Game 2 of the Shuswap road swing goes tonight in Sicamous as the Rebels and Eagles tangle for the only time this season. Castlegar is coming off a 6-2 win last night at North Okanagan, a game that saw 6 different Rebels light the lamp. Diego Bartlett, Anthony DeLong, Arthur Andrews, Mike Wiest, Stuart Walton and Josh McGladery lit the lamp for the Rebels. The DeLong and Andrews tallies, which came 2 minutes apart late in the second period, helped erase a 2-1 deficit and send the Rebels to their fifth straight win. Alex Ross stopped 20 of 22 shots last night to improve to 9-1 on the season. Thomas Swales and Taylor Greatrex scored for the Knights, who after a hot start have now lost 11 of their last 13 games.
Tonight's matchup sees the Rebels face another unfamiliar opponent, but in Sicamous they're welcomed by another team trying to find its way (more on that later). The Eagles sit last in the Doug Birks division with 26 points on the year (North Okanagan, while level on points, are ahead by virtue of having more wins).
Castlegar enters tonight's game with several players riding hot streaks. Wiest has picked up 7 points since being acquired from the Fernie Ghostriders. Walton has points in his last 4 outings, while captain Taylor Anderson's point streak reached 5 games last night. The blue line will get a big boost as well with the return of 20 year-old Darren Tarasoff from a three-game suspension incurred last week against Spokane.
Our Opponent: Sicamous, as mentioned, have only 11 wins to show from their first 32 games, but two of those wins have been in their past three outings, including a 7-3 thumping of Osoyoos last Friday. The Eagles sent leading scorer Brandon Formosa to Creston Valley at the December 1st deadline. The 17 year-old from Mission had 32 points in 26 games as an Eagle and was the Okanagan Conference Player of the Month in September. The club also lost forward David Ahl last week when he was called up by the BCHL's Quesnel Millionaires. Kenneth McKay has assumed the role as Sicamous' offensive leader with 17 goals and 30 points while set-up man Mark Arnold has 24 assists. Trail Smoke Eaters callup Easton Bodeux has 12 points on the back end as a 16 year-old as well. 20 year-old Chris Kingdon took the loss in goal last night in a 4-3 setback against Revelstoke. Whether or not that means we'll see 17 year-old Aaron Brandoli between the pipes remains to be seen.
In the Press Box: With Tarasoff's return, the Rebels will likely scratch one defenseman. No word yet on who that is though stay tuned to the Twitter feed tonight as game-time draws near. Sicamous are still without forwards Jamey Kreller and Drew Nikirk as well as defenceman Mike Piderman, all with long-term injuries.
Broadcast Info: The Sicamous crew will have the webcast beginning at 7:00 PM.
AP Watch: a few KIJHL faces in BCHL uniforms last night. Dallas Calvin (Beaver Valley) continues to fill in as Trail visits Vancouver Island. A pair of Penticton Lakers were in action last night for the Victoria Grizzlies as well. Defenseman Brandon Halls and forward Mike Sandor dressed for the Grizz' 4-0 loss against Vernon.
Out of Town: Nelson takes the momentum from a 6-4 win in Kimberley last night into Beaver Valley in a key Neil Murdoch matchup (7:30, BV Arena). We'll see if former Rebel Andrew Walton gets a shot at revenge as Fernie visits Creston Valley. Walton's 'Riders debut was spoiled by Creston (Brandon Formosa with the GWG), however he played last night in Fernie's 7-1 win against Spokane. Tomorrow's opponent, the Revelstoke Grizzlies, host North Okanagan.
Bits & Bites: Fernie has picked up forward Briar McNaney (ex-Rockie) and placed him on reserve. He dressed last night in the 'Riders win against Spokane. Former Nitros captain Alex Hall is off to a great start with his new club. He's picked up 5 points in his first 3 games with the VIJHL's Oceanside Generals. He's joined in Parksville by three other KIJHL alum: G Stephen Wolff (Fernie), D Josef Chase (Spokane) and D Matt Dixon (Creston Valley). Another former Thunder Cat, goaltender Ryan Garber, has been suiting up with the Kerry Park Islanders in the same league.