Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gameday: Rebels vs. Coyotes (Game 3)

(Osoyoos leads series 2-0)

Back to the friendly confines of the Complex after a weekend that can best be described with the old adage "close, but no cigar."

The Rebels and Coyotes play Games 3 and 4 of the KIJHL finals tonight and tomorrow (both 7:30 starts), and for the home side, the message is simple. Win.

A Coyotes victory would give them a stranglehold on the best-of-seven series, while the Rebels could force a Game 5 at the SunBowl Arena Friday with a victory tonight.

It's also safe to assume that the physical play we saw over the weekend will continue. The Rebels' physical edge not only takes away time and space, but as the series goes on repeated crashing and banging could wear down the Coyotes, especially if Castlegar is to hold serve on home ice. That said, Osoyoos is deadly up front with plenty of speedy forwards who can put the puck in the net with regularity.

Another battle to watch is that between Kyle Laslo and Alex Ross. Save two costly goals, these two have matched each other save for save, and the key tonight (on both sides) will be to prevent either 'tender from seeing the puck, and if there are a slough of power-plays like in Games 1 and 2, forcing each goaltender to move laterally to stop pucks.

Broadcast Info: As always, we'll have the webcast this evening beginning at 7:30, though work duties will force me to call up a back-up camera operator. EZ Rock Osoyoos will have the Coyotes' radio coverage tonight and tomorrow.

Video Evidence: Osoyoos does a great job multimedia-wise, as I've said here before, and their video highlights are something I'm hoping to emulate next season. Check out the tape from Game 1 and Game 2.

Out of Town: For the second straight year, the Peninsula Panthers will represent the VIJHL in the Cyclone Taylor Cup. This after a wild 7-game series victory against Victoria in a series the Cougars led 3-0. Richmond can win the PIJHL championship tonight with a victory against the Abbotsford Pilots.

Bits & Bites: Castlegar's pee-wee reps are 1-1 at their Tier III provincial tourney in Campbell River. They opened up with a 4-1 win over Victoria Sunday before dropping a 6-5 decision yesterday against Kelowna. They face Corbin Legros' home town of Terrace this morning. For a full list of games involving all West Kootenay minor hockey teams at their respective provincial championships, head to bchockey.net. Grand Forks' new president had some strong words on Mountain FM yesterday, but are they words of change? Michael Wirischagin told our Jon Zacks that "as of late, and for quite some time, the Grand Forks Border Bruins really weren't worth the $7 people were forking out." Wirischagin, a city councillor who also calls the Bruins' webcasts, is passionate to say the least, and I'm definitely interested to see what kind of changes (to both the on and off-ice product) he has in store, including a new head coach and GM, who could be named as soon as next month.

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