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).
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.