All the intensity, not as much of the controversy.
For the second straight night, Erik Wentzel scored the game-winner as the Rebels dispatched the Nelson Leafs 5-3 at the Complex. Consider it an early birthday present for the Kelowna product, who turns 21 on Monday.
It could well have been the one that got away from Castlegar. Down three regular defenseman (Mike Wiest, Tyler Jones and Ryan Reid) along with forward Jamie Vlanich, the Rebels battled back from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits before Wentzel's goal at 5:44 of the second period put them ahead for good. Taylor Anderson added an empty-netter at the buzzer as insurance.
Arthur Andrews, Ryan Aynsley and Tyler Robinson also tallied for Castlegar, while Braeden Hikichi, Marcus Dahl and Connor Enright replied for the visitors.
With the win, the Rebsls reach the 40-victory plateau for only the second time in their 35-year history, the 2000-01 Rebels were the only other team to do it.
Worth Noting: Castlegar played most of the game without forward Anthony DeLong. He was ejected, along with Nelson's Joel Stewart after a second period scrap (I'd give the edge to DeLong). Nelson's Dustin Johnson appeared to injure his shoulder late in the middle frame and did not play in the third period.
Up Next: The Rebels pay their final visit of the season to Grand Forks, Wednesday.
Hike!: Come on out to Mountain FM's Super Bowl party tomorrow afternoon at the Element in Castlegar. All the details are available here. Myself and the rest of the Mountain FM/103.5 the Bridge crew will be in attendance, so if you see us, don't hesitate to say hi, and enter the draw for some fantastic prizes!