Reid Wilson of the Castlegar Rebels scored his second goal of the night against the Spokane Braves in the second period, giving his team a three-point lead. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Reid Wilson of the Castlegar Rebels scored his second goal of the night against the Spokane Braves in the second period, giving his team a three-point lead. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Castlegar Rebels on eight-game winning streak after defeating Spokane Braves

The Castlegar Rebels defeated the Spokane Braves 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Castlegar Rebels defeated the Spokane Braves 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Braves’ Dawson Tritt scored the game’s opening goal at 12:41, after the Rebels had failed to take advantage of a power play opportunity early in the period.

But the Braves’ goal seemed to be the motivation the Rebels needed to get things going and Chris Breese responded soon afterwards with a goal assisted by Shawn Campbell and Reid Wilson.

Wilson then scored his own goal second later, assisted by Edward Lindsey and Dallas Goodwin, giving the Rebels the lead.

The Braves took advantage of a power-play opportunity when Rebels’ captain Vince Bitonti took two minutes for hooking, tying the game up once again — but seconds later Lindsey, assisted by Dallas Goodwin and John Moeller, put the Rebels back in the lead.

The Rebels dominated in the second period, scoring two goals — the first by Everett Hicks, assisted by Chase Daniels and Jacob Lindsey, the second by Wilson, assisted by Breese and Campbell — and outshooting the Braves 17-6.

But the home team also failed to capitalize on two power plays in the period.

Nonetheless, the Rebels’ success in the second led to a change of goaltender for the Braves, who put Ben Waslaski in to replace Trevor Dilauro midway through the second period.

Waslaski didn’t allow any more goals in the second, but it wasn’t long into the third before Edward Lindsey scored his second goal of the night, assisted by Aiden (Bo) Cornell, giving the Rebels a four-goal lead.

The Braves once again made the best of a power-play opportunity in the period and Kyle Donaldson, assisted by Tritt, scored a final goal for his team.

Thought the Rebels won, coach and general manager Bill Rotheisler would have liked to see his team play a stronger game.

“I don’t think we played that well. I think we did some good things, but overall we kind of slightly strayed away from some of the things that have made us successful through this run,” he said. “It’s typical when things are going well, and overall … we played good enough to win, but we definitely know that with our opponents that we’re facing this upcoming week, we definitely gotta tighten up some areas.”

The Rebels will face the Nelson Leafs on Saturday in Nelson, giving the Rebels a chance to take the lead in the Neal Murdoch Division.

Going into Saturday night’s game, the Rebels were two points behind the Leafs, but though the Rebels won their game against the Braves, the Nelson team also won its Saturday night game.

The Leafs will face the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday, but whether Nelson wins or loses, the Rebels can take the top spot if they defeat the Leafs Saturday and then the Nitehawks on Sunday in Fruitvale.

“It’s two pretty tough games and they’re going to be ready for us. We always gauge our games against how would we do against those top teams and if we came out with that effort and that ability against Nelson, would we have won that game?” said Rotheisler. “I think it’s a toss-up and … we definitely need to tweak some things.”

One of the things the Rebels coach said his team needs to work on is their power play.

“We’re first in a lot of categories in this league and we’re not really close to that in our power play,” he said. “So considering how much offence — we have the number one offence in the league [at 129 goals for] — yet we have a mid-range power play. We view that as sort of a red flag as something that needs a little work. So we’ll be working on that and our D-zone. Our D-zone has been sort of our bread and butter throughout this stretch and it loosened up a bit tonight.”

As of Sunday night, the Rebels also had the longest current winning streak in the league at eight games.

 

Rebels coach and general manager Bill Rotheisler gave his team some encouragement during a time out. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Rebels coach and general manager Bill Rotheisler gave his team some encouragement during a time out. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)