Well that was an interesting finish.
Erik Wentzel scored the eventual winner in the third period as the Rebels escaped a boiled-over NDCC Arena with a 4-3 win in what can hardly be described as a classic, but will not soon be forgotten.
With the Rebels leading 4-2 late in the final frame, goaltender Alex Ross appeared to have been tackled by a Leafs forward and was taken out of the play. Referee Jason Chambers elected to let play continue, and as a result a rather surprised-looking Evan Moir shot in one of the easier goals he'll ever score in the KIJHL.
Water bottles were tossed, players dropped gloves, and fans climbed the glass (and according to my colleague Matt Soper, who calls the games in Nelson, fought in the stands). In the end, the Rebels skated away to a 4-3 win, limiting the home team to only 13 shots on goal in the entire game.
Not that it was a terribly engaging game to begin with, even from a Rebels point of view. Castlegar struck early on a power-play, when Spencer Brodt rifled a one-timer past Leafs netminder Marcus Beesley for his 10th of the year. The Leafs would quickly answer back thanks to Jeff Hodgkinson, but Ryan Aynsley would offer a quick reply of his own before the opening frame was out.
Stuart Walton converted a Diego Bartlett wraparound to give the Rebels a 3-1 advantage, a lead they'd enjoy until early in the third when Dallon Stoddart scored to cut the lead in half.
Nelson went 0/8 on the power-play, including a late effort that saw the team unable to set up control, even with Beesley pulled and an extra attacker on the ice. One can't help but wonder aloud that Castlegar's persistent forecheck and bottling up of the neutral zone on the PK played a substantial role in their ability to come away with two points.
Controversy, outrage, and chaos aside, it should make for an interesting back end to a home-and-home series supposedly involving two teams coasting in neutral in advance of the playoffs. Hope to see you at the rink tomorrow night!
Out of Town: Can't help but notice the Fernie Ghostriders gave first star to Zach Baba tonight in their 8-2 victory over Creston Valley. He got tossed off the opening faceoff for scrapping with Scott Swiston. Former Rebel Andrew Walton also got into a lobster-fight with T-Cat 'tender Weston Joseph, in the final 10 minutes to boot. Have to think the KIJHL's wheel of justice will land on that game, as well as the Kelowna/Osoyoos tilt tonight. Check the boxscore for yourself.