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.
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...