Jesse Collins and Rance Hughes scored in the opening fourty seconds, and the teams traded goals the rest of the way as Spokane spoiled Castlegar's "Pink Power Play" with a 5-3 win at the Complex. Mitch Fowler, Joel Stewart and Thomas McNevin also scored for Spokane, while Tyler Robinson, Taylor Anderson and Stuart Walton replied for Castlegar.
Tonight's game reminded me a lot of last season, and by that I mean there were tons of penalties, numerous post-whistle scrums but also plenty of big hits. Discipline, however, reared its ugly head as the Rebels took 4 misconduct penalties and handed the Braves 10 power-plays. A casual observer would have mistaken much of the game for overtime with the sheer amount of 4 on 4 play.
To me, Castlegar looked rattled after the two early goals, and struggled to regain composure the rest of the way. There were bright moments: Robinson's goal was the result of two pretty dekes by Matt Ridley, and Darren Tarasoff hit Hughes with enough force in the second period to knock his visor clean off his helmet.
Kudos to all the fans who showed up tonight, and stuck around until the end despite the unfortunate result. There were smatterings of pink visible in the stands as part of tomorrow's Run for the Cure, and the fans were loud and supportive when the Rebels tried to mount a comeback from a 4-1 deficit late in the second and early in the third.
Injury News: Rebels forward Spencer Brodt sat this one out again as he nurses a bruised shoulder. Braves defenceman Tanner Slarks left the game in the first period after being hit hard by Ryan Aynsley. He suffered what appeared to be a leg injury, and was walking with a bit of a limp in the hallway after the game.
The Roundup: as far as the Neil Murdoch standings are concerned, the Rebels are still in good shape. Beaver Valley lost 8-5 at home to Revelstoke and are still 4 points out of first place. Osoyoos continued their hot start tonight with an 8-1 win over Sicamous. Kelowna lost 4-2 to Fernie at home: attendance is listed at 204 on a night when the Rockets didn't play (admittedly, the Westside Warriors did, but they drew under 1,000 in their 9-1 win over Trail).
Up Next: the Rebels get their first look at the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday, October 8th. Creston has a 5-4 record thus far and sit in 2nd place in the Eddie Mountain division. Former Grand Forks tender Ryan Garber is their starting goaltender.
Bits & Bites: one interleague trade to clarify, another to announce. We were told Fernie had traded defenceman Dean Wilson to the Southern Oregon Spartans of the NORPAC circuit, however the PIJHL website shows he's been shipped to the Squamish Wolfpack. Columbia Valley sent 19 year-old defenceman Darcy Rail to Squamish as well. Selkirk College lost a pair of games this weekend against Thompson Rivers University by scores of 4-1 and 11-1. I took in the third period of this afternoon's tilt. Former Golden Rocket Travis Herlein scored Selkirk's only goal yesterday.