The Castlegar Rebels Tanner Douglas has had an excellent season so far, with a save percentage of 0.937 over 14 games. (File photo)

The Castlegar Rebels Tanner Douglas has had an excellent season so far, with a save percentage of 0.937 over 14 games. (File photo)

Castlegar Rebels defeat Bruins for 14th straight win

The Castlegar Rebels ended 2017 with their 14th straight win.

The Castlegar Rebels ended 2017 with their 14th-straight win.

Sunday night, the Rebels faced the Grand Forks Border Bruins in Grand Forks and defeated them 6-2.

Brandon Della Paolera started things off for the Rebels with a goal less than three minutes into the first period, assisted by Jesse Belley.

The Bruins’ Trey Mason responded with a goal late in the first, assisted by Cory Loring and Zane Avery, sending the two teams into the second period tied 1-1.

Edward Lindsey, leading the league in points at 60 for the season, gave the Rebels back the lead with a goal early in the second, assisted by Tanner Costa and Dallas Goodwin.

Shawn Campbell gave the Rebels a two-goal lead minute later, assisted by Chris Breese and Reid Wilson.

Toward the end of the period, Goodwin took a two-minute penalty for elbowing and the Bruins’ Briar Whyte found the net, assisted by Zach Zaparniuk and Logan Hascari, reducing the Rebels’ lead to one point.

But the Rebels came back strong in the third, scoring three more goals, while goalie Tanner Douglas blocked the Bruins’ eight shots of the period.

Douglas’ save percentage for the game was 0.931. His save percentage this season is 0.937.

The first goal was scored by Brady Daniels, assisted by Campbell and Chase Daniels, the second was scored by captain Vince Bitonti, assisted by Jordan Wood and Lindsey, and the third was scored by Wood, assisted by Bitonti and Ren Mason.

“It went well. I thought, better than our game against Spokane [on Saturday]. Still not really where we want our game to be, but it was a marked improvement from our previous game after the break,” said Bill Rotheisler, head coach and general manager for the Rebels.

He would like to see the Rebels improve their consistency.

“We feel that before the break we were playing some pretty tight hockey for 60 minutes and where Spokane was, I felt, more run and gun, this last game had more minutes of tight hockey, but there were still areas that weren’t,” said Rotheisler. “So I would like to see us get back to playing better defensively for the entire game.”

The Rebels are now 5-0 against the Bruins for the season, and are still first in the Neil Murdoch division, though the Nelson Leafs are two games and only three points behind.

Rotheisler said the team is happy about its winning streak.

“But we’re just trying to get better every day,” he said, explaining that the team’s defence was already back to practice at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. “Working on getting the puck away and some hinge plays and that sort of thing.”

The Rebels next game is against the Spokane Braves in Spokane on Friday and their next home game is Saturday against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks at 7 p.m.

“Beaver Valley is a big rivalry and we know that we have two games coming up in our next days against them, but we need to make sure first and foremost that we use the Spokane game to try to get back to playing our tight hockey,” said Rotheisler.

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