The Rebels (7-3-0) look to snap a mini two-game losing streak tonight (7:30, Complex), but they'll be in tough against a Beaver Valley (6-4-0) club that is now only two points out of first place. It's the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The season series is tied at 1 win apiece, with each club having posted 5-2 away wins. Castlegar are looking to buck the trend at home as well, they've lost two of their last three at the Complex.
Ryan Aynsley and Anthony DeLong each had three points in the Rebels' last outing, a 4-3 loss last night in Creston. Aynsley, the KIJHL's Kootenay Conference Player of the Month for September, is tied for the league lead in scoring with 23 points, and is also second in the KIJHL in power-play goals with 5. His regular linemate Spencer Brodt returned to action last night after missing 4 games with a knock on his shoulder, but was tossed in the second period after a fight with the Thunder Cats' Colton Meaden.
Last Meeting: The Rebels got goals from 5 different players, and Andrew Walton made 11 saves in goal in a 5-2 win at the Hawksnest on October 1st.
Our Opponent: Beaver Valley is coming off a 3-0 shutout win at home to Nelson last night. Mike Vlanich made 33 saves between the pipes for the shorthanded Nitehawks, who will be without forwards Tyler Collins and Bryan Hinchcliffe (suspensions) after an incident last weekend against Revelstoke. Offensively, the Nitehawks are led by Colton Donselaar and Ryon Sookro who each have nine points (they each had a goal and a helper in last night's win). Alaskan Austin Sture is a giant on the back end as well. The 6-6 18 year-old has 7 points in 8 games as a Hawk this season.
Broadcast Info: We'll have the webcast at kijhl.ca beginning at 7:30.
Out of Town: Nelson takes on Golden in their first home game in two weeks in the only other Neil Murdoch matchup. Revelstoke will look to continue their perfect start in Penticton tonight. The Grizzlies are 10-0.
Fri. 10/15 vs. Nelson, 7:30 PM
Sat. 10/16 @ Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/22 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. 10/23 vs. Fernie, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/29 @ Fernie, 6:30 PM (Pacific)
Alumni Update: The Penticton Vees' Tyler Hlookoff scored his first goal of the season in a 6-4 win over Trail last night. His brother Tanner is also in the news this week, he's signed a try-out agreement with the new Federal Hockey League's Broome County (NY) Barons. Ben Bula has made the jump to Junior A. In three games as a La Ronge Ice Wolf (SJHL), Bula, who split last year between Castlegar and Revelstoke, has 3 assists. La Ronge won the SJHL title last year. See more on that league in Bits & Bites below.
Bits & Bites: Fans of the Grand Forks Border Bruins likely won't be seeing any return in this summer's Jake Halderman trade. That's because the player they received from Columbia Valley, defenceman Zach MacLellan, is lighting it up in the SJHL. In 8 games with the Battlefords North Stars, MacLellan has 6 points (2-4). A couple of other players who suited up with Neil Murdoch teams are also having an impact in the Prairies. Zak Majkowski (Beaver Valley) has already tallied 11 points in 10 games as a Yorkton Terrier, and Chase Wharton (Spokane) has 3 goals on the back end for the Humboldt Broncos. A former Creston Valley Thunder Cat, Sean Maktaak, could be on the sidelines for a while after his role in a line brawl last night in Salmon Arm. Brian Wiebe of Making Cents has a comprehensive breakdown (including video) here. A couple (more) trades by the Fernie Ghostriders: they sent goaltender Stephen Wolff to Oceanside (VIJHL) in exchange for 19 year-old Conner Morgan. They also sent the playing rights of Ross Fox to the Strathmore Wheatland Kings of Alberta's Heritage Junior B League.