A quick gameday package before I hop in the car and head back to the West Kootenay...
Castlegar goes searching for their first victory of 2011 tonight in Grand Forks (7:30 PM, GF Arena). The 4-1 loss in Beaver Valley wasn't the most inspiring of performances, but a quick turnaround should prove beneficial for Steve Junker's club.
Last Meeting: Castlegar have taken all five games this season from Grand Forks, the most recent being December 7th, a 6-2 win at the Complex. Kootenay Ice major midget 'tender Jarrod Schamerhorn collected his first victory in junior hockey, and his Ice teammate Darren Medeiros scored twice, including the game-winner.
Our Opponent: The rebuilding of the Border Bruins continues. With only 7 victories from their 34 games played, Grand Forks remains mired in the Neil Murdoch division basement, 19 points behind the Spokane Braves. Zac Thompson continues his fine season in the Boundary: the 19 year-old from Salmon Arm sits 9th in the KIJHL in scoring with 47 points. The Kalashnikov brothers, Yan and Artsiom, have also found their groove at this level and sit 2nd and 4th on the team in scoring respectively. Former Fort St. John Huskie Garrett Muir and counterpart Ryan Ryman have split duties between the pipes.
In the Press Box: The Rebels may again be without forward Spencer Brodt, who's missed the better part of a month. I'm told he's close to returning. Arthur Andrews and Kwinn Mazzilli both did not dress on Sunday at Beaver Valley, with callup Quinn Klimchuk making his Rebels debut. Grand Forks will be without penalty minute leader Cody Robertson, he's serving a one-game suspension.
Broadcast Info: Michael Wirischagin will have the call from Grand Forks on kijhl.ca, beginning at 7:30.
Out of Town: One other Neil Murdoch matchup tonight sees Spokane visit Beaver Valley. That game is listed as a 7:00 start rather than the usual 7:30 face-offs at the BV Arena.
Bits & Bites: Nelson could be in for a tough go when they visit Fernie Friday night. Forward Colton Schell is suspended, and now in addition to the loss of Connor McLaughlin comes word scoring leader Gavin Currie will be lost for 4 to 6 weeks with what beat writer Bruce Fuhr termed a shoulder injury in this article.