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).
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.