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.