The Castlegar Rebels put an end to their losing streak over the weekend, beating the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday and the Fernie Ghostriders on Saturday.
At Saturday’s home game, the Rebels barely let the Ghostriders get a puck in edgewise.
The last time the two teams met in Fernie, the Ghostriders defeated the Rebels 4-3, but the Castlegar team upped its game and defeated Fernier 7-1 on Saturday.
The Rebels started the game with a power-play goal in the second half of the first period, out-shooting the Ghostriders 13-5 and denying them any chance to score.
But in the second, it looked like the game could change.
Fernie’s Keelan Saworski scored early in the period, tying the game, and soon after the Rebels took two back-to-back penalties one — Andrew Petton for holding and Everett Hicks for slashing — and they fought the five-on-three penalty kill.
The opportunity allowed Fernie to even out the shot clock, but the opposing team was ultimately unable to score and soon after they lost the power-play opportunity, they also lost another goal to the Rebels.
John Moeller scored his first goal of the night, putting his team back in the lead. He scored again before the period ended, sending the Rebels into the third period with a two-goal lead.
Things didn’t get any better for the Ghostriders in the third.
The Rebels scored another four goals — two scored by Moeller, giving him four for the night — and though the Ghostriders tried to keep up the fight, they couldn’t get back in the game.
Asked what the difference was between how the team played during Saturday’s game and how they played against Fernie the previous weekend, assistant coach Angus Campbell said, “I think just execution. They actually put the puck in the net. All four lines, all our D were rolling so that was good.”
Team Captain Vince Bitonti attributed the win to a solid effort from everyone on the team.
“Everyone was doing their role. Every line was moving their feet, we were getting pucks deep, shots on net. D-zone was a lot better tonight. Things were clicking our way,” he said.
It was also a special game for Bitonti because his family — his mom, dad and sister — had come from Calgary to see him play.
Asked how it felt to play such a good game in front of them, he said, “It feels good. We lost last time we played them in Fernie, so it felt really good to beat them tonight. The team came together and it was good to do it in front of our families.”
On Friday, the Rebels defeated the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 5-3 in Creston.
“Again all the boys played really well. Again execution was key. Killed a lot of penalties,” said Campbell.
The Rebels are now fourth in the Neil Murdoch Division, three points behind the third-place team, Beaver Valley.
They face the Nelson Leafs on Friday at 7 p.m. in Castlegar and the Spokane Braves on Saturday in Spokane.