The Castlegar Rebels lost 3 – 1 to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks last Sunday, September 27 on the Rebels’ home rink.
For the most part it was a battle between two very strong goalies.
With a total of 72 shots for both teams, the night was action packed as the Castlegar Rebels continued the physical play that has put them in second place behind their arch rivals the Nitehawks in the Neil Murdoch division of the KIJHL.
The Nitehawks’ goalie Brandon Wells only allowed one goal on 35 shots, while Rebels goalie Joseph Mcleod stopped 34 out of 37 shots.
The Castlegar Rebels also played well but the two goal lead the Nitehawks had gained by the end of the first period was not to be broken in the following 40 minutes.
The Rebels tested the Nitehawks defence with four power play opportunities in the third period. While the Nitehawks had five power play opportunities, but none resulted in goals.
Although it wasn’t the result the Rebels were hoping for, it was still a night to remember as the Rebels and their fans celebrated 40 years of junior hockey in Nelson.
The year was 1976 when a group of Castlegar parents of young hockey players got together. They were concerned that after their children had grown up the ranks of hockey in Castlegar; after Midget hockey their was no team or league for them to graduate to.
As Verna Keraif, a parent of four boys all playing hockey in 1976 reminisced that the first Rebels’ executive, of which she was a member, wanted to take advantaged of the new Castlegar Arena and to provide a focus for the young hockey players.
The first Rebels team was nearly all composed of Castlegar players.
Kim Tassone, current President of the Castlegar Rebels Executive was enthusiastic of the success of the weekend’s celebration. She wanted to thank all the former players and coaches in the last forty years who participated, including the very first Rebels head coach Marc Pezzan, who gave a welcomed speech at their 40th anniversary dinner.
Rebels 3 – Braves 2
The Rebels were also at home earlier in the week and it was a better result for the home side as they came away with a 3-2 over the Spokane Braves on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
Rebels, with half of their roster made up of new players, played a physical and confident game.
Veteran Rebel Darren Medeiros opened the scoreboard with a goal just into the third minute of the game at 17:40.
Medeiros described the goal after the game.
“Puck was dumped into the corner, and … Lindsey gave me a nice pass and I fired it right away into the top left corner.”
Spokane tied up the game during a power play at 4:48 left on the clock with a goal by Lance Noomen.
But period two was dominated by Castlegar.
The Rebels scored at 17:18, by Lindan Calliou assisted by Nick Headrick and Medeiros, and at 10:13, by Morgan Scriber assisted by Jesse Reeds.
With a two-goal lead and out shooting Spokane 31 to 14 after two periods, the Rebels were playing a physical domineering game.
However Spokane put up a genuine fight the third period scoring in the opening minutes of the third putting one past Rebels new starting goalie Joseph Mcleod.
“We came out and we worked really hard for the full 60,” said Rebels assistant coach Keegan Little. “We played pretty physical and it paid off in the end.
“We got a lot of good good veteran guys coming back with lots of experience. Lots of character guys who let the new guys know how its goes around here, what’s expected and it shows like on games tonight.”
Fourth year veteran and assistant captain Medeiros said the team is looking good.
“It’s going good. I like what I see,” he said.
The next Rebels game is Sunday, September 27 at the Castlegar Complex against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
Puck drops at 1 p.m.