A long trip today for the Rebels as they finish off their season series with Golden tonight (6:30 Pacific, Golden Arena). Castlegar is coming off a 3-1 win in Grand Forks Tuesday in a game that hung in the balance until a couple of quick goals midway through the third period. It's the third of four straight away from home, as the Rebels play tonight and tomorrow before a 10-day layoff sandwiching the All-Star break.
The Rebels are 6-1 thus far in 2010-11 against the Eddie Mountain division, a loss in Creston in October being the lone blemish on their record. But just like last month's sojourn through the Shuswap, this weekend's games are a chance for the group to continue growing as a team.
Last Meeting: The two clubs met in Castlegar on November 7th, with the Rebels laying the boots to a tired Rocket squad playing their third game in less than three days. Anthony DeLong, Tyler Robinson and Ryan Aynsley each had three-point afternoons in an 8-1 victory.
Our Opponent: Golden (17-19-0-2, 3rd Eddie Mountain) comes in fresh off a 9-2 blasting of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats earlier this week. The Rockets can score in bunches, but as the previous encounter with Castlegar proves (and a 9-6 loss in Nelson earlier this season), Golden can be scored on in bunches too. 20 year-old Josh MacDonald leads the offensive attack with 58 points (27-31), and had a 6-point outing in Tuesday's win over Creston Valley. Fellow forward Tyler Fairall was the Kootenay Conference Player of the Month for October. MacDonald and Fairall sit 5th and 6th in the KIJHL in scoring, to boot. 17 year-old Brett DeFrias has 29 points on the back end. Fellow '93 James Leonard has played the bulk of the minutes in goal, posting a 14-8 record and a 3.65 GAA.
Broadcast Info: Golden's crew will have the webcast at 6:30 Pacific time.
In the Press Box: No word on whether Spencer Brodt will make his return tonight. I didn't see him, Darren Tarasoff, Arthur Andrews or Curtis Pereverzoff on the bus or in the rink in Grand Forks on Tuesday, and AP callup Darren Medeiros put in another strong showing.
Sat. Jan. 8 @ Columbia Valley, 6:30 PM Pacific
Tue. Jan. 18 vs. Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. Jan. 21 @ Spokane, 7:30 PM
Sat. Jan. 22 vs. Kelowna, 7:30 PM
Tue. Jan. 25 @ Nelson, 7:00 PM
Out of Town: The Nelson Leafs will be without Colton Schell (suspension) and Gavin Currie (upper body injury) tonight when they visit Fernie. Newcomer Dustin Johnson had 2 points in his Leafs debut Sunday in Spokane. Tomorrow's opponent, the Columbia Valley Rockies, are in Creston tonight.
Bits & Bites: The leadup to the January 10th trade deadline has begun. Nelson have put forward Brennan Foreman on reserve. The 19 year-old scored 10 points in 12 games as a Leaf. Stay tuned to the blog and the Rebels' Twitter account for all the latest moves as we inch closer to the deadline.