Friday, February 11, 2011

Gameday: Rebels vs. Nitehawks

It's the last home game of the regular season as the Rebels open up a home-and-home set with Beaver Valley (7:30, Complex). Technically, Castlegar is still within striking distance of Fernie for top seed in the Kootenay Conference (84 points to 82) but will need some help from the Kimberley Dynamiters if they're to overtake the Eddie Mountain division leaders.

Tonight's game, and tomorrow's return engagement in Fruitvale, will both be seen as final tune-ups for the KIJHL playoffs, which kick off Monday night against Spokane.

Last Meeting: These two teams met February 1st in Castlegar, a game the Rebels won 5-1 thanks to four quick first-period goals. Castlegar leads the season series 4-2.

A Banner Night: The Rebels will be raising their 2010-11 Neil Murdoch division championship banner tonight, to commemorate their first division title since 1996.

Raffle Draw: The draw for the 2011 Castlegar Rebels raffle also goes tonight. Up for grabs, a $2,000 gift certificate to Andre's Audiotronic, a 50" Samsung TV, a 15-pack of passes to the Castlegar Golf Club, cash prizes and more.

Our Opponent: Beaver Valley, like the Rebels, are tuning up for their playoff series with the Nelson Leafs, which opens Tuesday night in Fruitvale. (To me, that series could be the most evenly-matched opening round set in the KIJHL). South Slocan's Ryon Sookro leads the attack with 58 points (28-30), while Mike Vlanich has returned to the crease from an extended layoff that saw backup Zach Perehudoff play almost the entire month of January.

Broadcast Info: As always, the webcast is available from 7:30 tonight.

In the Press Box: Mike Wiest is out. Tyler Jones, Ryan Reid and Jamie Vlanich all returned to the lineup Wednesday night in Grand Forks.

Out of Town: Nelson visits Creston Valley to open up a home-and-home set originally scheduled for Whitehorse. The two teams have been bumped by the WHL's Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers. Grand Forks is in Golden.

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