Talk about pulling one out.
Castlegar scored three times in the final four minutes of the third period to erase a 3-0 deficit, and Stuart Walton's second goal of the game 18 seconds into overtime sealed the deal in a wild 4-3 win in Fruitvale. The Rebels scored three times on late powerplays thanks to a too many men call and a high-sticking double minor after last night's hero Daniel Bishop clipped Jamie Vlanich.
Tyler Robinson also had a pair for Castlegar (42-8-0-0), who fell behind 3-0 thanks to two goals from Ryan Baines and a single from Ryon Sookro. The Rebels can now move on to the playoffs thanks to some timely momentum, and also end up taking the season series from Beaver Valley by 5 games to 3.
M.I.A.: No Spencer Brodt or Darren Tarasoff tonight for Castlegar, as well as fellow overage d-man Mike Wiest. Beaver Valley were without their captain Colton Donselaar (suspension), Dallas Calvin and Nick Perez, while Keanan Patershuk and Arie Postmus were tossed for checks from behind in the second period.
Up Next: That's right, the playoffs are here! Spokane visits the Complex Monday and Tuesday night for Games 1 and 2 of the Kootenay Conference quarter-final. Stay tuned to the blog and Mountain FM Monday for a preview of this and all 7 other KIJHL series.
In Fine Form: Rebels goaltender Alex Ross has finished second in the KIJHL in goals-against average. Ross posted a 2.04 GAA and .921 save percentage in 20 games this season, and his fine play had to have been a bonus in the decision to send Andrew Walton to the Ghostriders.
On Top Again: Castlegar product Scott Morisseau is the KIJHL scoring champ for the second straight year. After leading the loop with 84 points for the Nitehawks in 2009-10, Morisseau put up 97 with Fernie this year, while another former Nitehawk, Trail's Thomas Abenante, finished second with 92. The top Rebels scorer, Ryan Aynsley, finished 8th in the league with 71 points (32-39), but played in only 38 of Castlegar's 50 games.
Out Of Town: Kimberley staged an incredible comeback of their own, scoring twice in the final 1:15 and getting an OT winner from Darrell Boldon to nip Fernie 5-4. More importantly, Nitros forward Olli Dickson was assessed a goaltender interference major late in the first period on a play that forced Fernie goaltender Fraser Abdallah out of the game. Closer to home, Nelson were outclawed 5-4 at home by Creston Valley.