-2, come-from-behind win over the Rebels tonight. Ryon Sookro scored twice for BV, who also got tallies from Colton Donselaar and Chris Derochie. Spencer Brodt and Matt Ridley replied for the Rebels, who lost for the first time this season. Mike Vlanich improved to 4-1 for the Nitehawks between the pipes, while Alex Ross took the loss for Castlegar.

For me, the turning point of the game came at the 8:45 mark of the second period, when Rebels forward Adam Smith was assessed a charging major and a game misconduct for a late hit on Vlanich, and 4 Nitehawks piled on top of him while one, Tyler Collins, received a fighting major and game misconduct. After that incident, Beaver Valley seemed to band together and took advantage of numerous Rebel penalties (the only goal not scored by either team's power play tonight was an empty-netter by Sookro). Smith's was one of four misconducts assessed to the Rebels tonight, as the discipline issues which reared their ugly head in the playoffs last year definitely resurfaced tonight.

Up Next: Castlegar faces the Spokane Braves tomorrow afternoon in a rematch of that playoff series, before returning home to face Grand Forks on Tuesday evening (7:30, Complex).

Apology: due to a network card malfunction, we were unable to broadcast tonight's game. I spent at least an hour on the phone with both Telus and our streaming provider to no avail, but have been told a solution will be in place for Tuesday's home game. An archive of tonight's contest will also be uploaded to the KIJHL website as soon as the technical issues are sorted out.

Out of Town: Fernie remains unbeaten on the year after doubling up Nelson 4-2 at the NDCC Arena tonight. Thomas Abenante scored twice for the Ghostriders.

Bits & Bites: after only 4 appearances, former Rebel Corey Bulach has been placed on Kelowna's reserve roster. Bulach netted 2 assists and picked up 5 PIMs. The Chiefs are led offensively by former Leaf Landon Andrusiak, while another former Nelson player who was key in their run last year, Dane Rupert, is out injured. Watch for suspensions to come out of the Golden/Columbia Valley game tonight after a line brawl that included former Border Bruin Jake Halderman. The Rockets won 8-1.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Nitehawks

The Rebels look to go 5-0 tonight when they kick off a busy weekend tonight against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (7:30, Complex). Castlegar hasn't played since last Saturday night, when they outshot Penticton 57-16 en route to a 5-0 win. Erik Wentzel scored twice in the win over the Lakers, while Andrew Walton turned aside all 16 shots to record his second shutout of the season. I chatted with head coach Steve Junker about the weekend ahead, listen here.

Our Opponent: Beaver Valley (3-2-0) is icing a young team this year, helped in part by two dynamic 16 year-olds, Dallas Calvin and Ryan Dixon. Calvin leads the team in scoring as well. Goaltender Mike Vlanich suffered his first loss of the season last night at home to the Osoyoos Coyotes. Tyler Collins scored the only goal in a 3-1 defeat that, in Vlanich's defense, included an empty-net goal. I spoke with head coach Terry Jones yesterday as part of Mountain FM's Overtime, hear the full interview here. Of note, he says the club believes they will get a decent prospect as part of the futures owed from Fernie in the recent Thomas Abenante trade.

Broadcast Info: we will have the webcast from the Complex beginning at 7:30 PM.

Nelson Coach Suspended
: Chris Shaw sat out the first of a three-game suspension last night in their 8-3 win over Grand Forks. The penalty is, according to what league commissioner Bill Ohlhausen told me, for "improperly carded players and bench staff." Team president Russell Stocks confirmed the length of the suspension in an email this morning. The Leafs are home to Fernie tonight and Shaw will be eligible to return October 8th when Nelson visits Beaver Valley. I chatted all other things Leaf with Shaw earlier this week on Overtime, if you missed it, listen here.

Out of Town: The Nelson/Fernie game is the only other Neil Murdoch matchup tonight. Fernie, Revelstoke and the Rebels are the only undefeated teams left in the KIJHL, Revelstoke hosts Kamloops tonight. Osoyoos, who are perfect save an overtime loss, visit Kimberley.

Bits & Bites: One trade to pass along: Nelson sent forward Chris Kaplanchuk to the PIJHL's Mission Icebreakers for future considerations. Kaplanchuk was pointless in five games with the Leafs. Turns out Matt Ridley wasn't the only former Salmon Arm Silverback to land in the KIJHL this year. Revelstoke native Levi Hantula signed with the Grizzlies over the summer, and now forward Rick Soo has landed with the North Okanagan Knights, he's already tallied 4 points in 3 appearances.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rebels to Honour Pee-Wees, Bantams

Next Tuesday's home game against the Grand Forks Border Bruins will see two local teams honoured at the Castlegar Complex. Last year's pee-wee and bantam rep teams both won provincial championships (the bantams on home ice to boot), and their banners will be added to the rafters on the far side of the ice. Listen to Mountain FM's Overtime tomorrow as I hope to track down Rebels assistant coach Bruno Tassone for his thoughts, he of course was the bench boss of the bantam reps last year.

Major Midget Update: The midget Kootenay Ice open their season this weekend in Nanaimo against the North Island Silvertips. I chatted with head coach Simon Wheeldon yesterday, have a listen here. 3 Ice players, Quinn Klimchuk, Riley Ostoforoff and Jesse Knowler attended Rebels training camp this season.

Machuga to Trail: Former Spokane Brave Uriah Machuga made his Trail Smoke Eaters debut last night in Surrey. Mountain FM's Jon Zacks caught up with the 18 year-old Californian prior to puck drop, hear what he had to say here.

PG Snags Former Leaf: I chatted with Prince George Spruce Kings head coach Ed Dempsey yesterday after they acquired 18 year-old defenseman Bennett Hambrook from the Vernon Vipers. Hambrook, of course, spent last season with the Nelson Leafs, where he led the team in PIMs with 242. Check that audio out here.

Out of Town: One game on the Thursday KIJHL sked: Spokane faces Grand Forks for the second time this season, this time in the Boundary. The Braves beat the Bruins 5-2 in Spokane on September 12th.

Bits & Bites: A bunch of trades to catch up on: Osoyoos sent a pair of 18-year olds, Jacob Bergeron and Kashtin Gordon to the PIJHL's Squamish Wolfpack. The Coyotes also picked up 18 year-old Brandon Watson from Grand Forks. Creston Valley sent goaltender Lukas Simpson back to the coast. After acquiring him from the VIJHL's Peninsula Panthers over the summer break, they sent him to the PIJHL's Mission Icebreakers. North Okanagan also parted ways with a vet, they sent 19 year-old Kurtis McTaggart to the PIJHL's Aldergrove Kodiaks. Nelson will be without defenseman Raymond Reimer when they visit the Border Bruins tomorrow. He picked up a one-game suspension for receiving a misconduct in the final 10 minutes of Sunday's win over Penticton, who ironically enough, is his former team.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Junker on Lakers Win

It's become a regular thing after home games, and last night was no exception. I chatted with Steve Junker after the 5-0 win last night against Penticton, hear that interview here.

I also tracked down veteran forward Erik Wentzel, hear what he had to say here.

I thought the Rebels played one of their more complete games of the year last night. Strong offensive pressure combined with a general unwillingness to give Penticton any scoring chances (outside of a first-period 2-on-1 that resulted in a great Andrew Walton save off Jeff Hodgkinson), I thought were keys in the win. Lakers goaltender Jacob Mattes was terrific in the loss making 52 saves, and was only beaten in the first two periods by two posts (one by Ryan Aynsley, the other by Diego Bartlett on a breakaway), before the floodgates opened in the third. I asked Junker about the continued strong play of what I've dubbed the "Kid" line of Bartlett, Arthur Andrews and Stuart Walton. Personally, I think they typify the hard work attitude the coaching staff is trying to preach, and Junker echoed my sentiments.

The trio of new players also looked good. Matt Ridley picked up a goal and an assist in his Rebels debut, I thought his skating was very good and easily has one of the harder shots on the team already. Anthony DeLong looked good on a line with Tyler Robinson and Taylor Anderson and created several turnovers in the offensive zone. Adam Smith started with a bang with a big hit, and was in the Lakers' face every shift.

With 7 days before their next game (Sat. 25 vs. Beaver Valley at home), Junker tells me practice this week will be devoted to developing systems and trying to build chemistry. He says he's looking forward to the break to work on things like the power-play and breakout, and thanks to the light schedule this week has a chance to do just that before the games pick up in earnest.

Sunday Roundup: Nelson, after losing 6-2 in Grand Forks last night, picked up their first win of the season at home this afternoon, 3-2 over the Lakers. Spokane went 1-2 on their Interior swing. After beating Kamloops on Friday they dropped games in Princeton and Kelowna. Osoyoos also continued their hot start beating Princeton 8-3 this afternoon.

Bits & Bites: Sicamous has bolstered their offense significantly, picking up forward Brandon Formosa after he was let go by the BCHL's Powell River Kings. The 17 year-old Mission product notched 6 points in his Eagles debut Friday. Spokane has picked up 19 year-old defenceman Tanner Slarks to bolster their d-corps. A Braves parent tells me Slarks should be one of their leaders on the blue line. I mentioned Troy Petrick's exploits in the NAHL earlier this week, but two other players who skated in the Neil Murdoch division are also trying their luck in that circuit. Sean Muller, who also played for Nelson last year, is trying to crack the Kenai River Brown Bears' roster, while former Spokane Brave Jesse Collins is with the Wenatchee Wild.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rebels 5 Lakers 0

Castlegar improves to 4 and 0 with a 5-0 win over the Penticton Lakers tonight at the Complex. All the scoring was done in the third period: Erik Wentzel scored twice, and Tyler Robinson, Tyler Jones and Matt Ridley added singles. The Rebels are now in sole possession of first in the Neil Murdoch division after Beaver Valley lost 6-1 at home to North Okanagan.

I'll have a much more comprehensive recap tomorrow with audio from Wentzel and coach Steve Junker.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Lakers

The Penticton Lakers make their first-ever visit to the Castlegar Complex tonight (7:30 PM) as the Rebels look to improve to 4-0 on the young season. Castlegar is coming off a 4-3 home win over Grand Forks that could easily have slipped from their grasp if not for a third-period goal from Ryan Aynsley. It's the only game in a stretch of ten days for the Rebels, who after this one are off until the 25th (when they host Beaver Valley). Coming into play tonight, two Rebels are in the top 5 in KIJHL scoring (I know, I know it's early): both Aynsley and Erik Wentzel have 6 points. These two clubs have only ever met once since the Lakers moved to Penticton from Summerland (where they were known as the Sting), that game ended up 4-1 in Castlegar's favour on Dec. 12, 2009 (trivia fans, Aynsley, Gilbert Bilodeau, Ryan Renz and Taylor Anderson were the goal-scorers).

Our Opponent: The Lakers come in with a 1-2 record so far this year, having most recently lost 4-3 at home to Osoyoos on Wednesday night. They finished last season with a 14-32-0-4 record and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Sicamous. Being a team whose lineup is made up mainly of Okanagan Hockey School players, the Lakers are understandably young and green at the KIJHL level. All but two players on their roster are listed as rookies, the only exceptions being goaltender Adam Harris and defenceman Rylie Gallagher, who played 37 games with Revelstoke last year. Penticton is led offensively by forwards Dylan Burton (3-1-4 in 3 games), and Mike Sandor (2-1-3).

Roster Additions: The Rebels roster now includes 1990-born defenseman Matt Ridley, who spent the past two seasons in 4 different BCHL cities, most recently Salmon Arm. He was in the dressing room after the game Tuesday, as was Anthony DeLong, who is back after trying out with Humboldt of the SJHL. We'll have to wait and see if the pair are in tonight's lineup. I spoke to another new Rebel, 16 year-old Adam Smith yesterday, he tells me he's excited to make his Rebels debut and only missed the Grand Forks game thanks to a suspension he incurred in the WHL pre-season. For the record, Ridley is listed as number 10, DeLong 16, and Smith 14.

Broadcast Info: I'll have the webcast here starting at 7:30 tonight. As the season goes on, I hope to add more content, especially in the intermissions. If you have an idea or feedback, feel free to drop me a line or come say hi at the rink!

The Roundup:
Beaver Valley improved to 3-0 last night after a 6-3 win in Nelson. The Leafs are 0-3. Spokane doubled Kamloops 4-2 in the first of a three-game in three-night Okanagan trip. They play in Princeton and Kelowna today and tomorrow. Nick Van Damme scored a pair for the Border Bruins, but it wasn't quite enough, they lost 5-3 at home to North Okanagan. The Knights visit the Nitehawks tonight. Former Smoke Eater Thomas Abenante picked up 25 PIMs in his Fernie Ghostriders debut. A misconduct, coupled with a fighting major and the accompanying game misconduct helped him reach that total. More below on some recent wheeling and dealing by Fernie.

Bits & Bites: RiderNews again has the lowdown on 4 separate deals made by the Fernie Ghostriders recently. As alluded to earlier, former Smokie Thomas Abenante has been shipped to Fernie for futures. The 'Riders also sent Seattle native R.J. Preisser to Spokane. The 19 year-old had a goal in two appearances with Fernie. Former Chase Chief Kevin Monfette and Alberta product Jared Cardinal are off to the NWJHL's North Peace Navigators, and Texan goaltender Hayden Capuozzo has had his rights traded to the VIJHL's Kerry Park Islanders. Former Nitehawk Layne Stopanski is on the move again, the Trail Times reports he's now with Aseda IF in the Swedish Third division. Interesting to note the Kalashnikov brothers, two Belarussian natives from Vancouver signed by Grand Forks recently, were not on the roster in last night's game against North Okanagan. They took the warmup against Castlegar Tuesday but did not play. Nelson's Troy Petrick scored the shootout winner Thursday as the NAHL's Dawson Creek Rage edged the Alexandria (MN) Blizzard 2-1 in exhibition play. The Rage open up their inaugural NAHL season on Friday. And finally, best wishes to former Smoke Eater Shawn Mullin, who's last day at Mountain FM was yesterday. He's off to Swift Current, SK, to be the new radio voice of the WHL's Broncos, I know he'll do a great job there. New Smokies broadcaster Jon Zacks will make his Mountain FM debut tonight in Westside, good luck to him as well and welcome aboard.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Junker Talks Grand Forks + Expanded Coverage

I spoke with Rebels coach Steve Junker following the 4-3 win against Grand Forks. Hear that audio here.

The Rebels are, of course in the midst of a 1-game in 10-day stretch, that game being Saturday's home contest with Penticton (7:30, Complex), so a warning in advance that content could be light over the next week or so. I'm happy to announce that starting today, I'll be writing weekly articles for the Castlegar News about the Rebels. I'm very excited about the opportunity to delve into print, and also to expand our coverage of the team to people both in the community and following online.

Bits & Bites: Penticton will come into Saturday's game looking to rebound after a tough home loss last night. Thierry Martine scored twice for Osoyoos in a 4-3 come-from-behind win at the SOEC. The Coyotes, despite being an expansion team, have gotten off to a roaring start picking up 5 of a possible 6 points from their first three games. Spokane is waiting to hear whether they will get defenceman (and last year's captain) Chase Wharton back. He's trying out with the SJHL's Humboldt Broncos.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rebels 4 Border Bruins 3

Ryan Aynsley's wraparound midway through the third period broke a 3-3 tie and kept Castlegar's unbeaten start alive as they edged Grand Forks 4-3. The Rebels quickly built up a 3-0 lead after one thanks to goals from Stuart Walton, Aynsley and Arthur Andrews on a penalty shot, but Grand Forks came back with a vengeance. Zach Thompson put the Bruins on the board at the 9 second mark, the Bruins then got singles from Nick Van Damme and Rebel camp attendee Brett Basnett to even the score after 40 minutes. Alex Ross picked up the win in goal for the Rebels, while Grand Forks goalie Garrett Muir was tagged with the loss despite making 40 saves.

The Rebels again got into penalty trouble tonight. Taylor Anderson was tossed in the second period for a check from behind, while Aynsley served a 10 minute misconduct for a board on Grand Forks d-man Lucas Hildebrand, who left the game and didn't return. The Border Bruins scored twice on 8 power-play opportunities.

Full marks tonight to a scrappy club from the Boundary who didn't quit even when down by a lot, early. Thompson, as advertised, was dangerous every shift, and Hildebrand was the team's most effective puck mover at the back end before getting hurt. The Rebels' top line was again dominant: Aynsley's first goal a top-shelf beauty thanks to a lovely feed from After the game head coach Steve Junker lauded the performance of his short-staffed defence, as well as good efforts from youngsters Andrews and Diego Bartlett up front.

Bits & Bites: The Rebels now play once in the next ten days, that game is Saturday when the Penticton Lakers pay their only visit of the year. The Rebels have signed 16 year-old forward Adam Smith, who was cut by the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. He sat out tonight's game to serve a one-game suspension incurred in that league's pre-season. Creston Valley has also been forced to practice in both Cranbrook and Castlegar this week. The team's been temporarily booted out of their rink thanks to a fall fair.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Border Bruins

The Rebels look to go 3-0 on the young season tonight when the Grand Forks Border Bruins pay their first of 4 regular-season visits to the Complex. Castlegar swept a pre-season home-and-home series with the Bruins on September 3rd and 4th (4-1 and 12-2), but both teams dressed rosters that looked nothing like their current incarnations. Castlegar will look for another big performance from their top line of Ryan Aynsley, Spencer Brodt and Erik Wentzel. They combined for 5 of the team's 8 goals in the weekend sweep against Nelson.

I chatted with head coach Steve Junker about the weekend and his thoughts on tonight's game. Hear that interview here.

Our Opponent: Grand Forks comes into the season with 2 losses to show for their first two games, but circumstances could easily be different. A 3-2 lead against Beaver Valley Friday turned into a 4-3 home defeat, and a plucky effort against Spokane on Sunday afternoon crumbled when the team iced only 11 skaters in the third period. Watch for 25-goal man Zach Thompson up front for the Border Bruins. He's a threat every shift. Lucas Hildebrand anchors a young defense crew that has a few big bodies. Forward Joey Cormano, who was acquired from Campbell River of the VIJHL earlier this month, is out indefinitely with a concussion. He was checked hard into the boards by Spokane's Darcy Evans in the second period of Sunday's 5-2 loss.

Broadcast Info: We will have tonight's game available at, beginning at 7:30 PM. The webcasts are free until September 24th.

Next 5:
Sat. 09/18 vs. Penticton, 7:30 PM
Sat. 09/25 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Sun. 09/26 @ Spokane, 2:00 PM
Tue. 09/28 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/01 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM

Out of Town: The Rebels/Border Bruins tilt is the only game on the KIJHL sked tonight.

Bits & Bites: Rebels defenceman Darren Tarasoff might want to remind the referees when he's deserving of a point. By my count, he's been robbed of two assists already this season. Former Rebel Corey Bulach scored the game-winner for Kelowna Sunday in Princeton. It was the first regular-season victory for the Chiefs since the move from Chase. Is the Todd Kennedy that had a goal and an assist for the Kamloops Storm over the weekend the same Todd Kennedy that suited up for Regina, Vancouver and Tri-City in the WHL over the past three years? As a former Giants season-ticket holder I've now got November 19th circled on the calendar. Stat of the day: Tanner Cochrane of Golden has 39 PIMs in 2 games.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rebels 5 Leafs 1

Ryan Aynsley and Erik Wentzel each scored twice, Tyler Robinson added another as the Rebels won 5-1 in Nelson tonight, giving them a sweep in their opening weekend home-and-home series. Goaltender Andrew Walton made 27 saves, including one off an Adrian Moyls penalty shot, in a game that saw Nelson go 0/8 on the power play. The only blemish on his record was a short-handed breakaway courtesy of Gavin Currie in a night that saw Nelson frustrated offensively. The Rebels were outshot 28-19 in the game.

Up Next: The Rebels (2-0-0) will be back in action at home Tuesday night against the Grand Forks Border Bruins (7:30 PM, Complex). If you can't make it to the rink, catch the free (until the 24th of this month) webcast at

Bits & Bites: Nelson was without D Tyler Parfeniuk for Saturday's game. He injured a shoulder in Friday's contest, Cameron Dobransky moved back to defense in his place. Could the Columbia Valley Rockies be turning a new leaf? They're 2-0 to start the season after wins against Golden and Kimberley. For the second straight night, Beaver Valley scored a late third period goal to win, this time courtesy of Tyler Collins in a 3-2 win over Spokane.

Gameday: Rebels @ Leafs

Castlegar and Nelson will do it all over again tonight (7:00 PM, NDCC Arena) after an opener last night that saw the Rebels skate to a 3-0 shutout win on home ice. Taylor Anderson, Dylan Richardson and Erik Wentzel tallied for the Rebels, while Andrew Walton made 19 saves for the victory. It was a game that started slowly, with both teams looking nervous in the early going, but the first goal seemed to help Castlegar gain momentum as they forced Nelson into numerous missed breakout passes and icings.

Some audio from last night:

Andrew Walton

Dylan Richardson

Steve Junker

Our Opponent: Nelson coach Chris Shaw is likely hoping his troops have a quick learning curve, but despite being shut out, they did have a few bright spots. The pairing of Taylor O'Neil and Braeden Hikichi was solid on the blue line, and the Leafs' top two lines, particularly the Colton Schell-Gavin Currie-Cody Abbey group can certainly do some damage on the scoreboard.

Broadcast Info: Matt Soper will have the call on Leafs pay-per-view tonight beginning at 7:00. The KIJHL and their broadcast partner,, are offering everyone a chance to watch the games for free until September 24th.

Out of Town: Another full night in the KIJHL, two of the other three Neil Murdoch division teams are in action as Beaver Valley visits Spokane. The Nitehawks came from behind to edge Grand Forks 4-3 in the Boundary last night.

Next 5:
Tue. 09/14 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Sat. 09/18 vs. Penticton, 7:30 PM
Sat. 09/25 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Sun. 09/26 @ Spokane, 2:00 PM
Tue. 09/28 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM

Bits & Bites: Interesting to note BV's backup goaltender last night was Zach Perehudoff, who was a late cut of the Trail Smoke Eaters. Former Nitehawk Scott Morisseau scored his first goal as a Fernie Ghostrider in a 5-1 win at Kamloops last night. Kelowna lost their opener, 3-2 in Osoyoos last night, both their goals were scored by former Nelson Leafs (Landon Andrusiak and Dane Rupert).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rebels 3 Leafs 0

An opening-night shutout for the Rebels as they beat the Nelson Leafs 3-0 tonight at the Complex. Castlegar got second-period goals from Taylor Anderson, Dylan Richardson and Erik Wentzel in a game that started shakily and ended with many of the shots and chances going Castlegar's way. Andrew Walton picked up his first win and shutout of the season between the pipes for the Rebels, Marcus Beesley was tagged with the loss.

I'll have a more comprehensive review plus a look ahead to tomorrow night's game in Nelson as part of tomorrow's gameday package. Interviews with Richardson, Walton and head coach Steve Junker will also be part of the menu.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Leafs

The 2010-2011 KIJHL season officially kicks off tonight as Castlegar hosts Nelson (7:30 PM, Complex) in the first of a home-and-home series. The two teams met in exhibition play Tuesday night in Nelson in a game the Rebels won 6-2, though the Leafs dressed a young lineup. It's also the regular-season head coaching debuts for both the Rebels' Steve Junker and Nelson's Chris Shaw.

The Rebels are a team looking to avenge last year's early playoff exit. A solid returning core that includes snipers Ryan Aynsley and Spencer Brodt, defensive stalwart Darren Tarasoff and last season's Neil Murdoch Division goaltender of the year Andrew Walton will be complemented by rookies Diego Bartlett, Arthur Andrews and Aaron Brewer as well as a former Rebel back from Junior A in Erik Wentzel.

Here are your 2010-11 Rebels, with last season's team in brackets (this roster can be found on the KIJHL site, I'm told there will almost certainly be late additions):

01 - Andrew Walton (Rebels)
31 - Alex Ross (Rebels)

02 - Aaron Brewer (Kootenay Ice midget)
04 - Darren Tarasoff (Williams Lake BCHL/Rebels)
06 - Jason Nazaroff
22 - Ryan Reid (Rebels)
26 - Erik Alden (Rebels)
27 - Tyler Jones (Rebels)

03 - Erik Wentzel (Estevan SJHL)
07 - Stuart Walton (Rebels)
09 - Ryan Aynsley (Rebels)
11 - Curtis Pereverzoff (Rebels)
12 - Diego Bartlett (Kootenay Ice midget)
15 - Josh McGladery (Notre Dame)
16 - Taylor Anderson (Rebels)
21 - Spencer Brodt (Rebels)
23 - Dylan Richardson (Revelstoke/Rebels)
24 - Tyler Robinson (Rebels)
25 - Arthur Andrews (Kootenay Ice midget)

Our Opponent: Nelson won the Kootenay Conference last season before falling to the Revelstoke Grizzlies in the KIJHL finals in 5 games last season. They've lost a good chunk of their roster to Junior A but still boast an impressive returning core including last year's captain Taylor O'Neil, 30-goal man Gavin Currie and forward Connor McLaughlin. Nelson should be particularly strong on the blue line with 4 returnees, as well as newly-acquired Raymond Reimer who spent last season with the Penticton Lakers. They also snagged forward Colton Schell who scored 20 goals with that same Laker club last year. Nelson will go with two rookies in goal this season. Marcus Beasley was the Major Midget goaltender of the year with the Cariboo Cougars, while Darren Hogg stopped pucks for the Okanagan Rockets of the same league in 2009-10.

Broadcast Info: We're excited to announce we now have the equipment to webcast all Rebels home games on the KIJHL website. If you can't make it to the rink tonight, join me for all the action on KIJHL pay-per-view tonight beginning at 7:30 PM Pacific.

Out of Town: 8 games in total on the KIJHL sked on tonight's opening night. Beaver Valley opens the year in Grand Forks, we'll see the Border Bruins again at the Complex on Tuesday the 14th. Spokane and Princeton are the only teams in the league that don't play tonight.

Next 5:
Sat. 09/11 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM;
Tue. 09/14 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Sat. 09/18 vs. Penticton, 7:30 PM
Sat. 09/25 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Sun. 09/26 @ Spokane, 2:00 PM

Bits & Bites: Nice to see former Rebel Corey Bulach has found a home, he'll skate with the Kelowna Chiefs. It's become a familiar refrain, but the Border Bruins have played "Let's Make A Deal" again, this time with Kimberley. The Dynamiters receive 20 year-old Soren Hills in exchange for 18 year-old Chad Filatoff and 17 year-old Tyler McDowell.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rebels 6 Leafs 2

A solid finale to the 2010 pre-season for the Castlegar Rebels tonight, as they won in Nelson by a count of 6-2. My news duties at Mountain FM prevented me from attending tonight's game, but my eye in the sky, Mountain FM's own Matt Soper, tells me it was a case of two completely different teams being on the ice. Nelson reportedly dressed a ton of youngsters as it was their first exhibition game. Rebels goaltender Andrew Walton stopped 20 of 21 shots in limited action, while forward Spencer Brodt was, in Matt's words, "in on goals" and fought as well. The Rebels finish the pre-season 4-0, but will get a real look at what Nelson has to offer in a home-and-home series Friday (7:30, Castlegar Complex) and Saturday (7:00, NDCC Arena).

The Roundup:
no result at time of writing from Fruitvale, where Grand Forks was in town. Kelowna shut out Sicamous 4-0, the Chiefs and their crop of ex-Leafs are definitely looking strong thus far.

Bits & Bites:
Nelson has signed a pair of former major midget players in Adam Wheeldon and Dallon Stoddart. Yes, Adam is the son of former coach Simon Wheeldon, who now co-coaches the major midget Kootenay Ice. Trail has 4 players on their opening-day roster who played in the KIJHL last season. They are goaltender Matt Larose (Nelson), and forwards Dylan Tappe (Spokane), Joey Baker (Beaver Valley), and Keenan Patershuk (Fernie).

Gameday: Rebels @ Leafs

The pre-season schedule finishes up for one team, and just begins for another as the Rebels and Nelson Leafs face each other tonight (7:00, NDCC Arena). Castlegar has pared their roster down a bit further after the weekend's games, I'm told they dressed a bunch of prospects again in Sunday's 3-1 win in Beaver Valley. I'm told there are tough choices to be made at every position ahead of Friday's season-opener.

We haven't heard much about who has attended Nelson's camp, though. Aside from veteran returnees like last year's captain, Taylor O'Neil and scoring sensation Gavin Currie, I'm interested to see who's going to round out their roster. Both goalies from last year have been having solid Junior A camps as well, Billy Faust in Penticton and Matt Larose in Trail.

As promised, some audio from the weekend:

Rebels coach Steve Junker

Ryan Aynsley

Diego Bartlett

Arthur Andrews (pictured above, thanks to Kim Magi from the Castlegar News for the pic!)

On Tap: 3 other games on the KIJHL exhibition sked, including Grand Forks and Beaver Valley locking horns in Fruitvale. More on the Border Bruins' goaltending situation below.

Bits & Bites: Grand Forks has traded the CHA rights of goaltender Ryan Garber to Creston Valley. An interesting deal to say the least, because Garber is one of two goalies remaining at the Merritt Centennials' camp. Whether or not he sticks is another question, as 2009/10 Centennial netminders Keith Hamilton and Cole Holowenko are vying for WHL gigs in Portland and Chilliwack respectively.

Monday, September 6, 2010

(Sun) Rebels 3 Nitehawks 1

The three-game weekend couldn't have gone much better for the Rebels. After sweeping a home-and-home with Grand Forks, they got past Beaver Valley 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. Don't forget, the home opener is Friday night against Nelson (7:30, Complex).

Stay tuned for audio from Saturday's win against Grand Forks, with a look ahead to this weekend as well, featuring Rebels coach Steve Junker, sniper Ryan Aynsley and two youngsters enjoying the start of their first KIJHL campaign.

Up Next: Upon further review, I see the league website has added a fourth preseason game for Castlegar, and it'll also be the first chance to get a look at the Nelson Leafs. That game goes Tuesday night at 7:00 at the NDCC Arena.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rebels 12 Border Bruins 2

A convincing win in front of a great crowd for the Rebels in their only pre-season home date against the Grand Forks Border Bruins. Arthur Andrews scored once and added 5 helpers, his teammate last year with the major midget Kootenay Ice Diego Bartlett added a hat-trick, and veteran Spencer Brodt had a 4-point night of his own in a game that was close until the final two minutes of the second period. Josh McGladery scored twice, Tyler Jones, Quinn Klimchuk, Jesse Knowler and Brett Basnett added singles for the Rebels. Tyson Schoenthal and Lucas Hildebrand scored for Grand Forks.

Here's a summary of tonight's game.

First Period

1. GF Tyson Schoenthal (unassisted) 0:51
2. CGR Josh McGladery (Tyler Jones) 10:13
3. CGR Tyler Jones (Arthur Andrews, Spencer Brodt) 13:19 (pp)
Anderson CGR (interference) 3:05; Knowler CGR (tripping) 6:17; Gange GF (hooking) 10:19; Phillips GF (interfernece) 12:55; Basnett CGR (roughing) 15:25; McGladery CGR (cross-checking) 16:24.

Second Period

4. GF Lucas Hildebrand (Jeremy McGregor, Matt Waugh) 4:21
5. CGR Spencer Brodt (Quinn Klimchuk, Arthur Andrews) 8:42
6. CGR Spencer Brodt (Diego Bartlett) 18:46 (pp)
7. CGR Quinn Klimchuk (Arthur Andrews, Jason Nazaroff) 19:09
Penalties: S. Walton CGR, C. Mills GF (roughing) 1:34; Hildebrand GF (tripping) 2:09; Romens GF (tripping) 9:21; Romens GF (interference) 11:39; Bartlett CGR (roughing) 13:28; Davidson GF, Brodt CGR (roughing) 15:26; R. Mills GF (elbowing), Basnett CGR (roughing) 16:06; McGladery CGR (hooking) 16:29; GF bench (too many men, served by Van Camp) 17:39.

Third Period

8. CGR Jesse Knowler (Cory Coles) 2:38
9. CGR Josh McGladery (Jesse Knowler, Arthur Andrews) 3:10
10. CGR Diego Bartlett (Stuart Walton, Darren Tarasoff) 6:42
11. CGR Arthur Andrews (Spencer Brodt) 7:09
12. CGR Diego Bartlett (Arthur Andrews, Jason Nazaroff) 8:04
13. CGR Brett Basnett (Aaron Brewer, Stuart Walton) 13:26
14. CGR Diego Bartlett (Cory Coles) 19:47
Penalties: S. Walton CGR (slashing) 4:30; Muir GF (unsportsmanlike conduct, served by Van Camp) 8:04; R. Mills GF (slashing) 11:21; Coles CGR (high-sticking) 13:42; Tarasoff CGR (slashing) 15:28; Mooney CGR (roughing) 17:25.

Shots On Goal: Grand Forks: 5-6-7 18, Castlegar: 12-15-12 39.
Power Play:
Grand Forks: 0/10, Castlegar: 2/8.
Goaltenders: Grand Forks: Garrett Muir, Rylyn Dempster (11:00 second), Garrett Muir (7:09 third), Castlegar: Spencer Krukop, Andrew Walton (11:00 second).

The Roundup:
Beaver Valley won their pre-season opener, 4-3 in Creston. Kelowna put 8 past Sicamous in the first KIJHL game at Rutland Arena, Chiefs win 8-4. The Penticton Vees won the Mountain FM Ashes tourney in Trail, edging the Smoke Eaters 5-4 this afternoon in a game that saw Trail come back from a 3-0 deficit and hold a third period lead at one stage.

Up Next: at Beaver Valley, 2:00 PM tomorrow (Sunday). The regular-season opens Friday at the Complex, when the Nelson Leafs pay their first visit of the new season (7:30 PM start).

That's about all for now, I'm off to beautiful Edgewood for the rest of the long weekend, stay tuned for audio from 3 Rebel forwards plus the coach!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gameday: Rebels vs. Grand Forks

Much like last night, I don't have too much information on just who will be in the lineup tonight (7:30, Complex), but after an off-season that in my opinion was much too long, it's the first opportunity for Rebels fans to get a look at the team at home this season. Castlegar opened the pre-season with a 4-1 win last night in the Boundary. Tonight's game is the second of Castlegar's 3-game pre-season, they play again tomorrow at Beaver Valley (2:00 PM, Beaver Valley Arena). I'm going to apologize in advance for a lack of a recap of either game however, I'm heading out of town for the rest of the long weekend immediately following tonight's game, mainly to get some R&R in advance of what is definitely going to be a very busy month of September.

Out of Town: Beaver Valley begins their exhibition season tonight in Creston. Nitehawks coach Terry Jones says this year's team will have a strong local contingent, much like last year. A pair of Nitehawks are playing in the Mountain FM Ashes, Joey Baker with Trail, Colten Semenok with Brooks. 5 other games on the KIJHL sked as well, including the first-ever home game for the Kelowna Chiefs, they host Sicamous.

The Roundup: the first game for the expansion Osoyoos Coyotes turned out to be a success. They took a bite out of the PIJHL's Squamish Wolfpack 7-1 at the Sunbowl Arena last night. Same goes for the Kelowna Chiefs, who scored a 4-1 win in Kamloops. Other Friday results: Sicamous beat Revelstoke 4-1, Fernie tromped Creston Valley 9-3. I took in the Trail/Powell River matchup last night at the Mountain FM Ashes tournament, the Smokies won 4-2 and look, to me, to have improved by leaps and bounds already over last season.

Bits & Bites: two trades involving Grand Forks to announce. They've acquired forward Joey Cormano from the VIJHL's Campbell River Storm. Unfortunately, the VIJHL website underwent a complete re-design in the last month or so, and as a result I wasn't able to dig up any statistics. The club sent 19 year-old d-man Chad McGuire to the defending PIJHL champion Aldergrove Kodiaks as well. McGuire had 7 points (1-6) last year, mainly with the Border Bruins. He also spent time in Kimberley and Princeton. Finally, congratulations to my Mountain FM colleague Shawn Mullin, who's been named the new play-by-play man for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos. I'm sure he'll make the transition to a new league very smoothly, and talking to people at the Cominco Arena last night, he will be sorely missed by the fans here in the West Kootenay.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rebels 4 Border Bruins 1

Castlegar opened the pre-season with a 4-1 win in Grand Forks tonight. The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night at the Complex. I'll post more information as it comes in.

Gameday: Rebels @ Grand Forks

The 2010 exhibition season officially gets underway tonight as the Castlegar Rebels head to the Boundary to take on the Grand Forks Border Bruins (7:30 PM, Grand Forks Arena). Rebels coaches have told me they expect to use their younger guys a lot over the course of the 3-game weekend. I'm interested to see what Grand Forks brings to the table as well. The Bruins will still be without goaltender Ryan Garber who is still with the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL, local fans could possibly get to see him next week in Trail in that league's opening weekend.

Of course, these two clubs will lock horns again tomorrow night at the Complex, be sure to come check it out and get a first look at your 2010-11 Rebels.

Bits & Bites: RiderNews has more on Scott Morisseau's arrival in Fernie. It appears as though he'll see his first action this weekend. The Ghostriders are 1-1 in the pre-season thus far. The PIJHL's Squamish Wolfpack have started their tour of the KIJHL well, beating Princeton 5-1 last night. They'll also play games against Osoyoos and Penticton. Trail defeated Brooks 6-2 last night in the opener of the Mountain FM Ashes tournament. Of note, Spokane defenseman Matt Tyson is trying out with the Bandits. The Braves also got their leading scorer from last season back, after Joel Stewart was cut by the NAHL's Wenatchee Wild. Stewart (19-38-57) also led the Braves in PIMs in 09-10 with 229. Spokane's roster also shows they've signed 20 year-old Alaskan Garrett Barr as their new starting goaltender, this after Cash Ulrich left to go to school. Barr played with the MJHL's OCN Blizzard last season.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jones, Verner Audio

As mentioned, I had a chance to talk to Fernie coach Will Verner and Beaver Valley coach Terry Jones about the Scott Morisseau trade. To listen to the full interviews with both coaches see below.

Will Verner click here.

Terry Jones click here.