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.
Scratches: 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 kijhl.ca, 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.
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.