It's the last home game before the Christmas break tonight as the Rebels and Spokane Braves tangle at the Complex. Castlegar is coming off a successful Shuswap road swing, picking up wins over North Okanagan, Sicamous and Revelstoke, while the Braves haven't played since a 3-1 win over Beaver Valley Sunday (a game played at Eastern Washington University). It's also the start of a home-and-home series: after tonight's game, the two clubs head to the Lilac City for a return engagement tomorrow night before taking some time off for the holidays.
One of the most impressive parts about the road trip, to me at least, was the fact the team was able to spread the scoring through all four lines. Curtis Pereverzoff scored three goals over the weekend, and we saw timely goals from the likes of Stuart Walton, Tyler Robinson and Arthur Andrews as well. Goaltenders Alex Ross and Cole Buckley both made solid cases for taking over the number one position in net, we'll see if Buckley gets his first home start tonight.
Last Meeting: On December 3rd, Spencer Brodt had a goal and an assist, while Ross made 21 saves for his second shutout of the year in a 4-0 Rebels win at the Complex. The most notable event of the game though, was a third period dust-up that saw both Brodt and Darren Tarasoff suspended. Castlegar leads the season series 3-1, though this is the last time these two clubs will meet in the regular season north of the 49th.
Our Opponent: Spokane (16-16-0-1, 4th Neil Murdoch division) scored a 3-1 win over the Nitehawks in their last outing as mentioned earlier. All-Star Rance Hughes leads the way offensively with 30 points, while Mitch Fowler, who will skate in the Prospects game, sits second with 28. Forward Nick Farmer returns tonight after serving the two-game suspension he incurred the last time these two clubs met. Alaskan Garrett Barr has started every game against Castlegar this season.
In the Press Box: I've yet to receive any update on Brodt after he sat out the games against the Eagles and Grizzlies last weekend. Castlegar dressed 7 defencemen for both contests.
Broadcast Info: As always, join us on Rebels PPV at 7:30 PM. Check the Rebels Twitter page for up-to-date scoring and news throughout tonight's contest as well.
Out of Town: Only one other Neil Murdoch division team is in action as Grand Forks visits Creston. The Border Bruins lead the season series 1-0.
Bits & Bites: As mentioned yesterday on RiderNews, Fernie is getting forward Jordan Hirano back from the Waywayseecapo Wolverines of the MJHL. He split last season between the Ghostriders and the BCHL's Williams Lake Timberwolves. From the "Where Are They Now" files, former Rebel and Brave Cory Coles had a goal yesterday in the Bakersfield Jr. Condors' (Western States Hockey League) 6-3 defeat to the Tulsa Rampage in Las Vegas. Coles has 20 points (9-11) in 20 games in Bakersfield this year.