(Castlegar leads series 2-1)
One team will use tonight's Game 3 as momentum, one team will put it in the rear-view mirror.
Rance Hughes scored twice, including on a third-period breakaway as Spokane tighted up the best-of-seven with a 4-0 shutout at Eagles Ice-A-Rena. Mitch Fowler and Tanner Slarks also tallied, while Garrett Barr made 45 saves between the pipes for the goose-egg.
This one can be put on costly penalties. A retaliation after a Braves forward bowled over Rebels 'tender Alex Ross, an imprudent cross-check, and an unsportsmanlike penalty after the whistle put the Rebels down 3-0 (and brought Cole Buckley into the game in relief).
Erik Wentzel tried to jump-start the team in the third, scrapping with Spokane's Brycen Fisher. But Barr, despite facing lots of rubber, wasn't forced to make many ten-bell saves, and looked much stronger and more confident tonight than in either of the games in Castlegar.
Marked Man: Josh McGladery tried unsuccessfully to engage Spokane's Tanner Slarks in the third period. Slarks of course was the Brave who jumped Castlegar's Arthur Andrews in the Rebels' last trip to Spokane on January 30th.
Game 5: will happen. Following tomorrow night's Game 4, the two teams will tangle again in Castlegar Sunday evening at 5:00. The only question that remains, will it be one team's chance to close out the series, or either team's chance to take a pivotal 3-2 lead?
Good Luck Charm: Was that Mike Bay's daughter crossing the ice from the Braves bench following the game? If so, it brings back memories of former San Francisco Giants skipper Dusty Baker during the 2002 World Series. At least this time there won't be any plays at the plate!
Out of Town: Only one final at time of writing, as Creston Valley's Brock Ward played overtime hero in Golden. And despite pleas from both the Rockets coach and team president, attendance was only listed at 106 (although it is a Thursday night). Creston Valley is now up 2-1 in that Eddie Mountain series after dropping Game 1 at home.