Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Walton to Fernie in 3-Player Swap

The Rebels and Ghostriders have finalized a trade that sees all-star goaltender Andrew Walton head to the Elk Valley in exchange for 20 year-old defenseman Mike Wiest and 17 year-old forward Jamie Vlanich. The local netminder was moved one appearance shy of 100 as a Rebel, during which time he posted a 59-29-3 record, 9 shutouts and a 2.69 GAA. This move definitely caught me by surprise, but I'm sure Walton will shine in Fernie and I wish him nothing but the best (even though it could be a bit odd seeing him in black and red should these two clubs meet in the playoffs).

In Wiest, the Rebels get a power-play quarterback to replace Matt Ridley. The Enchant, Alberta native has 35 points (which by the way would be good for top spot on the current Rebels roster), and is no stranger to the West Kootenay, having spent parts of two seasons with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Vlanich, a Trail product, is now with his third KIJHL team after spending last season in Golden. He'll bring speed to the Rebels contingent of forwards, and has 11 points in 19 games this year (though he was injured earlier in the season). To both the new Rebels, welcome to Castlegar, should be interesting to see how they both fit in this weekend (particularly Saturday night in Fruitvale).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Aynsley to Trail (this time for good)

Ryan Aynsley will spend the rest of the 2010-11 season with the Trail Smoke Eaters, and to that I say good on him! After Saturday's 5-0 win in Nelson, the 20 year-old from Kelowna had 53 points in just 23 games played this year, as well as 9 in 4 games in Trail as an AP. Aynsley previously played in the BCHL with Merritt (that being in 2008-09). I wish nothing but the best for Aynsley as he finishes his junior career with another great franchise, and will make certain to head down Highway 22 to catch him in action with his new club.

Without question, his departure leaves a gaping hole in the Rebels offense, but one I believe the rest of the leaders on this club can patch up efficiently. Speaking with head coach Steve Junker after Saturday's win, I get the sense he'll be relying on his guys to play a more team-oriented game, rather than relying on #19 to score a point on every shift. Players like Anthony DeLong, Erik Wentzel, Spencer Brodt and Taylor Anderson will now be counted on as THE guys to provide the bulk of the scoring, whereas prior to Aynsley's departure they served as an offensively gifted supporting cast.

Bruce Fuhr of the Nelson Daily has a nice piece on Aynsley here as well.

We'll all get our first look at the post-Aynsley Rebels Friday night against the Spokane Braves (Complex, 7:30 PM). But, with the December 1st roster deadline now just two days away, who knows if the lineup we see today will be the one we see tomorrow.

Bits & Bites: At least one local team has gotten an early start on deadline day. Nelson picked up Minnesotan Rudi Schiebel from the North Okanagan Knights in a deal that sees 17 year-old Tanner Burns head to Armstrong. Schiebel was goal-less in 9 games as a Knight this year, but had 11 last year with the Penticton Lakers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rebels 5 Leafs 0

Sorry for the late update, internet issues plus spending the night in Nelson last night didn't afford me the opportunity to update sooner..

Ryan Aynsley's hat-trick paced Castlegar to a 5-0 whitewash of the Leafs last night at the Civic Centre. It was a night set aside to celebrate Nelson's hockey heritage, but many in the large crowd left with long faces as the Rebels played, in the words of all of the coaching staff, one of their most complete games of the season.

Tyler Robinson and Anthony DeLong also scored, while Andrew Walton stopped everything that came his way for his third shutout of the season (and second against the Leafs).

Castlegar now sits 4 points out of first place thanks to a three-for-three weekend by Beaver Valley, though the Rebels (19-5-0-0) have 6 games in hand.

Stay tuned to Mountain FM and this blog tomorrow and Tuesday for player movement news ahead of the December 1st cut-down date. I'm told at least two deals are on the table, and two more transactions are done, but won't be announced until tomorrow at the earliest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gameday: Rebels @ Leafs

Tonight, the Rebels have a chance to play spoiler, and also get back to their winning ways. It's the 75th anniversary of Nelson's Civic Centre, so tonight, the Rebels and Leafs will do battle in the old haunt of the senior Maple Leafs clubs that competed in senior hockey for decades. (The current incarnation of the Leafs moved out in 2005 when the new NDCC Arena was built). There's no better opportunity for Castlegar to bounce back after a tough outing last night in Osoyoos, and to top things off, it's expected to be a sell-out crowd.

The jersey in the photo, by the way, is a one-off throwback being worn by the Leafs tonight (taken from our Nelson station 103.5 The Bridge's Facebook page). The Leafs will be auctioning the shirts off after the game.

The Rebels (18-5-0-0) will have a familiar face back in the lineup tonight. Erik Alden has served his suspension and will bolster a defence corps that relied on 5 bodies for the past three games (though AP Riley Ostoforoff made the trip to the South Okanagan last night). The team is also reportedly trying to swing a deal for a defenceman to add to the current staff, we'll have to wait and see if anything is done by the December 1st cut-down date.

Last Meeting: The two teams last played on October 15th in Castlegar, a game won by the Rebels 5-1. Erik Wentzel had a hat-trick in a game that saw suspensions doled out thanks to some third period fights. The Rebels lead the season series 3-0, and are 1-0 in Nelson this year (a 5-1 win on opening weekend).

Our Opponent:
Nelson (15-11-0-0) comes into tonight's game on a 5-game winning streak, and after a slow start seem to have found their way in the Neil Murdoch division. A 3-2 win last night over Spokane, capped off by an OT winner by former Brave Joel Stewart, put the Leafs to within one point of the Washingtonians (with four games in hand). Gavin Currie has a wide edge in the team scoring lead with 35 points, the next closest Leaf is Colton Schell with 21.

In the Press Box:
The Rebels were without Adam Smith last night as he remains with the BCHL's Cowichan Valley Capitals. Nelson will likely be without defensemen Cameron Dobransky and Walker Sidoni (both with upper body injuries), while defenceman Raymond Reimer is done for the balance of the season after having surgery earlier this year.

Broadcast Info:
My colleague Matt Soper will have the call beginning at 7:00 on the pay-per-view. I won't be at the game due to a work commitment (I will be down the street from the rink in Nelson, however), but will update the Rebels Twitter at every opportunity (in layman's terms, whenever Soper texts me an update).

Next 5:
Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. Dec. 4 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Tue. Dec. 7 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. Dec. 10 @ North Okanagan, 7:00 PM
Sat. Dec. 11 @ Sicamous, 7:00 PM

Out of Town:
Two other Neil Murdoch teams are in action, both on the road. Beaver Valley is at Golden, while Grand Forks pays the defending champion Revelstoke Grizzlies a visit.

Bits & Bites: North Okanagan had a pair of new faces in the lineup last night. Thomas Swales joins the Knights from Osoyoos while Sean Leslie began the year in Sicamous. Leslie's club from last season, Columbia Valley, acquired Michael Keyes from North Okanagan earlier in the week. He made his Rockies debut last night. Yet another former Knight, Damon Brown, joined Kimberley this week along with ex-Leaf Tim Card.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coyotes 7 Rebels 3

Definitely not the result they'd been hoping for.

After taking a 3-2 lead, the Rebels gave up 5 unanswered goals at the Sunbowl Arena to fall 7-3 to the league-leading Osoyoos Coyotes tonight. Ryan Aynsley scored twice in a losing cause, while Stuart Walton chipped in a single. 16 year-old Carter Rigby had a hat-trick for the winners, who used 5 special-teams goals to their advantage. Jake Newton, Matt Guerts, Stefan Jensen and Thierry Martine also scored for Osoyoos.Andrew Walton made 40 saves in the loss for Castlegar.

Up Next: At Nelson, tomorrow. It's a chance for the club to play spoiler, as the game in Nelson will be played at the Civic Centre to commemorate that building's 75th anniversary (the Leafs will be wearing some pretty nice-looking throwback jerseys that will be auctioned off as well, I'll post a photo tomorrow).

Out of Town: Beaver Valley and Kimberley played a wild one. Nitehawks win 10-6. Grand Forks shocked Kamloops 3-2 to pick up their second road win of the season (former Rebel Dylan Richardson scored his first as a member of the Storm in a losing cause), and Joel Stewart sunk his former Spokane mates in OT to lift Nelson to a 3-2 win.

AP Watch: He's still on the roster, so still worth mentioning Matt Ridley had an assist for Westside (BCHL) in their 5-1 win over Penticton. Nelson's Tanner Burns played in the Smoke Eaters' 4-1 loss at Vernon, and Fernie's Kade Pilton had an assist for the Chilliwack Bruins (WHL) in their 7-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks (former Nitehawk and Smokie Steve Oursov scored for the Bruins as well).

Gameday: Rebels @ Coyotes

The first-ever meeting between the Castlegar Rebels and Osoyoos Coyotes should be a dandy (7:35 PM, Sunbowl Arena). Both teams sit first in their respective divisions: Castlegar (18-4-0-0) is first in the Neil Murdoch division, while the 'Yotes (22-1-1-4) are first not only in the Okanagan division, but the entire KIJHL. It's also the beginning of a long, 15-game stretch that sees Castlegar play only 4 times at home.

Unfortunately for us in the West Kootenay, it's the only meeting of the year between the two clubs (barring a matchup in the KIJHL finals of course). Osoyoos did make a trip to Beaver Valley earlier this season, but won't be visiting Castlegar until next year.

Castlegar haven't played since Saturday's win over the Rockies, but with a couple of new(er) faces, likely used the week of practice to their benefit. With more changes a distinct possibility in advance of the December 1st cutdown, the Rebels squad fans in the desert see tonight could be a lot different from the Rebels club that hosts Spokane next Friday.

Our Opponent: The Coyotes have a high-powered offense, with 3 players in the top 4 in KIJHL scoring. Stefan Jensen is tied with Rebel Ryan Aynsley for the league lead with 47 points (Jensen has more goals and games played), while Thierry Martine and Taylor House have also passed the 40 point plateau. The goaltending tandem of Kyle Laslo and Billy McGladrey is also stellar, they're ranked 3 and 4 in the league in terms of goals against average. Watch out for 16 year-old Carter Rigby. He started the year with the WHL's Prince George Cougars and has 12 points in 12 games.

Broadcast Info: The Osoyoos crew will cover this one beginning at 7:35 PM.

In the Press Box: Rebels defenceman Erik Alden serves the final installment of his 3-game suspension tonight. Osoyoos gets forward Brandon Watson back tonight as well from a 1-game ban served this week (thanks to the misconduct rule).

Next 5:
Sat. Nov. 27 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM
Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. Dec. 4 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Tue. Dec. 7 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. Dec. 10 @ North Okanagan, 7:00 PM

Better Late Than Never: Some post-Columbia Valley audio from Saturday.

To hear newcomer Kwinn Mazzilli's thoughts, click here.

For Ryan Reid's take on his coast-to-coast goal, click here.

16 year-old Diego Bartlett's thoughts are available here.

Out of Town:
Grand Forks is in Kamloops tonight, while closer to home Nelson hosts Spokane (it's the first meeting since the Joel Stewart trade). Beaver Valley welcomes Kimberley.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Taking A Few Days Off...

My girlfriend and I are taking a few days of vacation this week, thanks to light work schedules and no home games this weekend. As a result, the blog and the new Twitter will remain in stasis for the next few days, but I'll be back Friday to set up a pivotal matchup between the Rebels and the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Bits & Bites: One of the Coyotes' top scorers, Brandon Watson, has been suspended for one game (misconduct rule). He will be eligible to play Friday, though. Taking a peek at Grand Forks' roster, I note with interest that forward Brett Basnett has been placed on reserve. Basnett had 8 points (2-6) in 20 games with the Border Bruins, after attending camp here in Castlegar.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rebels 6 Rockies 3

After falling behind 2-0 in the second period, the Rebels scored 6 unanswered goals, many of the highlight-reel variety, in a 6-3 win over the Columbia Valley Rockies at the Complex tonight. Spencer Brodt had a pair, including a coast-to-coast short-handed effort, while Erik Wentzel, Tyler Robinson, Ryan Reid and Kwinn Mazzilli added singles. Kory Movold, Stephen Hynes and Tryg Strand replied for Columbia Valley.

The Rebels got the veteran response tonight that they needed in last night's loss. Timely efforts from the line of Wentzel, Brodt and Anthony DeLong helped put the Rebels back into the win column, while Reid (who was picked as player of the game) was a key to a solid 5-skater Rebel defence. The team was without sniper Ryan Aynsley (who was a late scratch), and captain Taylor Anderson missed the third period after scrapping Rockies defenseman Jake Halderman.

Out of Town: Every other Neil Murdoch division team in action won tonight. Grand Forks put a dozen past Penticton in a 12-4 win (Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov each had 5 points). Beaver Valley shut out Creston Valley 3-0, while Nelson whipped the Kamloops Storm 5-1.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Rockies

It's back to work tonight for the Castlegar Rebels after a tough 5-4 loss last night to the Kamloops Storm. The short-handed Rebels face the Columbia Valley Rockies tonight for the first of two meetings this season.

Castlegar will need to put last night's loss in the rear-view mirror. There was no shortage of offensive chances (I'll be the first to say Storm goalie Lynden Stanwood was outstanding between the pipes), but untimely penalties and a couple of defensive lapses were the difference. There were some bright spots, however. Erik Wentzel returned to the lineup after missing the past few weeks with an injury, and 16 year-old Diego Bartlett scored his first career KIJHL goal (I know he'd been getting a hard time for not scoring, but his teammates sure seemed happy for him when he put the 4-4 goal past Stanwood in the third period). I thought newcomer Kwinn Mazzilli had a promising debut as well. The Texan picked up an assist and seemed to work well with linemate Anthony DeLong, who scored twice.

I spoke with both coaches after last night's game, too.

To hear what Rebels bench boss Steve Junker had to say, click here.

For Storm head coach Tyler Liebel's thoughts, click here.

Our Opponent: Columbia Valley (5-15-0-3, 5th Eddie Mountain division) is not a team to be taken lightly, despite their record and plethora of injuries. This is a club that, despite being outshot 68-21, were able to upset Fernie 5-4 recently. The Rockies, like their Eddie Mountain counterparts, lean on products of Wild Rose country to fill out their roster: Calgary's Stephen Hynes leads the team in scoring with 8-13-21 in 22 GP. At least three faces will be familiar to West Kootenay hockey fans. Forward Tryg Strand spent last season with the major midget Kootenay Ice, while tough guy Jake Halderman and goaltender Tyler Stamler were both with Grand Forks last year.

In the Press Box: The Rebels will be without defenceman Erik Alden again, as he serves the second of his three-game suspension. Forward Adam Smith played with Cowichan Valley (BCHL) last night and is a safe bet to be out of the lineup again this evening. Defenceman Matt Ridley, while still on Castlegar's active roster, hasn't played in almost a month, and did not dress for Westside (BCHL) again last night despite being on their roster as an AP. Columbia Valley has no fewer than 6 players listed as injured, though forwards Julian Fraser, Thomas Robinson, Reto Stiz, and defenceman Mike Vaughan are all listed as day-to-day. Forwards Connor Beauchemin and Jordan Gies are both out.

Broadcast Info: as always, the webcast will be available at 7:30 PM Pacific (8:30 Mountain).

Next 5:
Fri. Nov. 26 @ Osoyoos, 7:35 PM
Sat. Nov. 27 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM
Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. Dec. 4 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Tue. Dec. 7 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM

Out of Town: Spokane is the only Neil Murdoch division team with the night off tonight. The Nelson Leafs are home to Kamloops (7:00, NDCC Arena), while both Beaver Valley and Grand Forks are on the road. The Nitehawks are in Creston, while the Border Bruins visit the Penticton Lakers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Storm 5 Rebels 4

Duncan Schulz's long slap-shot just seven seconds after a Diego Bartlett equalizer was all the Kamloops Storm needed to snap Castlegar's ten-game winning streak with a 5-4 win. Kevin Leschuk scored twice for Kamloops, while Kurt Torbohm and Josh Rasmussen added singles. Anthony DeLong replied with a pair for Castlegar, while Darren Tarasoff also scored.

Kamloops won this game with timely goals on the power-play. Torbohm's goal, which came on a 5-on-3, was quickly followed by a Leschuk tally as Kamloops erased a 2-1 second period deficit in less than half a minute.

The Rebels were clearly frustrated through much of the night, and were unable to get bounces on their home rink that seemed to have been a mainstay of the streak in recent weeks. The team was also short-handed, with news forward Adam Smith was APing with the BCHL's Cowichan Valley Capitals.

I spoke with both head coaches, Steve Junker and Tyler Liebel, after the game. I'll post that audio as part of my Rebels/Rockies preview tomorrow.

And even though it required a bit of creative texting, I was able to update the score via my twitter feed throughout tonight's game for the first time this season. As real-time scores are hard to come by given the ability for many score-keepers in the league to update, I hope it's yet another way the team can reach out to the fans (and fans of the KIJHL as a whole).

That's all for now, stay tuned for tomorrow's preview vs. Columbia Valley (who lost 4-1 at Beaver Valley tonight by the way).

Gameday: Rebels vs. Storm (Plus Trade News)

Two of the hottest teams in the KIJHL go toe-to-toe tonight as the Rebels entertain the Kamloops Storm for their only meeting this season. Castlegar has won 10 straight games, while Kamloops have picked up 7 straight wins since a 6-1 loss to Columbia Valley on October 29th.

These two clubs are right up there in terms of the rough stuff too. Kamloops leads the circuit with 1,007 penalty minutes assessed this season, while the Rebels sit 4th in the league with 838. (For the record, Nelson and Penticton are 2 and 3 with 958 and 844, respectively).

The Rebels were admittedly average in their last home outing, a 4-3 win over Creston Valley last Saturday night. A 3-1 second period lead evaporated, and a Ryan Aynsley power-play goal midway through the third period was all that separated the two clubs in a game that was marred by the injury to Travis Ludwar in the opening frame. A week of preparation should serve Castlegar well, especially if they're forced to dress only five defencemen tonight.

Richardson to Kamloops:
The Rebels made a move yesterday as well, sending forward Dylan Richardson to the Storm for future considerations. According to head coach Steve Junker, the move affords Richardson the opportunity to get more ice time and to harbour his offensive talent. Richardson had 10 points in 17 games with the Rebels this year.

Our Opponent:
As mentioned, the Storm have won 7 straight games, and after a slow start now sit second in the newly-renamed Doug Birks Division (with a record of 13-10-0-2). Kamloops is led offensively by a pair of nineteen year-olds. Tyler Jackson and Duncan Schulz each have 31 points, and are tied for the team lead with 11 goals. It's no coincidence that Kamloops' turnaround has coincided with the acquisition of former Kamloops Blazer and Prince George Cougar Kurt Torbohm to solidify their back end. The 20 year-old has chipped in offensively as well, scoring 5 times in 11 appearances with the Storm this year. Former NHLer Greg Hawgood's son Logan is another one to watch on the back end. The 17 year-old is second among Storm blueliners with 12 points this year. The team has a pair of rookies between the pipes as well, 17 year-old Lynden Stanwood has emerged as the number one man with a record of 9-4-1 and a 2.62 GAA.

In the Press Box:
Rebels defenceman Erik Alden serves the first game of his suspension tonight. Forward Erik Wentzel said a week ago he "hopes" to play this weekend, but could be out of the lineup a bit longer with an upper-body injury. Kamloops d-man Mike McCance will also sit this one out, he incurred a one-game suspension for breaking the misconduct rule last weekend.

Broadcast Info:
We'll have the webcast tonight beginning at 7:30.

Next 5:
Sat. Nov. 20 vs. Columbia Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. Nov. 26 @ Osoyoos, 7:35 PM
Sat. Nov. 27 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM
Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. Dec. 4 @ Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM

Out of Town:
Beaver Valley look to keep pace with the Rebels as they host tomorrow's opponent, the Columbia Valley Rockies (7:30 PM, BV Arena). Spokane has one of their toughest tests of the season this evening as they welcome Osoyoos (8:00 PM, Eagles Ice-A-Rena).

Bits & Bites:
I was asked this week whether interim Kimberley coach Jordan Foreman is any relation to new Nelson Leaf Brennan Foreman. According to RiderNews, they are brothers. Some interesting words from Grand Forks coach Jesse Dorrans following last Friday's defeat against the Rebels. In this article in the Grand Forks Gazette, Dorrans was quite upset with Rebel players "taking liberties" at his goaltenders. His response: "It seems that every other time we play these guys, they like to run straight through the goaltender. If the ref’s not going to set a precedent, it maybe, I don’t know, tit for tat."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shaw on Trades, Dixon to Trail

I chatted with Nelson Leafs coach Chris Shaw about his two new players yesterday. The Leafs acquired forwards Brennan Foreman and Joel Stewart from Kimberley and Spokane, respectively. To hear the interview, click here.

Dixon Moves Up: Trail (BCHL) has snagged 16 year-old defenceman Ryan Dixon from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Dixon, a Trail native, had 7 points (1-6) in 23 games with the 'Hawks this season.

Goalie Swap: Kimberley and Revelstoke have exchanged goaltenders. The Dynamiters sent 20 year-old Tory Caldwell to the Grizzlies in exchange for 18 year-old Cole Buckley. Caldwell had requested a trade along with the aforementioned Foreman and Kristian Petit, who at the time of writing remains on Kimberley's reserve roster. In Buckley, Kimberley receives the current KIJHL wins leader. He had a record of 14-2 with Revelstoke posting a 2.58 GAA.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alden Suspension Increased To 3 Games

The KIJHL has now decided to increase the Erik Alden suspension to three games instead of the original one for his hit on Creston Valley's Travis Ludwar. I just got off the phone with KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen. He says the league's discipline committee has decided to change the length of the suspension entirely due to the severity of the injury suffered by Ludwar. More details as they become available.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stewart, Foreman to Nelson

Nelson has made two separate deals, acquiring Joel Stewart from the Spokane Braves as well as forward Brennan Foreman from the Kimberley Dynamiters. Overage forward Adrian Moyls is on his way to the Dynamiters in return. No word yet on who (if anyone) the Braves receive. Stay tuned to Mountain FM tomorrow for more details.

WED AM UPDATE: According to this report in the Townsman, Kimberley also receives the junior B rights for defenseman Bennett Hambrook, who is currently with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL.

More From Joe Martin, Kimberley Axes Coach

As mentioned yesterday, Creston Valley coach Joe Martin was on Overtime with our sports director Jon Zacks. Thanks to cell-phone issues, I don't yet have my hands on the broadcasted copy of the interview, but I'll instead transcribe some Coles notes that I thought really stuck out.

"In my opinion it's not enough. Erik Alden is not the type of player that head-hunts, and I don't think he was trying to injure. And I know Steve Junker isn't the kind of person, or coach, to tell a player to do that. I know it was a freak thing."

Martin made reference to the head-shot issue at higher levels of hockey, and intentional or not, "feels this hit is right up there."

"After that hit, I had 15 guys looking at me for revenge. But I don't need 15 guys going out to take out the top goal scorer on Castlegar. That's not how I coach, and I know that's not how Steve Junker coaches. I would like the league to step up the severity on these types of hits, so that players think twice."

"I don't think Erik Alden did it on purpose, it happened, and players need to learn that it's severe. I think it's within our power to decrease [these types of hits]."

Some people have asked me whether I thought one game was enough of a punishment. I wasn't at all surprised to see a suspension handed out, but I was expecting it to be in the three to five game range, more due to the after-effects of the collision rather than any intended malice. That said, two Columbia Valley players each received two games for checks to the head a week ago. I'm with Martin in saying that the issue of head-shots needs to be looked at, especially given new medical research involving NFL players and concussion issues that is starting to come to light. I completely agree as well that Erik Alden didn't mean to inflict any harm on Travis Ludwar. The whole situation is unfortunate: one player is hurt, another has by some been given a reputation as a cheap-shot artist. Even though I don't want to downplay the hit and the wider scope at all, I for one can't wait until Friday to be able to talk about the games themselves again.

Jacklin Out: RiderNews is reporting Kimberley head coach Garry Jacklin has been let go, and that assistant coach Jordan Foreman is being tabbed as his interim replacement. A surprising move to say the least. Kimberley sits 4th in the Eddie Mountain division with a record of 8-11-0-2, but gave the Rebels one of their tougher tests in their current ten game streak. The Nitros did have 4 players leave the team this past weekend, however, in goaltender Tory Caldwell, and forwards Kristian Petit, Brennan Foreman and Soren Hills. A Cranbrook newspaper report pinned Hills' departure to injuries and work commitments, while the other three are reportedly waiting to be traded.

Twitter: I've seen a couple of other teams in the KIJHL do this, so I thought I'd give it a go as well. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KIJHLRebels.

Bits & Bites: Creston Valley have posted the details on how they acquired new players Brandon Parrone and Weston Joseph. Parrone was sent to the T-Cats in exchange for 20 yaer-old defenceman Matthew Guerts, while 18 year-old Cam Reid and futures went to Princeton for Joseph's services.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alden Suspended One Game

Rebels defenseman Erik Alden has been suspended one game by the KIJHL for his hit on Creston Valley captain Travis Ludwar late in the first period of Saturday night's 4-3 victory. Alden was assessed a checking-to-the-head major and a game misconduct on the play. Ludwar was down on the ice for several minutes and did not return.

I'll put up audio reaction from head coach Steve Junker later in the day after it runs on Mountain FM, but Creston Valley coach Joe Martin has this statement posted on the Thunder Cats' website.

"If you ask the fans, actually anyone other than the referee's (sic) that was bad, very bad, honestly the worst I have ever seen in hockey. I compare it to the players that were suspended in the CHL last season. If the KIJHL does not take this seriously, there is seriously something wrong. The ref kept saying to me it was not premeditated, check yourself at 59:07 of the game film, Alden is OFF his feet and his elbow is in Ludwar's face. Alden left the blue line and hit Ludwar below the hash marks hmmm 40 feet and not intentional?"

To take a look at the lead-up and the hit, click here. (note, file has to be downloaded, it's about 1 MB in size).

**UPDATE** Our sports director Jon Zacks will have both coaches on Overtime tonight. I've listened to the Martin interview and think he brings up a number of valid points. I'll post the audio once it airs.

Ludwar is out week-to-week with a grade three concussion.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rebels 4 Thunder Cats 3

Ryan Aynsley's power-play goal mid-way through the third period lifted Castlegar to an ugly 4-3 win over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats tonight at the Complex. Linemate Taylor Anderson scored twice, while Anthony DeLong added his 12th goal of the season for the Rebels. Robbie Stuckey had a pair of his own for the visitors, with Brock Ward chipping in a third for Creston Valley.

The incident that had everyone talking in the lobby occurred in the first period, however. As he was looking down to clear the puck, Thunder Cat captain Travis Ludwar was drilled by Rebels defenseman Erik Alden, and was down on the ice for several minutes before being assisted off the ice (quite groggily I'll add) by teammates and medical staff from both clubs. Alden was assessed a head-checking major and a game misconduct by referee Mike Page. Ludwar did not return, hopefully the 20 year-old will be back in the Creston lineup sooner rather than later.

An interesting roster note as well for those in touch with Creston's situation. The Thunder Cats backup tonight was not Arizona product Ryan Garber, who is listed on the KIJHL website, but rather Weston Joseph, who is listed as a member of the Princeton Posse. For the record, the Posse seem to be going with the tandem of Brett Patchett and Sky Buller, though Joseph has appeared in 9 games for them this season.

Up Next: The Kamloops Storm pay their only visit to the Complex Friday night (a 7:30 start). The Storm have turned things around of late, winning 6 straight (including a 5-2 victory over Sicamous tonight).

New Blood: The Rebels have brought in forward Kwinn Mazzilli from the SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves. Mazzilli was traded there by the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers but opted to come to Castlegar instead. He's been with the team for over a week, but has been unable to play because of delays in getting his paperwork processed. The native of The Woodlands, Texas should be in the lineup for next weekend's games.

Out of Town: Beaver Valley lost 5-2 in Kelowna, meaning the Rebels have a two-point edge on first place in the division (as well as five games in hand). Nelson took care of Grand Forks 5-2 at the NDCC Arena, while Spokane got an overtime winner from Guisseppe Dippolito to defeat Columbia Valley 5-4 in Invermere.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Thunder Cats

On October 8th, the Rebels lost 4-3 in Creston. They haven't lost since. Last night's 7-2 win over Grand Forks marks the ninth straight victory for the Rebels, who sit atop the Neil Murdoch division with a 16-3 record.

As for yesterday's game, I got the sense the entire team was hoping the last two periods were going to be played in running time, especially when things got chippy in the third period. Ryan Reid was tossed for an aggressor and a fight after his defense partner Darren Tarasoff was taken awkwardly into the boards. As for the positives, the loudest cheer of the night came when Adam Smith scored his first goal of the season, a short-handed tally in the second period that made the score 6-2. Also nice to see newcomer Corbin Legros pick up his first point as a Rebel. I also chatted briefly with Grand Forks Gazette reporter Karl Yu at the game, some of his snaps from last night could make their way both to next week's Castlegar News article as well as this blog, as I hope to be incorporating more multimedia in the next week or so.

To hear head coach Steve Junker's thoughts on last night's win, click here.

Last Meeting: Creston got a pair of goals from Travis Ludwar to defeat the Rebels 4-3 at John Bucyk Arena back on October 8th. Tonight's game is the second of two meetings between the two clubs, and the 4th of 6 straight home games for the Rebels against non-divisional opponents.

Our Opponent: Creston Valley (12-8-0-1, 2nd Eddie Mountain Division) are coming off a 9-4 shellacking of the Penticton Lakers last night at home. Newcomer Brandon Parrone (who had been with Osoyoos), had a goal and two assists. The Arizona product will complement the T-Cat defense nicely. Ludwar leads the way offensively with 19 points, but is also the only Thunder Cat with more than 7 goals. Former Grand Forks goaltender Ryan Garber should get the start in goal tonight after his counterpart Ryan Waldhaus played yesterday.

Broadcast Info: We'll have the webcast beginning at 7:30 Pacific time.

In the Press Box:
20 year-old forward Erik Wentzel will be out of the lineup again, nursing an upper body injury. He's at least a week away from returning. Defenceman Matt Ridley has been with the BCHL's Westside Warriors all week, and appeared in 1 of the Warriors' two games up north this week. Creston's Kane Dawe is eligible to return from a one-game suspension tonight.

Next 5:
Fri. Nov. 19 vs. Kamloops, 7:30 PM
Sat. Nov. 20 vs. Columbia Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. Nov. 26 @ Osoyoos, 7:35 PM
Sat. Nov. 27 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM
Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM

Out of Town:
Nelson hosts Grand Forks (7:00, NDCC Arena) in one of three other games involving Neil Murdoch division teams. Beaver Valley pays their first-ever visit to Kelowna, while Spokane continues their road swing in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

Bits & Bites:
RiderNews has the latest on Fernie's newest acquisition, former Merritt Centennial and Trail Smoke Eater defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk. For an alternate point of view to the entire situation, check out Cents coach Luke Pierce's interview on Making Cents. Nelson forward Connor McLaughlin had a pair of goals in Trail's 5-3 win at Prince George last night. Revelstoke's Brendan Urban and Sicamous's Easton Bodeux also made the trip. Former Rebel Ryan Renz is back in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs' lineup after missing an extended period of time with an injury.

Rebels 7 Border Bruins 2

Just got home from tonight's game in Grand Forks, a 7-2 Rebels victory, apologies for the short recap. Castlegar scored five times in the first period, then picked up singles in each of the latter two frames to pick up their ninth straight win. The game got a bit chippy in the third period, two Rebels were ejected for fighting.

Next up, a date with Creston Valley tomorrow night at the Complex (7:30 start).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gameday: Rebels @ Border Bruins

A trip over the Paulson this afternoon for the Rebels as they visit Grand Forks tonight. Castlegar looks to add to their current 8-game winning streak against the 4-17 Border Bruins, who lost 9-3 at Beaver Valley on Wednesday night. The Rebels haven't played since Sunday afternoon when they beat Golden 8-1.

I'm planning on making the trip over with the team this afternoon, so expect tonight's recap (as well as the one to be posted on castlegarnews.com) to be a bit more meaty than your typical away game.

Last Meeting: The Rebels won in their last trip to the Boundary, 5-2 on October 16th. They've taken all three meetings thus far this season, outscoring the Border Bruins 16-5.

Our Opponent: Grand Forks, despite their record, have had impressive showings in the last two weeks. An overtime win over Creston Valley and a 5-2 win over the Nitehawks last week upped their win total to four; Grand Forks had only 6 wins last year, and all of their victories this season have come on home ice. Belarussian imports Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov are starting to adjust to life in the KIJHL. The latter now sits second in team scoring (6-10-16) behind Salmon Arm product Zach Thompson.

Roster Notes: Forward Ryan Aynsley should be in the lineup, he did not make the trip to Prince George and Quesnel with the Trail Smoke Eaters. Defenceman Matt Ridley was also not on the gamesheet in last night's Westside/Prince George game in the Cariboo. Erik Wentzel tells me he is close to returning from an upper body injury that kept him out of the lineup last weekend.

Next 5:
Sat. Nov. 13 vs. Creston Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. Nov. 19 vs. Kamloops, 7:30 PM
Sat. Nov. 20 vs. Columbia Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. Nov. 26 @ Osoyoos, 7:35 PM
Sat. Nov. 27 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM

Out of Town: Nelson visits Beaver Valley (7:30, Beaver Valley Arena) in a battle for Neil Murdoch Division positioning. The Nitehawks and Rebels are technically tied in the standings with 30 points, though Castlegar has 5 games in hand. Spokane will be without leading scorer Mitch Fowler (suspended) tonight when they visit the Golden Rockets. Tomorrow's opponent, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, are home to the Penticton Lakers tonight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Audio Galore, Aynsley News and More

As promised, audio from the weekend that was...

To hear Rebels forward Anthony DeLong after Saturday's game against Kimberley, click here.

For Rebels forward Josh McGladery after Sunday's 8-1 win over Golden, click here.

For coach Steve Junker's thoughts on the weekend, click here.

The SFU Clan were in town to take on Selkirk College over the weekend, and I had a chance to speak with Nelson's Mitch Labreche. To hear that interview, click here.

For reaction to Saturday's failed referendum vote from Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff, click here. (My apologies for the drilling sounds in the background, there are workers doing construction in the basement below our newsroom at the station).

For Rebels president Jim Craig's take on the referendum and its implications, click here.

Aynsley's Future: It's the white elephant on everyone's mind: where will Ryan Aynsley play this season after 4 very impressive showings with the BCHL's Trail Smoke Eaters. My colleague at Mountain FM, Smokies play-by-play man Jon Zacks put it to Aynsley after he picked up 4 assists in last night's 5-3 win over Penticton. Aynsley's response: "I'm not too sure yet. I still gotta have a meeting with my Castlegar coach [today]. I'll probably know within the next few days what I'm going to be doing next." Stay tuned to both Mountain FM and this blog for updates within the next week on the future of the KIJHL's leading scorer.

Bits & Bites: Cranbrook's Daily Townsman has the latest on a pair of deals made by the Kimberley Dynamiters this week. They've snagged forwards Darrell Boldon and Rick Soo from Columbia Valley and North Okanagan, respectively. Boldon spent the latter portion of last season with Fernie, but was re-acquired by the Rockies over the summer, while Soo had joined the Knights this season after spending last season with the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The new KIJHL franchise in Chase will reportedly be known as the Heat. This tidbit from the latest league meeting. Summerland has also been approved for play by the league for next season, but is still waiting for the go-ahead from BC Hockey. The KIJHL pay-per-view service also gave a progress report. 11 of the 18 teams in the league are currently over the "break-even" mark in terms of viewership. The most watched broadcasts are those coming from our friends in Grand Forks. Player of the Month honours for October have also been handed out: Golden's Tyler Fairall takes the honours for the Kootenay Conference, while his Okanagan counterpart is Osoyoos' Taylor House. Beaver Valley's Colton Donselaar will miss tonight's game against Grand Forks due to suspension. He and Spokane's Mitch Fowler fought in the last ten minutes Sunday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aynsley Shines Again in Trail

4 assists for Ryan Aynsley in a 5-3 Smoke Eaters win tonight over the Penticton Vees. If you're keeping score at home, the 20 year-old from Kelowna now has 9 points in 4 games as an AP with Trail.

Stay tuned for weekend audio as well as a bit of local reaction to the recently failed recreation referendum. It's all saved on my work computer so I can't access it tonight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rebels 8 Rockets 1

A matinee affair turned into a goal-fest for the Rebels as they outgunned the Golden Rockets 8-1. Anthony DeLong led the way with a pair of markers, but Arthur Andrews, Ryan Reid, Spencer Brodt, Taylor Anderson, Ryan Aynsley, and Curtis Pereverzoff also scored for the home side, while goaltender Andrew Walton kicked aside 20 Rocket shots. Kyle Garcia scored the lone Golden goal, as the Rebels won for the first time against the Rockets since the 2008-09 season.

Up Next: a trip to Grand Forks, Friday. I'm hoping to make the trip with the team but will set up that matchup later in the week.

I spoke with a number of players over this weekend's two games, I'll have audio posted from each of those interviews once it runs on Mountain FM.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Rockets

Fresh off last night's dramatic 5-4 win over Kimberley, the Rebels get right back to work this afternoon against the Golden Rockets (2:00 PM, Complex). The Rebels have had tough luck with Golden in recent years, having lost 3 of the last 4 meetings between the two clubs.

The Rebels found their offense at just the right time last night, scoring 4 goals in a wild third period that also saw a 4-1 lead evaporate in a matter of minutes. Taylor Anderson's shot throught the legs of Nitros' goaltender Tory Caldwell with 13.5 seconds left ended up being the difference.

It took a period or two for the Rebels to get back in the swing of things after a week off, and in my estimation the team is happy to get two points despite having two twenty-year olds out of the lineup. Players such as Stuart Walton and Josh McGladery stepped up with timely goals last night (the latter picking up his first in the KIJHL), we'll see who's turn it is to shine this afternoon.

Our Opponent: Golden (7-10-0-1, 4th Eddie Mountain division) is coming off a 7-4 loss last night at Osoyoos, and today's game is their third in less than three days (after a 6-4 win in Princeton on Friday night). Offensively, the Rockets are led by St. Albert product Tyler Fairall, who has 30 points in 18 games. Fellow forward Justin Fulton isn't far behind with 26 points. Golden has one of the younger rosters in the league, with Joshua MacDonald being the team's only overager. 17 year-old James Leonard has been getting the bulk of the minutes in goal, we'll see if he goes again today after playing both weekend games.

Broadcast Info: Our webcast will be available on KIJHL PPV beginning at 2:00 (Pacific time).

AP Watch: Matt Ridley
played his third game as a Westside Warrior last night, picking up an assist in a 6-3 loss at Merritt (he has 1-2-3 in his time in West Kelowna). He should be available for this afternoon's game.

In the Press Box: Erik Wentzel missed last night's game and will be out again today with an upper body injury. From the looks of things, it could be a couple of weeks before he returns.

Next 5:
Fri. 11/12 @ Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Sat. 11/13 vs. Creston Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. 11/19 vs. Kamloops, 7:30 PM
Sat. 11/20 vs. Columbia Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. 11/26 @ Osoyoos, 7:35 PM

Out of Town:
Beaver Valley and Spokane finish off a home-and-home set this afternoon in Washington state. The Nitehawks won 4-1 on Friday, and had 3 players (Dallas Calvin, Chris Derochie and Ryan Dixon) AP for Trail last night. Nelson is at North Okanagan, they're 1-1 on their current road swing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rebels 5 Dynamiters 4

Taylor Anderson scored with 13.5 seconds left in the third period as the Rebels snuck past the Kimberley Dynamiters 5-4 in a wild affair at the Complex. The game was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes, but three quick goals from Ryan Aynsley, Stuart Walton and Josh McGladery gave Castlegar a 4-1 lead, before goals from Alex Hall, Cody Boekestyn and Senate Patton tied the score at 4-4 with 1:01 remaining in the third period. Anthony DeLong also scored for the Rebels, while Hall's third-period tally was his second of the night. Alex Ross picked up his fifth win of the season between the pipes for Castlegar, while Nitros tender Tory Caldwell was tagged with the loss.

Kimberley had their fair share of chances in the first 40 minutes. Two posts, a disallowed goal, and an Alex Ross robbery of Dynamiter captain Alex Hall kept Castlegar in the game early, though the Rebels' Arthur Andrews was foiled on a second period breakaway, and McGladery hit a post of his own.

Anderson's goal was not without controversy, either. His chance came after a Ryan Aynsley rush, and the Rebel forward appeared to clip Caldwell with his stick as he passed by the net.

Up Next: A date with the Golden Rockets tomorrow afternoon (2:00 PM, Complex).

No Dice: The (unofficial) results are in on the Castlegar Recreation Complex referendum. The Castlegar News has the details here. Stay tuned to Mountain FM for plenty of reaction through the week.

Out of Town: Nelson beat Sicamous 3-1 in the only other game involving Neil Murdoch division teams, while tomorrow's opponent, Golden, lost 7-4 at Osoyoos. One other score of note saw Fernie outshoot the Columbia Valley Rockies yet lose 5-4 in Invermere.

Bits & Bites: Dylan Richardson and Brett Schafthuizen were the lone combatants on tonight's fight card, after a fracas broke out in front of the Kimberley net midway through the third period (thanks to Kim Magi from the Castlegar News for the photo). Some suspensions to pass along as a result of Friday's action. Columbia Valley's Jacob Halderman and Chris Johnson each got two games for checks to the head, while Creston Valley's Kane Dawe got a game thanks to the misconduct rule. Princeton's Devon Grossler was assessed a three-game ban for a gross misconduct.

Gameday: Rebels vs. Dynamiters

The Rebels kick off their two-game weekend set against Eddie Mountain Division opponents tonight against the Kimberley Dynamiters (7:30, Complex). It's the first of five home games in the month of November for Castlegar, and oddly enough, not one of them is against a divisional opponent.

It's also the first game in over a week for the Rebels, who haven't skated since last Friday night's win in Fernie. Since that time, they've been joined at the top of the Neil Murdoch division by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, who won 4-1 last night against Spokane. Both clubs have 26 points, though the Rebels have played 5 fewer games.

New Blood: Castlegar has added 18 year-old defenceman Corbin Legros to the roster. He's appeared in 10 games with the North Okanagan Knights this year (1-1-2 and 2 PIM), and spent last season playing midget rep in his hometown of Terrace. We could see another roster change or two through the weekend and into next week, so stay tuned!

Our Opponent: Kimberley (7-7-0-2) sits right in the middle of the Eddie Mountain standings, but are coming off a pair of heartbreaking overtime losses last weekend against Beaver Valley and Nelson. The Dynamiters have picked up points in 4 of their last 5 games away from home. Watch for forwards Clayton Tilleman and Senate Patton to lead the way offensively. The Nitros are a veteran squad on the back end too, with 4 19 year-olds on their blue line. 20 year-old goaltender Tory Caldwell is in his 5th season in the KIJHL, having made stops in Kamloops and Fernie prior to joining the Dynamiters last season.

Broadcast Info: If you can't make it to the rink, join me for the webcast at 7:30.

AP Watch: Rebels forward Ryan Aynsley scored again (that's three goals in three games) with the Trail Smoke Eaters in a 5-1 win over Quesnel last night. Nitros Brennan Foreman and Bryce Perpelitz also played for Trail. Aynsley wasn't the only Rebel to score a goal in the BCHL last night though, defenseman Matt Ridley had a goal and an assist in Westside's 8-2 win over Coquitlam.

Decision Day: Residents of Castlegar and RDCK Areas I and J vote today on whether to approve the borrowing of $25 million for upgrades to the Complex. It's a decision that will greatly impact the home of the Rebels. If approved, not only would the facility see a new sheet of ice installed adjacent to the current one (which would remain the Rebels' home rink), but extensive upgrades to the fitness centre, aquatic centre and other amenities would also follow suit (for a look at a conceptual plan, click here). That said, the $80 recreation tax hike per $100,000 of assessed property value will surely convince some in voting against the idea. Whether you're for or against, take a minute or two and vote tonight at the rink prior to faceoff. Stay tuned to Mountain FM and this blog for extensive reaction to the decision Monday.

Next 5:
Sun. 11/07 vs. Golden, 2:00 PM
Fri. 11/12 @ Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Sat. 11/13 vs. Creston Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. 11/19 vs. Kamloops, 7:30 PM
Sat. 11/20 vs. Columbia Valley, 7:30 PM

Out of Town: Nelson continues their Shuswap road swing tonight in Sicamous. They lost 6-3 in Revelstoke last night in a rematch of the 2010 KIJHL finals. No other Neil Murdoch division teams are in action tonight, but tomorrow's opponent, the Golden Rockets, visit Osoyoos.

Mere Speculation: Could Jeff Zmurchyk soon be lacing 'em up in his hometown? The 20 year-old Fernie native left the Merritt Centennials this week. He played with Fernie when they won the KIJHL title in 2008, and by my count, the 'Riders do have 1 overage spot left. We'll just have to wait and see...

Friday, November 5, 2010

McGladery Suspension Rescinded

Due to a scorekeeping error, Josh McGladery's one-game suspension has been taken off the books. While it hasn't been taken off the KIJHL site as of yet, I'm told the game misconduct issued to him in Fernie last Friday night should actually have been a game ejection for incurring three stick infraction penalties in the same game.

AP Watch: I also hear through the grapevine that Ryan Aynsley could again be in the lineup for Trail as they take on the Quesnel Millionaires tonight. I'm also interested to see whether Matt Ridley will draw in again for Westside, they host the Coquitlam Express.

Out of Town: Nelson is on the road in Revelstoke tonight in a 2010 KIJHL finals rematch. Beaver Valley hosts Spokane for the second consecutive weekend, while Grand Forks looks to make it three wins in a row for the first time since 2006. The Bruins will have their work cut out for them however, they visit the Fernie Ghostriders. There's local college hockey afoot too, Nelson's Mitch Labreche and the SFU Clan visit Selkirk College for a pair of games (tonight at 7:00 PM and tomorrow at 4:00 PM, both games at the Complex).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Walton Nominated for Player of the Month

The Castlegar Rebels have nominated goaltender Andrew Walton as their October Player of the Month. The 19 year-old local product went 6-2 in 8 starts last month, including two huge wins over the Fernie Ghostriders. Walton currently leads the KIJHL with a 1.98 goals against average, and now posts a career win-loss record of 56-27-3.

The other Neil Murdoch division nominees are: Ryon Sookro (Beaver Valley), Gavin Currie (Nelson), Jesse Collins (Spokane) and Zach Thompson (Grand Forks). A decision on the respective players of the month for the Kootenay and Okanagan Conferences will be made in the next few days.

AP Watch: Rebels defenseman Matt Ridley made his first BCHL appearance of the season last Saturday in the Westside Warriors' 5-3 win at Surrey.

Setting the Record Straight
: In an earlier post I mentioned the new defensemen in Grand Forks, Derek Grimm and Cody Larsen, had been placed on reserve. I see now the Bruins have straightened out their roster situation, and while Larsen is still out (with a case of strep throat I'm told), Grimm had an assist in last night's 5-2 win over Beaver Valley.

Bits & Bites: Fernie has named a new captain. Trail's Thomas Abenante will don the "C," taking over from Zach Baba. The Riders also acquired the rights to 16 year-old Stefan Burzan from the PIJHL's Delta Ice Hawks. Unfortunate news for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, they've lost 20 year-old Levi Hantula for the season with a knee injury.

Monday, November 1, 2010

McGladery Suspended

Castlegar Rebels forward Josh McGladery has been suspended one game for breaking the misconduct rule in Friday's win over the Fernie Ghostriders. He was assessed a cross-checking minor and game misconduct 12:25 into the third period of that 3-1 win. McGladery will miss Saturday night's home game against the Kimberley Dynamiters.

Aynsley Scores Again: 17 goal man Ryan Aynsley had another power-play goal in an appearance with the Trail Smoke Eaters over the weekend. He skated in Trail's 6-2 win over the Penticton Vees, and now has 3 points in 2 games with the Smokies this season.

League Leaders: Aynsley still maintains a slight edge in the KIJHL scoring race through two months of the season. His 34 points are one better than Stefan Jensen and Taylor House of Osoyoos. Andrew Walton's 1.98 GAA is good for tops in the league as well, while Adam Smith sits second in the KIJHL with 102 penalty minutes (former Border Bruin and current Rockie Jake Halderman has 114).

Bits & Bites: Plenty to catch up on over the last week, beginning with a former Leaf. Gus Correale was traded by the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) to the Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL) for the rights to Austin Baecker, a defenseman currently skating with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds. The Leafs also parted ways with defenseman Kyle Alexander, shipping him to the NORPAC's Helena Bighorns. Newcomer Evan Moir joined the Leafs this past weekend and took Alexander's number 7. He was previously with the AJHL's Calgary Canucks. Grand Forks has placed both Cody Larsen and Derek Grimm on reserve after they were acquired from Revelstoke last week. Another former Border Bruin, Chris Davidson, has latched on with Kelowna. Spokane snagged New Jersey product Van Stefanou after he was placed on reserve by Creston Valley, while North Okanagan has signed Minnesota native Rudi Schiebel. He had 11 goals with Penticton last year. Last but not least, Castlegar native Alex Evin picked up his first NCAA shutout over the weekend. Evin made 21 saves to lead Colgate over Sacred Heart 5-0.