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.
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.