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.